Football development

Hackney Marshes female referees academy scholarship

The first ever Hackney Marshes female referees academy scholarship takes place September and October this year. The scholarship aims to increase the number of women referees.

Successful candidates will gain a formal footballing qualification and the opportunity to officiate matches (paid) in the Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League.


  • Saturday 18 September & Saturday 2 October
  • Hackney Marshes Centre, Homerton Road, Hackney, London, E9 5PF
  • ages 14+
  • free (refundable deposit required)
  • covid safety measures in place
  • deadline for applications: 5pm pm Monday 6 September

More details on the course including how to apply for a free place

Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League tackles Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal Football Club

Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League (HMSYFL) is one of the largest grassroots football leagues in London. All of the games are played at the iconic home of grassroots football Hackney Marshes and Mabley Green throughout the football season.

As a part of the Council’s football development programme the league aims to put in place opportunities for the coaches and players within the league whereby they are able to engage with many different facets of the global football industry.

An example of this was an hour-long recorded interview with Emile Smith Rowe, a young emerging and talented professional football player from Arsenal Football Club, which took place Saturday 22 August 2020.

The format of the interview focused on 12 players from the HMSYFL who had been given the chance via a competition to tackle Emile Smith Rowe with questions on the subject of his career and the world of a young professional footballer.

During the interview 9 of the questions were put to Emile by Michael Cole, the Football Development Officer for the Council. Prior to the interview Emile also chose the top 3 questions from the 12 players.

The 3 selected players were excited to be given the opportunity to join the interview to ask their questions directly to Emile. They were also lucky enough to win the following prizes:

  • 1st prize / best question – a signed Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal shirt/ £100 Nike voucher and an Arsenal Stadium tour for 4
  • 2nd prize / second best question – £75.00 Nike voucher and Arsenal FC Stadium tour for 3
  • 3rd prize / third best question – £25.00 Nike voucher and Arsenal FC Stadium tour for 3

On behalf of the league we would like to say a huge thanks to Emile for taking the time to join us and play his part in creating a great experience for the 3 young players.​

Page updated on: 25 August 2021