Cheryl Foster: The Welsh Premier League's first female referee

Cheryl Foster
Cheryl Foster spent most of her playing career as a forward for Liverpool

By taking charge of Carmarthen Town's goalless draw with Llandudno, Cheryl Foster has become the first female referee in the Welsh Premier League.

The former Wales international, who won over 60 caps from 1997 to 2011, started training as a referee in 2013 after retiring from her playing career.

The 37-year-old was also the first female assistant referee to be included in a Welsh Premier League game.

"Obviously the nerves were going before it," admitted Foster.

"Once we got into it, I settled down because I was treating it like any other game.

"It was known to me when I was the (first female) assistant referee for a game, so knowing that I had half guessed I was the first female referee."

The former all-time record appearance holder for Wales women's team says she has not encountered any difficulties so far during her refereeing career.

"So far, touch wood, I've always had a positive response from the players and managers," said Foster.

"I expect the same reaction (as a male referee) if a player is frustrated and wants a penalty because in the situation they will contest it.

"I know when I started people used to have a double take but there are more female referees around.

"I hope that I can be a little bit of a role model to girls."

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