By JOSEPH ARTHUR,
media coordinator, Team Monash
Monash aerospace engineering student Seun Yinka-Kehinde, like many others, has high hopes for his future.
An aspiring aerospace engineer and professional soccer referee, Seun understands that the only limits to what he can achieve are those he places on himself.
“One day, I would love to see myself refereeing on the greatest stage – maybe the 2034 World Cup?” Seun said.
Seun has taken significant strides towards furthering his career as a professional soccer referee. After being given the opportunity to referee the National Youth Championships at Coffs Harbour in 2017, Seun was nominated to the National Talent Pool.
“Having a successful tournament put me on the radar of the national refereeing committees,” he said.
“This identified me and other referees as having the potential to become the next crop of A-League and W-League referees. The last stage came in October of 2018 where the panel for the Foxtel Y-League was released and I found myself on that list.”
The Foxtel Y-League or Foxtel National Youth League is a predominately under-21s competition for the up and coming A-League talent. The players in the squad are a part of the youth system for the various A-League clubs.
For Seun, being selected onto the panel for the Foxtel Y-League with only 30 other referees from across the nation “felt like the next big step towards the A-League”.
“Since the competition's inauguration, many referees at the highest level have come through this panel of referees,” Seun said.
This all culminated in him getting the opportunity to officiate in the Hyundai A-League curtain raiser between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United.
Picture courtesy Seun Yinka-Kehinde
This is the highest level of youth (Under-21s) soccer in the country. Seun who has “an affinity for the spectacular and the showmanship”, was more than prepared for the occasion.
“I felt like a star-eyed kid for officiating the game, but at the same time, professional and determined to produce the best piece of officiating I could,” he said.
For the rest of 2019, Seun hopes to build off what he’s already accomplished, with his sights set on being reappointed to the Y-League panel and to “perform well enough to officiate the Grand Final”.
Overall, Seun can see a genuine future as a referee but maintains that he also wants to work as an aerospace engineer in some capacity.
“I lean towards the idea of not deciding that path until I come across that road. But part of me still wants to do both, if that means being the first astronaut, World Cup referee, then so be it.”