The Mentor Program was founded in September 2014 to promote continuous referee development and provide a forum for the exchange of soccer knowledge. The mission of the mentoring team is to support aspiring referees, provide constructive feedback, and inspire referees to embark on new challenges to help with their growth. The average referee retention rate is approximately 45% across Ontario, however, the endorsement of OSC's program has increased this to an estimated 90% rate in Oakville. The goal for the 2019 Summer Outdoor, 2019 Fall Indoor, and 2020 Winter Indoor Season is to compile 500 total mentor reports.
The initiative is overseen by Matthew Aslett, Youth and Adult Mentor Program Coordinator, who can be reached through email at email@example.com for more information.
A diverse and enthusiastic team of mentors has been recruited for the upcoming indoor season, with a variety of experience levels and mentoring styles to cater to all ages of our 300+ local referees:
Richard Bowden, Referee Development Manager
Richard has been the Head Oakville Soccer Club Referee since 2005 and has over 20 years of officiating experience. He coached competitively with Oakville Soccer Club from 1987 until 2001. Richard is a CSA Provincial Instructor and an accredited Onatrio Soccer Mentor Instructor. He is a chair for the Ontario Soccer Match Official Development Committee and a chair for OSC's Discipline Committee. He is a First Aid Instructor with the Toronto EMS and looks after programming for OSC.
Matthew Aslett, Youth & Adult Mentor Program Coordinator
Matthew is a grade 6 match official who has officiated over 400 youth, adult, and competitive games since 2014. Matthew was selected for the inaugural Mentoring Team and was awarded an Oakville Soccer Club Scholarship Award in 2015. Starting in April 2016, Matthew has worked as the Youth Match Official and Mentor Coordinator at OSC. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Organizational Behaviour at Queen’s University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s in 2019, where he was a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant with an exchange semester at Bocconi University (Italy) in 2017. Matthew was named as the Peel Halton Youth Referee of the Year in 2016 and received the OSA District Spirit of the Game Award in 2016. He was appointed as the Committee Chair for the Oakville Youth Summit, while being recruited as the Mentoring Task Force Leader for Ontario Soccer and Peel Halton in 2018. He is also accredited as a District Instructor and District Assessor with Ontario Soccer.
Katie Kennedy, Mentoring Program Team Leader
Katie is a grade 4 match official who has officiated over 75 games and mentored over 100 different officials since 2016. She is actively involved in OSC, PHDL, and Inaria Cup Festivals, while developing a training curriculum for new mentors. She was also a recipient of the inaugural Co-Game Leader of the Year Award in 2016. Katie served as a Research Assistant for OSC match official projects involving Queen’s University and Bocconi University in 2018. She is a member of the Peel Halton Mentor Task Force, Vice-Chair for the Oakville Youth Summit 2019, and actively participates in the OSC Female Mentor Program. Katie is currently furthering her development as a player in OASL. After joining the Mentor Team in July 2017, she became the Assistant Team Leader in April 2018, and now provides guidance to game leaders and small sided officials. The opportunity to empower officials is the motivation for her involvement in the program.
Vladimir Haltigin, Senior Talented Pathway Mentor
Vlad is a CSA-certified Referee Instructor and Regional Assessor. He is a retired OSA Provincial-level referee with 17 years of refereeing experience, and a two-time Ontario Cup Final referee. Vlad is also currently a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) responsible for the design and implementation of the original OSA Referee Mentoring and Coaching program. He is committed to the education and development of referees seeking advancement in the talented pathway stream. Vlad joined the Oakville Soccer Club Mentor Team in September 2016 and was appointed to the Peel Halton Board of Directors in November 2018.
Richard Kuchta, Adult Mentor
Richard is a grade 7 match official and has 13 years of officiating experience. During his time with the Oakville Soccer Club, he has worked extensively with youth referees as part of OSC's support program. This includes mentoring, training, and on-field assistance. He is an active member of the Discipline Committee and enjoys working with both youth and adult referees. Richard also regularly attends PHSA meetings and joined the OSC Mentoring Team in 2014.
Melissa Snedden, Adult Mentor
Melissa is grade 12 FIFA match official who was named to the International List of Match Officials in 2018 as an Assistant Referee, and has been a match official in Ontario since 2000. She grew up playing soccer within the Oakville Soccer Club and played Varsity Soccer at Nipissing University. Melissa is active within the match official community as a mentor throughout Ontario. She is also a Provincial Fitness Instructor and leads annual preseason fitness sessions within Peel Halton District. She joined the Oakville Soccer Club Mentor Team in January 2019.
Kim Lee, Adult Mentor
Kim is a grade 10 provincial match official and district assessor, who regularly officiates in League 1, OUA, and OCAA games. She is a member of the Ontario Soccer Match Official Development Committee and Technical Advisory Committee. After starting her officiating career in 2010, she has officiated in the Ontario Summer Games Bronze Medal Match and U14 Canadian National Championships Gold Medal Match. Kim has been appointed to League 1 All-Star Games and League Finals. She has coordinated the Peel Halton fitness program for the past 3 years and was appointed to the Ontario Cup Finals as a futsal official. She also played soccer at the OWSL provincial level and competed in the World Masters Games 2009 in Australia where she earned a silver medal. She joined the Oakville Soccer Club Mentor Team in January 2019.
