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Referee Josh Smith to take charge of the FA Youth Cup final between Manchester United and Nottingham Forest

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Bourne-based referee Josh Smith has landed himself a prestigious appointment.

Smith is taking charge of the FA Youth Cup final this month when Manchester United take on Nottingham Forest.

The match takes place tomorrow night (Wednesday) at Old Trafford and county officials are delighted for Smith, who currently operates as a referee in the Championship.

Referee Josh Smith
Referee Josh Smith

Lincolnshire FA referee development officer Michael Brader said: “This is just reward for all the hard work and commitment that Josh has put into his performances throughout the season, which has seen him regularly feature on televised games.

“He also gives his time and expertise to support the development of referees across Lincolnshire in any spare availability that he has.”

Smith moved onto the Football League list of officials in the 2020 campaign, and he crowned a superb maiden season by officiating in the League Two play-off semi-final between Colchester United and Exeter City.

At the time, he was among the youngest referees in the professional game after shrugging off an injury setback to fulfil his ambition.

Four years ago he had surgery to pin a shoulder that dislocated on a regular basis, which lowered his expectations of progressing in the professional ranks.

Smith started out as a player for Bourne Town Juniors before he began refereeing aged 14, training through the Stamford Referees Association under Trevor Mitchell’s guidance.

He began in the Peterborough Junior Alliance for two years before progressing smoothly through the ranks, and has also refereed in the Peterborough & District Youth League, the Peterborough & District (adult) League, the Peterborough Sunday Morning League, the United Counties League, contributory leagues and the National League South.

Smith also spent two seasons as an assistant referee in the Football League.

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