Boonman: ‘CL debut is one of my pinnacles’

The season ending was very interesting for Angelo Boonman. He wint to Bulgaria with Elite ref Pieter Vink and AR Marc Lobbert to officiate top match Levski Sofia and Litex Lovech. The cherry on the cake was officiating with the same trio in the Dutch title thriller between Ajax and FC Twente.

“Each step in your career is so fantastic”, says Angelo Boonman to the Dutch Referee Blog. Read the first part of the interview here. “I’ve made my debut in the Champions Leaugue too. A pinnacle”, says the 30-year-old Dutch assistant referee.

“As assistant you can distinguish yourself by taking courage at the right moments. For example by flagging for offside or not doing it when a teams plans an attack. But also by giving advice to the center ref in difficult situations, like penalty kicks. Or give suggestions about the colour of a card. The most important thing is that your aware of your role during the match.”

Because Boonman had become an international referee, he has more contact with referees from other countries. “It’s very special to meet colleagues from different countries. To hear how everything what has to do with officiating has been organised there.” But he could also learn a lot from talking with his fellow countryman. The Dutch referees went to Turkey in the winter break to prepare for the second half of the season. “We’ve got the opportunity to discuss what went well and what could improve. It’s also a good opportunity to talk about different situations in the game with other refs, just to hear what their opinion is and how they’d judge it.”

Boonman has set his goals straight. “I want to show that I can handle the matches on the highest level. The Fifa has to choose the best assistants for the final tournament of the European Championship and the World CUp. I’ve to prove that they need to pick me.”

As most of the Dutch referees, Boonman is also favouring use of technology. “Goal line technology would definately be a plus for football. I’m a proponent of technology which leads to better decision making.”

The Dutch AR wants to give you, readers, an important advice: “The most important thing is that you’ve pleasure in refereeing. Try to do everything to achieve the goals you’ve set, whatever they are. And one more thing: every person likes to compare himself with another. Yet the problem is that they do it most of the time with the wrong person.”

‘I felt good in my new role as AR’

Angelo Boonman is working hard to become a World Cup assistant referee. In 2010 he became a Fifa international. “Each step in my career was so fantastic”, says Boonman to the Dutch Referee Blog.

Sunday he has to prove himself in the match between PSV Eindhoven and Heerenveen in Dutch top league. “The preparation for each match is similar. I’ll try to approach each match in the same way, because I want to achieve on each level”, stresses Boonman. “Just before the start of the match I’m nervous, but in a healthy way.”

This weekend’s match is very important for both teams. PSV has lost their lead in the championship last weekend and also were defeated with 4-1 by Benfica in this week’s Europa League round. That won’t make a difference to Boonman’s preparation. “I’m concentrating on what will come. I’m mainly focussing on a

chance to proof that I’m the right one to be appointed for that match. So I’m not thinking about possible mistakes I can make during a match.”

Boonman’s week schedule is fully focussed on the matchday. “My training sessions are co√∂rdinated from FA headquarters in Zeist. That gives me the possibility to prepare optimally. I’m now on the international list for more than a year. I know that they expect more and more from me and they got the right to demand that.”

The 30-year-old referee comes from Zeeland (Sealand), a province in the south of The Netherlands. He combines refereeing with a fulltime job at the company of his father-in-law. He started his refereeing career when he was just 16 years old. “I thought the challenge to ‘lead’ a match was very interesting.”

Boonman had a smooth career in the Dutch referee organisation and became one of the talented refs at the so-called C-list. “But after two years on that list I was not amongst the top ones on that list. I looked at what I had achieved and could reach, but didn’t expect to become one of the top guys in the following year. That was the moment to start as an assistant referee. From that moment on it felt good I made such a big decision, and felt good in my new role.”

The international assisted is happy he had so many wonderful moments since he became AR. “I’d rather not be on the pitch as a head referee anymore. ”

You can read the second part here. Do you have any suggestions on who to interview? Or got any contacts in Africa? I’d love to also show some African refereeing on my blog.