Michael Morrison, Youth Mentor U13-U18
Michael is a grade 6 match official, who has officiated youth, adult, and competitive games since 2012. He credits his daughter for providing him with a healthy opportunity that changed his life. Michael was recognized in the inaugural Mentor Team and is currently participating in the District Referee Upgrade Program. Michael has participated in numerous OSC Tournaments, Festivals, and was selected to officiate in the YPHDL Cup Finals in 2016. He joined OSC's Mentoring Team as an inaugural member in 2014.
Alessandro Vina, Youth Mentor U13-U18
Alessandro is a grade 6 match official who has been officiating with Oakville Soccer Club for 9 years. He was one of the first youth mentors to join the program since its inception in 2014 and has officiated over 300 games at the youth, adult, and competitive level since 2011. Alessandro is currently studying at Queen’s University and aspires to continue developing his refereeing and mentoring career. Alessandro enjoys the benefits of working as a team and helping others learn. He also enjoys playing soccer at a high level, winning multiple championships with his high school and competitive teams.
Christian Lopac, Youth Mentor U13-U18
Christian is a grade 6 match official and joined the mentoring program in August 2017. He has officiated for 7 years, including selections for OSC playoff, GHSL competitive, and PHDL festival games. He enjoys being a referee and mentor, while helping his fellow match officials develop into better referees with a higher understanding of the game. Christian has been a soccer player since 2005, and has represented OSC as a Rep level player for the last 10 years. In 2019, he worked with OSC as an OPDL Venue Coordinator. He has been attending Sheridan College since the fall of 2018.
Kristina Makxam-Triga, Youth Mentor U13-U18
Kristina is a grade 6 match official, who has officiated over 125 games at the recreational and competitive levels including Oakville Soccer Club tournaments and festival games, GHSL, and OPDL. She was a recipient of the OSC Entry Level Referee of the Year Award in 2016 and joined the mentoring team in January 2017.
Eric Davidson, Youth Mentor Training Advisor
Eric started refereeing in 2001 and was President for the Brant District Referees Association from 2002 to 2004. He was also a Representative on the Ontario Council of Referees. He then became a member of the North York Association from 2005 to 2009, while officiating at various levels in Toronto. In 2009, he moved to Burlington and is currently a District Level Referee. He is the Vice President for the Halton Referees Association and mentors within PHSA. He was a recipient of OSC's Match Official Service Award and joined the OSC Mentoring Team in October, 2017.
Katya Lopac, Youth Mentor U7-U12
Katya is a grade 5 match official who has officiated over 100 games since 2014 and joined the mentoring team in August 2017. She received the Female Referee of the Year Award in 2017 and has officiated in games ranging from small sided to entry level, including PHDL festivals in 2015 to 2018. She aspires to help many youth match officials develop into better referees with a higher understanding of the game. She has shared her knowledge as Assistant Team Leader since April 2018. Katya has been a Rep level player since 2006.
Shayon Eshghi, Youth Mentor U7-U12
Shayon is a grade 6 match official who has officiated over 70 OSC recreational games since 2017 throughout the outdoor and indoor seasons. He has been selected for OSC playoff championships and PHDL festival games. He joined the mentoring team in April 2018. Shayon is now looking forward to sharing his growing experience and knowledge of the laws with new officials. He has been attending Queen’s University for the Engineering program since the fall of 2018.
Mikaela Lowe, Youth Mentor U7-U12
Mikaela has been involved in the Oakville Soccer Club for 19 years as a competitive level player, match official, and client services representative. She joined the Mentoring Team in August 2018 and hopes to translate the knowledge gained during her undergraduate research project in the area of sport as a tool for women’s empowerment to encourage female referee development. Mikaela has completed the health care practitioner CPR course and earned a certificate for Introduction to American Sign Language. Since the fall of 2018, Mikaela has been pursuing a Master’s of Occupational Therapy at McMaster University.
Cristina Ciofani, Youth Mentor U7-U10
Cristina is an accredited Small Sided Game Official that has officiated since 2018 in the Oakville Soccer Club youth recreational program and festival games. She currently represents OSC on the GU13 OPDL team and has participated in the competitive program since 2013. She aspires to become a professional soccer player similar to her cousin who currently participates in Serie A. Cristina joined the mentoring team in January 2019. She is committed to providing helpful advice to new match officials so they can reach their potential and develop a passion for the game of soccer.
Vanessa Ciofani, Youth Mentor U7-U8
Vanessa is a grade 4 match official who aspires to guide new officials and young soccer players at the Game Leader and Small Sided Game levels. Her passion for soccer is evident as she started her playing career at the age of 3 and currently represents the St. Ignatius of Loyola Secondary School Senior Girls Soccer Team as a grade 10 student. Since 2010, she has participated within the Oakville Soccer Club ADP and RDP competitive programs. She contributed to the 2019 Oakville Youth Summit as the Event Logistics Coordinator. This summer, Vanessa will supervise and support officials at OSC and PHDL festival days. She is excited to help officials develop their interpersonal and decision-making skills in games at the youth recreational level while working alongside her sister.