Match officials savouring WU19 Euro chance

You do not have to be in your teenage years to experience the thrill of the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship. There is a 16-strong refereeing team in Israel and as they recovered after matchday one with a photography session, we caught up with them to discuss the finals, unusual career paths and table tennis.

Lorraine Clark – referee, Scotland 
"These are my first finals as a referee and it's been great so far. Being at a final tournament is very different to any other point during qualification: there's a much bigger sense of anticipation and a real buzz. I am the youngest referee here, I've just turned 30. It's all new for me, most referees here have been at previous tournaments, so I am keeping an open mind as to what I can expect."

Stephanie Forde – assistant referee, Belgium
"You couldn't ask for a better group of girls. It can take a few days for a group to click but we all got on well very quickly. Everyone here is good at their job, and we all want one another to do well. There's competition as we all want a place in the final, but it's healthy and positive. Getting along helps to pass the downtime, plus we have a ping pong table. It gets very competitive, and you can forget your new friendships when we play! There's pressure from friends and family who expect great things, and our federations always have high expectations, which can make you nervous. But the most pressure always comes from yourself: that's how you get better."

Mihaela Ţepuşă – assistant referee, Romania
"I wanted to be a journalist but strangely that's how I became a referee. I did the refereeing course to learn the Laws of the Game. It was just an education for me to start with, but they appointed me for a match and I enjoyed it so much I left the newspaper I was working for. [Being appointed for this final tournament] is a big thing for referees, and it was always a goal for me; it's really great to prove to myself that I can do it."

Source: UEFA