Welsh adventure 'a real pleasure' for referees

Published on 29 August, 2013 
By: Mark Williams
Ahead of Wednesday's semi-finals at the Women's Under-19 tournament, referee Monika Mularczyk revealed her pride at being involved in a "perfectly organised" event.
Welsh adventure 'a real pleasure' for referees

Referee Monika Mularczyk (L) and assistant Sanja Rodak Karšic©Sportsfile

Clearly enjoying her time at the 2013 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship, which has reached the semi-final stage, Polish referee Monika Mularczyk hailed a "perfectly organised" tournament when speaking to UEFA.com.

"Everything's been prepared fantastically well: the pitches, the stadiums," she said from the match officials' base in Llanelli. "The people around here are really great and there's a great atmosphere – it's a real pleasure to be here and I'm very proud to be here."

Fellow official Sanja Rodjak Karši?, for her part, chose to focus on the educational side of the competition. "Every match, every tournament is a new lesson and we're learning a lot here, both on the pitch and also through meeting new people.

"We know how to respect each other and I think we try to teach the players how to respect us too through our attitude," continued the Croatian assistant referee. "We're representing UEFA so we need to be calm and focused out on the pitch. I very much believe the way we officiate impacts on how the game is played."

"We spoke with all the teams before the competition started and it looks to have been a very good decision. The behaviour of the players and officials has been very good," explained UEFA Referees Committee member Bo Karlsson, before outlining one of the many legacies of this final tournament for the Welsh women's game.

"It's a very good thing that the Welsh FA has organised for three of their talented women's referees [Charlotte Carpenter, Rebecca Thomas and Ceri Louise Williams] to be with us here in the camp and also in training," said Karlsson. "Wales are one of the national associations that don't have any women on our list of international referees, so hopefully in the future I'll see one of them go on to make that list."

With her name already there, what are Mularczyk's aims for her own future? "I'm just taking things step by step but, if you were to ask me about my dream, then it's just come true [by being here]. This is my first big tournament but I hope not the last!"

"I think everybody is aiming for the top, which is the Women's World Cup [in Canada in 2015]," said Rodjak Karši?, before the pair headed off for a training session. "As Monika said, you have to take things step by step and work very hard. If you don't work and you don't try then you won't be successful."

by Nick Aitken
from Swansea

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