The Mentor Program was founded in September 2014 to promote continuous match official development and provide a forum for the exchange of soccer knowledge. The mission of the mentoring team is to support aspiring officials, provide constructive feedback, and inspire officials to embark on new challenges to help with their growth. The average match official retention rate is approximately 45% across Ontario, however, the endorsement of OSC's program has increased this retention rate to an estimated 90% in Oakville. The goal for the 2019 Summer Outdoor, 2019 Fall Indoor, and 2020 Winter Indoor Season is to compile 500 total mentor reports.
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 officials:
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. In 2019, he received the Meritorious Centre Circle Award from Ontario Soccer for contributions to the provincial soccer community. Richard is a CSA Provincial Instructor and an accredited Ontario 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, District Assessor, and Discipline Chair 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 and inaugural Mentor Program Contributor Award in 2019. 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 Mentoring 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.
Cristina Ciofani, Mentoring Program Assistant Team Leader
Cristina is an accredited Small Sided Game Official that has officiated since 2018 in the Oakville Soccer Club youth recreational program and festival games. Cristina was the recipient of the OSC's Small Sided Match Official Award in 2019. She currently represents OSC on the GU14 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 and was promoted to Assistant Team Leader In Training in September 2019. She assists with the development of OSC match official online education modules and the mentor report form data base. 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.
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 officials 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 officials. Richard also regularly attends PHSA meetings and joined the OSC Mentoring Team in 2014.
Melissa Snedden, Adult Mentor
Melissa is a 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 Mentoring 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 Match Official Upgrade Program. Michael has participated in numerous OSC Tournaments, Festivals, and was selected to officiate in the YPHDL Cup Finals in 2016. He was a recipient of the Peel Halton Mike Wyers Award in 2017 for his ongoing dedication to support youth soccer clubs through mentorship. He joined OSC's Mentoring Team as an inaugural member in 2014.
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.
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 joined the Mentoring Team early in its inception in September 2015 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 officiating 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.
Robert O'Halloran, Youth Mentor Professional Development Advisor
Robert is a grade 6 match official who has officiated for the past seven years. He is currently an undergraduate student and Residence Life Staff member at Brock University studying a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Robert has officiated at the Regional Championships in Guelph, Ontario. He was the recipient of the Youth Entry Level Referee of the Year in 2017. He has officiated over 600 games in OSC Youth, OSC Adult, GHSL, PHDL, OPDL, OASL, and OWSL. He joined the Mentoring Team in May 2016. Robert also serves as the Deputy Chief of Community Services with the Oakville MFR Unit of St. John Ambulance. Robert was one of the committee members for the Oakville Youth Summit and previously assisted with the club's Discipline Committee. He looks forward to developing as an official and working towards officiating in the 2026 World Cup.
Eric Davidson, Youth Mentor Training Advisor
Eric started officiating 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 Match Official. 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 officials with a higher understanding of the game. She injected valuable insights into the program as Assistant Team Leader in 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 200 games at the recreational and competitive levels since 2017. He has officiated games for OSC, OPDL, PHDL, OASL, HCDSB, Inaria Cup, and Umbro Cup. He joined the Mentoring Team in April 2018, while he continues to share his growing experience and knowledge with new officials. Shayon was named the Male Entry Level Referee of the Year in 2018. He has been attending Queen's University for Engineering since the fall of 2018.
Aidan Moulton, Youth Mentor U7-U12
Aidan is grade 4 match official who has officiated with Oakville Soccer Club since 2017 and joined the Mentoring Team in December 2018. He has officiated over 50 games for U7 to U18 in the OSC Youth House League, OSC Inaria Cup, OSC Festival, and PHDL Rep Festival programs. Aidan started playing soccer at the age of 4 including a year at the competitive level. He strides to guide officials in their development and support them as they embark on new challenges. He is excited to make meaningful contributions to the officiating community.
Vanessa Ciofani, Youth Mentor U7-U12
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. Since 2010, she has participated within the Oakville Soccer Club ADP and RDP competitive programs. She joined the Mentoring Team in July 2019, contributed to the 2019 Oakville Youth Summit as the Event Logistics Coordinator, launched the inaugural 2019 Match Official Olympics,and lead the headset communications mentoring initiative at the 2019 Inaria Cup. She also assists with administration for the electronic discipline database. This season, 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.