New direction for talented Farrington
RACHEL Farrington won't need a medical degree to know that soccer is in the blood.
After attaining an ATAR of 93.8 in the HSC last year, the 18-year-old from Modanville near Lismore is heading to Sydney University in the next few weeks to study medical science.
She will be a big loss to St John's College Woodlawn, to the Lismore Workers team in the Far North Coast women's premier league and to the ranks of Far North Coast soccer referees.
As a player, Rachel led Workers into the semi-finals, where they lost to Richmond Rovers, while with the official's shirt on she impressed enough to be named the FNC female referee of the year.
Rachel said her family was into soccer in a big way, with younger sister Claire having made a number of junior representative teams.
"Refereeing is a different way to approach the game," she said. "Instead of playing, you can still be involved. It's flexible, the money is handy and there are good people to work with."
And just as importantly, as Rachel showed, it doesn't need to get in the way of other parts of your life, including study.
"I started reffing in 2011, took 2012 off but did it again in 2013," she said.
"I lined a lot of senior games, including premiers and reserves.
"You cop a bit from the crowd sometimes but you just have to go with it. The other refs are good with that, they back you up.
"It shouldn't put anyone off doing it."
Rachel plans to continue playing and refereeing while at university in Sydney.
And what about going on to bigger and better things with the whistle or flag?
"If the opportunity arose, I wouldn't say no, but I won't be actively pursuing it," she said.
Football FNC is always looking for new referees. More details are available on the website.