Dutch Eredivisie referees are younger than 10 years ago. Nine of nineteen referees are under 33 years old. A decade ago only three out of twenty were that young. That’s what newspaper Volkskrant reports.
“We got a group of referees with a lot of international experience plus young talented refs who can make progress”, says referee boss Dick van Egmond to the newspaper. “That stimulates referees to get the most out of their performance and to develope themselves.”
Dutch FA wanted to get a youger group of Dutch Eredivisie referees with better help for young refs. Part of that strategy was to hire an exercise physiologist and video analyst for referees on fulltime basis.
How is that strategy paying off? Danny Makkelie was this season the youngest referee in the Champions League ever and Bjorn Kuipers officiated the Champions League final last season.
Clubs will also see more young referees on the football pitches. In 2006 there were 153 referees between 15 and 20 years old. In 2014 there were 531.
At what age did you start refereeing? I was 16!