Referee Profile - Mohammad Hussaini
By Matt Hughes
With the popularity of rugby league on the rise in Victoria, more and more people are taking up the sport. With growing participation comes a greater demand for referees. 19-year-old Mohammed Hussaini is one of those referees and is slowly working his way up the various levels of rugby league.
Born and raised in Sydney until senior school, Mohammad has always loved rugby league. As a kid he played the game, however it wasn’t until he moved to Melbourne in year 11, that he decided to give refereeing a go. Speaking on his decision Mohammad said it was because he “stopped enjoying playing”, that influenced him to pick up the whistle. His first impression of refereeing was that it was “no easy gig”.
With each game Mohammad’s ability and confidence has grown. His proudest achievement to date is being selected to make his SG Ball Cup referee debut. The SG Ball Cup is an elite under 18’s NSWRL competition that features junior teams from most of the NRL clubs. Mohammad made his debut during the Rabbitohs and Thunderbolts match in March and after impressing, has since refereed several other SG Ball matches. Speaking on his debut Mohammad said, “I was really nervous but felt a good sense of achievement afterwards.”
Whilst negative crowds might be a deterrent for some people taking up refereeing, Mohammad has been impressed by the crowds at the higher levels. “You get more feedback from the crowd at local games,” he said. “In the rep games the stakes are higher for everyone and the crowd understand that.”
Mohammad’s next goal is to referee in the Jersey Flegg Cup, which is the NSWRL elite under 20’s competition. From there he would like to work his way through the Canterbury NSW Cup and eventually onto his ultimate goal, the NRL. To achieve this he is working closely with his coach who keeps reminding him to “focus on the little things” and “put his best foot forward”.
Mohammad has come along way, but know he still has a way to go. He endorses anyone wanting to take up refereeing, saying “It’s a fun and exciting way to stay involved in rugby league.” “Its also a good side job, however money has never been my driving factor.” For now his focus is on this Saturday’s Melbourne men’s first grade games.