Leonie Pryor

aldridge-27-20-rugeley-10-of-119What’s your day job?  Sales manager for an animal feed company: in a nutshell I chat to lots of farmers and drink lots of tea.

How long have you been refereeing? 5 seasons

First match you can remember? It was an U14s friendly at Luctonians and it was absolutely terrifying! Once I got going I really enjoyed it, the players and coaches were really supportive which was just super.

Why did you start refereeing? When I played, one of my teammates who was also our physio nicknamed me “sick note.” It turns out running full pelt in to people twice my size never ended that well.

Favourite venue to referee at? Ellesmere College, it’s a nicer commute for a country bumpkin like me than battling through Brum, a very warm welcome on arrival, there are excellent facilities, the pitch is absolutely impeccable and the backdrop of the school building itself is pretty special.

Best refereeing moment so far? Only one! Being AR at Twickenham is definitely up there! There are many equally memorable moments but my favourites are those games where you’re on a roll, in the right place (most of the time), feeling confident about your decisions and manage to keep up with play. A warm welcome from the club, having a laugh with the players and kind words from the spectators is the icing on the cake.

The last game you refereed? Bournville 2s vs Syston 2s, it was a close and thoroughly enjoyable game, although the season came to an abrupt and early end it was a great note to finish on.

Pre-match meal? Scrambled or poached eggs (from my own hens) on toast for breakfast.

Any pre-match rituals or superstition? Yes, I have a specific playlist I like to shuffle through on route to a game. The Pretenders – Brass in pocket is one of my favourites!

One piece of advice for new referees? Just give it a whirl! I went in to refereeing with absolutely no ambition and have had some amazing experiences and opportunities on the back of it.

Best piece of advice you were given? Go out on to the pitch and be yourself, you’re a better referee than you think you are.

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