Two consecutive weekends, football clubs around the country are invited to say ‘thanks’ to the amateur referee performing at their club. I’ve had only a few surprises during the last years (mostly at adult games) and decided not to expect anything.
Well, it was even ‘below nothing’ last Saturday. I was assigned to mentor another rookie ref. We agreed to meet at his locker room 45mins before the game. The trouble started at finding a parking spot. Cars with parents were driving around and basically waiting with engines runnng to avoid parking tickets. I found a lucky spot on the road and had to walk all the way back.
Just to find out the game was delayed by 25mins because the previous one (mind you: the first of the day) had started late. It was still early on the program so you wonder what happened. Nobody could tell. And it rained constantly. The home club had a nice club house but didn’t use any of it for the guests. The canteen was closed and visitors had to wait in the corridors for their kids to start playing their game. No coffee? Away team parents didn’t understand this kind of unfriendly host behavior.
The rookie ref couldn’t get hold of AR flags as they were still used at the other game. Excuse me? His lockerroom was closed and the lady with his key just disappeared at half time. We waited for her to submerge again, along with 10-odd parents.
The game was as lousy as the weather and the sloppy club house circumstances. The rookie ref will get an ok report. The home club a complaint email via the Dutch FA. Thank you referee? Nope. He didn’t need it. But a simple cup of tea would have done a nice job.