George Magoulias ESFA Referees Branch Life Membership

George Magoulias ESFA Referees Branch Life Membership

Earlier this year at the ESFA Referees Branch preseason meeting, George Magoulias (mostly known as Magoo) who has been one of ESFA’s longest serving members, was awarded Life Membership of the Branch.

We asked Magoo about his journey:

“I first started refereeing unofficially about 40 years ago, where I was asked to referee when no one showed up for my games and my children’s games. Later on in my late twenties/early thirties, when I was playing for Guitar Crazy (a team made of musicians). I was continually asked to referee uncovered games until I became the club nominated referee. This turned my weekends into 1 game playing and 3 games refereeing for most of the season.”

“By the time I joined Coogee as a player I took refereeing more seriously and become a qualified referee whereby I was appointed to games near to where I was playing on the weekend. From then on, I began to develop and focus more on my refereeing and officiated a couple years on the lower grades before getting an opportunity to referee the Premier League. I did at least 2 years officiating the Ressie’s with an occasional glimpse of First Grade, but it was the Sunday games which had a better social aspect that I enjoyed more.”

“In 2009 with the inception of the new Referees Branch I was elevated to a position on the referees committee and tasked with the role of Match Allocations Officer. To have games covered, I was doing 2 games on Saturday and up to 5 games on Sundays. There was an occasion where I did 5 games at 5 different grounds on a Sunday. 9.00 Heffron, 11am, Jellicoe, 1pm Moore Park, 3pm Lyne Park and 5pm at Alexandria Park. Never again!”

“Fast forward to 2024 I am still refereeing as I really do enjoy the social aspect of football. Of the games that I have officiated, over 50% have been Premier League, AA1’s or Over 35’s Div 1. Having been involved in almost 2,200 games, I have started to now wind down as my knees suffer, especially on the synthetic pitches.”

Over the years Magoo has been a friendly, reliable and regular figure on the parks but notably has been an instrumental mentor and coach to a number of junior referees. Magoo shared with us the following:

“I have mentored so many juniors who have progressed to being fantastic referees. Ben Abraham who is now a regular in the A-League, is by far my biggest success story. He used to travel with me to Reg Bartley, Tempe Reserve and other extremities of the Eastern Suburbs as my junior assistant referee and I now watch Ben with pride. That pride also extends to other referees who have become excellent referees; Luca Lavigne who has refereed the Prem’s Grand Final, my son Stathi who has refereed the Prem Reserves Grand Finals, Mitchell Law who was so talented but decided playing was more fun and Jack Bell who is another talented young man.”

We asked Magoo about some of his favourite moments refereeing and he has highlighted the 2022 All Age Women’s 1 Grand final which was as Magoo puts was an “End to end game that was in doubt until the 90th minute”. Additionally, Magoo highlighted refereeing a First Grade Match with his son Stathi refereeing Reserve Grade and Mitchell Law as an assistant referee who had spent 2-3 years under his wing, was also a highlight of his refereeing career.

As of today, Magoo has been a member of the ESFA referees branch for almost 30 years and has greatly assisted the ESFA Referees Branch as a Referee, Mentor, Committee Member, Appointments Officer and Treasurer.

We acknowledge and congratulate Magoo’s achievements and contribution to refereeing in the ESFA and look forward to seeing him out in the parks for years to come.

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