Tough as nails! - Hardened by local experience, Brown, Yee Sing eye more refereeing success
History-making Jamaican female assistant referees Princess Brown and Stephanie Yee Sing are looking forward to further growth and credited their experience officiating in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) and local schoolboy football competitions for their rise on the international stage.
The pair became the first Caribbean officials - male or female - to officiate in any World Cup final after they were appointed to the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup final between Mexico and Spain in Uruguay on Saturday. Both officials are also looking forward to playing a role in next year's FIFA Women's World Cup, where they have also been assigned, and will join the Reggae Girlz in France.
"It (the RSPL) helps me tremendously. This grooms us and teaches us how to execute. Here, we have hard games with spectators behind us saying all kind of things, so it's really hard as they put us under pressure. But thanks to them, though sometimes it's nerve-racking, I thank them. Because that pushes us, and when we are there (overseas) and get easy games, it's like nothing to us. So this (local experience) builds us and gives us courage and dedication to go forward," Brown stated.
Yee Sing was in agreement: "It helps us very well. International football is a different level of football, but officiating in the men's Premier League and schoolboy football helps us to know what to expect.
The two pointed to their performance in the decisive Group C game in the Under-17 Women's World Cup, which they officiated between Cameroon and Korea DPR, as a deciding factor in their selection for the final.
"After we did that game (Japan vs South Africa), we did a group game with Cameroon and Korea (DPR). That group was open as everybody was on three points. So they sent us to that group because we were in the city in Montevideo, and they took us to a next city, Colonia (del Sacramento)," said Brown.
"The feedback we got is that the Cameroon players play like Jamaicans - they are very aggressive but we tried our best to see everything and made sure nothing went unpunished, and there was a red card and a penalty incident," Brown commented.
Yee Sing also recalled how difficult everyone perceived that game to be and how the organisers showed confidence in their abilities to handle this tough encounter.
"That game (Cameroon vs Korea DPR) was very challenging. The way they played made it very challenging, but they were very confident in us to handle a game like this, and the feedback we got was that the team did a very good job and that they wanted us to continue," said Yee Sing.
With their team being appointed to the Women's World Cup in France next year, both officials have intentions to continue excelling.
"We are looking forward to going there and doing well," said Brown. "My aim and ambition is to go to the final. You have to dream, and I dream of the final. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't, you still have to dream."
Yee-Sing underlined that she is always aiming for personal improvement.
"I am looking to the World Cup and personally, I always try to be better. So even though I had a good (Under-17) tournament, I want to ensure I have a better one at the next tournament, because we want to improve ourselves and make ourselves better," Yee Sing noted.
Both officials have been refereeing for approximately six years and have officiated in previous Under-17 and senior World Cup events but never in a final.