Getting dressed for the game – Rodric Leerling

Getting dressed for the game – Rodric Leerling

The rookie ref I  was to mentor last weekend showed up in full gear, shoes in his hand. I was startled.

I arrived on time at the Amsterdam football club and chatted with the lady coordinating all referee activities. She recognized me as ref and offered me a cup of coffee. I told her I was not to referee today but this time to mentor a young referee.

The rookie ref arrived five minutes later and I recognized him from his profile picture. We shook hands and I noticed he was carrying his football shoes in his left hand and walking on his ref socks. I didn’t want to make a fuss at the secretariat and took him apart for a quick chat. Why did he appear in shorts, walking on socks and just a training jacket? Well, he didn’t live too far from the club and had another game at his home club after this one. He reckoned it was easier to already dress at home so he just had to take off his jacket and start the game.

I was baffled. Never seen this before. I decided to keep on talking and asked him what colour he picked for this game. It was all black today. Ok I said, so what if one of the teams is in dark blue or even black, what then? Well, he didn’t know, it would be tough luck. And what about gear breaking down, like a pen or writing pads? He hadn’t thought about that either. As he still had a game to ref, I decided not to make too big a fuss as he needed to be concentrated on the game.

But lucky for him, due to some bad club communications, neither of the two teams appeared for the scheduled game and we had to report ‘game cancelled’. Meaning, no report from me where I could mention his awkward dressing choice, a note also visible for his teacher and the Dutch FA.

We had a quick exit chat and I decided to make a real point of his terrible dressing choice. In future, always show up in civil dressing and change gear in the locker room. The way you arrived today is showing lack of respect to the club and limits your room for improvisation. He nodded and said he understood and walked back to his car on his football shoes. A picture I won’t forget easily.

One thought on “Getting dressed for the game – Rodric Leerling

  1. First impression goes a long way
    Be smart and tidy when your arrival
    Professional in your out look goes a long way.
    And this will follow through your career
    Think before you you arrive


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