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Women's Football News
It's third time lucky for Lindsey Robinson who has been appointed as referee to the SSE Women's FA Cup Final.
The Durham FA official was assistant referee in both the 2014 and 2016 showpieces and she has now been given the nod to take charge of the London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea on Saturday 5th May.
"It's a great honour and I'm privileged to have been given the opportunity," said Robinson. "I'm coming up to my tenth year as a match official so it's a nice way to mark my anniversary.
"You hear about when the other referees get the call and you're happy for them because we're all one big team, but you never expect it yourself. I've enjoyed my season and I think I've done all right so I guess that has been reflected in this appointment."
Robinson has experience of running the line at Wembley Stadium, when the London giants went head-to-head two years ago. But she said being in the middle of the pitch at the home of football will be extra special. "It's our national stadium, a really iconic venue," she said. "It's known around the world. "There's no better venue to take charge of a game so I'll try and soak it all up and remember it.
"To perform at Wembley is a dream for a referee as much as it is a player. I get the best view in the stadium and for that stadium to be Wembley is unbelievable."
Robinson, who hails from Blyth, has made it a double for north east referees following Michael Oliver's appointment to the Emirates FA Cup Final. "Maybe the north east accent helps the players accept all our decisions," quipped Robinson.
"You cut us Geordies open and we bleed football. Everyone up here loves the game, it's a real passion for a lot of people and it's no different for us referees."
As well as being an elite match official herself, Robinson is also the referee development officer for the Northumberland FA, charged with helping the next generation of north east officials improve and prosper.
She said: "It's nice seeing other referees flourish. Unless you're involved in refereeing it's quite hard to understand our love for it. I call it the refereeing bug.
"It's a challenging job but isn't every job? We do sacrifice a lot. We have to train a lot and we are away from family and friends a lot. But if you put the hard work in, the rewards are there for you."
Robinson will be assisted at Wembley by Stacey Pearson (Somerset FA) and Kirsty Dowle (Kent FA), with Helen Byrne (Liverpool FA) the fourth official.
David Elleray, chairman of the FA referees' committee, added: "The FA referees' committee is delighted to appoint Lindsey, Stacey, Kirsty and Helen to the SSE Women's FA Cup Final.
"We had no hesitation in deciding that they were an outstanding quartet who fully deserve their selection for this, the highest domestic refereeing honour in the women's game.
"We have every confidence that their skills and experience will add to the occasion and enhance what promises to be an exciting and entertaining Final.
"Once again, the FA is very pleased that the most important domestic women's match will be controlled by a team of high quality female officials and we wish Lindsey and her team every success and an enjoyable Final."
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