Meet Campbell Miles, the teenage referee with ambitious goals

posted in: Lotto NRFL, News, Referees

Seventeen-year-old Campbell Miles has been a staple in the West Auckland football scene since he began playing at the tender age of four.

His journey through the sport has seen him evolve from a passionate young player to a burgeoning referee.

Main photo: Referee Campbell Miles leads out the teams for their game.

Miles’ football career began with Waitakere United (now West Coast Rangers) before transferring to Waitemata FC, where he has played for the past four years.

His interest in refereeing sparked when he was 13, officiating his younger brother’s 10th grade games at Waitakere United.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a temporary halt, but the break did not dampen his enthusiasm.

Returning to football, he pursued formal refereeing qualifications, starting with a community referee course and progressing to a Level 1 course later in the year.

His first NRF official assignment was a 13th-grade NRFL match between Western Springs and Ellerslie.

Campbell Miles … passionate about refereeing.

“I was nervous and worried about time-keeping, but I really enjoyed the experience and had a good game,” he says.

An assessor present at the match provided valuable feedback, emphasizing the importance of confidence in decision-making and using the whistle.

Since then, Miles has become a regular fixture in the refereeing community.

He officiates weekly in the 13th and 14th-grade NRFL competitions, in addition to volunteering at his school and continuing to referee his brother’s games.

His commitment to improving his refereeing skills is evident in his consistent performance and the rapport he builds with players.

Miles is extremely proud to have recently completed the referee level 2 award.

He says the most rewarding aspect of refereeing is deepening his understanding of the laws of the game.

This knowledge has not only improved his refereeing but has also enhanced his playing skills, helping him understand and share with his teammates what they can and cannot do on the field.

However, refereeing is not without its challenges.

“The hardest part is getting a decision wrong and realizing it immediately after the incident or after the game, especially if it impacts the outcome,” he says.

Despite these challenges, Miles remains resolute and even reversed a penalty decision recently, realising his mistake and awarding the correct decision, a move he is proud of for its integrity.

Miles encourages other young people interested in refereeing to attend a community referee course.

“At the very worst, you’ll learn more about the game. If you enjoy it, it can become a lifelong hobby,” he says, highlighting the benefits of staying involved in football regardless of playing ability.

Looking ahead, Miles has ambitious goals.

In the short term, he aims to officiate at the Kanga Cup youth tournament in Australia.

His long-term dream is to achieve the FIFA referee badge and officiate at the highest levels, including the A-League and international tournaments.

Campbell Miles encourages others to take up the whistle: ‘Helping out with your local team makes such a big difference.’ Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Miles emphasizes the need for more referees in the sport.

“We are always short on referees. Helping out with your local team makes such a big difference, so give it a go!”

His comprehensive grasp of the game’s laws is demonstrated by a fun fact he shares.

“If you score from a direct free kick into your own net, it’s not a goal.”

With his passion and dedication, Campbell Miles is a promising referee in New Zealand, embodying the spirit of the game through his commitment and enthusiasm.

Acknowledging his contribution to the sport, Waitemata FC said: “His family and Waitemata FC are extremely proud of Campbell, and we are excited to watch him grow and support his refereeing journey.”


We’re grateful to Waitemata FC for providing this story and the photographs of Campbell Miles. The club has previously recognised the efforts of others who have taken up the whistle, including football mum-turned-referee Debra Barron.

READ MORE: From sideline supporter to first-time referee, meet Waitemata’s Debra Barron >>>>

Learn more about how to become a referee

NZ Football has more information about the refereeing pathway, with access to online learning tools, here >>>>

This story was first published on May 22, 2024.

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