Most important reason to join the FA ref coach course was to be able to help young refs with their new hobby. My active sports time is almost over and it’s time to share my experience and help the rookie refs making it up the ladder faster.
This weekend, I was assigned to a rookie ref who just oozed being a potential top referee. He had to deal with the usual admin hassle with player passes and getting everyone on the field in time. At this lower level that’s nothing new and soon this will get more professional. We had a brief chat before the game and the rookie ref challenged me immediately with a disputed call he saw on TV the other night. He explained the situation clearly and told me he agree with the ref decision. From what he described to me it became obvious he knew how to evaluate a situation and take a decision fast.
I analysed the pitch before he could and left an obvious net problem to be reported. Which he in fact did and he asked the field marshal to correct it. The U-15 game itself wasn’t too difficult, mostly because he noticed most of the fouls and was consequent in his calls. In our brief half-time chat I warned him that the shirt pulling and pushing might get out of hand and he might have to be more strict in his calls. Twenty minutes in the 2nd half it happened: an attacker was pushed down clearly in the box and the rookie ref pointed to the penalty kick spot. And remarkably hardly anybody complained.
He left the pitch after 90 minutes with a big smile. I complimented him on a great game. He thanked me kindly for my help and the suggestions made. I told him I would keep my eyes on the rosters to see him climb the ref career ladder. A future top referee, no doubt.