Scotland’s top referees take final step

Scotland’s top referees did their first pre-season fitness test last weekend. A big moment for the the refs at Stirling University. The official kit was presented, the season is going to start soon.

But how do Scotland’s top referees prepare for a new season? Referee boss John Fleming and referees Bobby Madden and Nick Walsh tell you how they’ll become ready for the 2014/2015 season.

John Fleming, Head of Referee Operations at the Scottish FA: “They are training right through. There’s no such thing as a rest period now. They’re also involved in a 170 friendlies today.”

The young Nick Walsh adds: “This test day is the final step. We are making sure we’re fully set for the season ahead.”

“It’s an extensive pre-season program”, Bobby Madden says. “It can be quite challenging at times.” The referees train in speed sessions, endurance sessions but also for injury prevention. “It covers everything”. We need to make sure the referees and assessors are prepared as best as they can for the new season”, says Bobby Madden. He got two semi-finals last season in the Scottish and League Cup. “I’d love to think that one day I could referee a final.”

Scotland’s top referees tell more about their pre-season preparation and their ambitions in the video below:

Want to know more about refereeing in Scotland? Read the interview with Barry Cook.

Or check how to become a referee there.

Referees in the media (week 33)

‘Referees in the media’ will be published at the beginning of the week on the Dutch Referee Blog and provides remarkable or interesting quotes and links to articles worth reading.

“I very seldom have trouble. I find it is all about being able to respect players but operate control, instead of diving into your pockets for yellow and red cards. It is quite simple, really.”

John Leeman (79), honoured for 65 years of refereeing. And he’s still out on the pitch most weekends.

With the increased tempo, heat and pressure in Serbia it was clear what toll that takes on your body and how important it is to put the training in.”

Bobby Madden on the importance of a recovery training after a matchday, even if you have a busy schedule.

“I’m talking to you, zebra.”

Tony Soprano is never polite to the referees in the HBO series (S1E9).

“It’s my goal for next season to get an international semi-final, hopefully in Champions League.”

Bjorn Kuipers sets his goals straight at the start of the season.

“Our goal is to limit real foul play. Thanks not only a task for the referees, but players and coaches as well.”

Dutch referee boss Dick van Egmond at the presentation of the referees for 2012/2013.

See the Dutch referees in action during the pre-season test. In Dutch, but lots of video content of LATG test, condition test, etc.

Referees in the media (week 32)

‘Referees in the media’ will be published at the beginning of the week on the Dutch Referee Blog and provides remarkable or interesting quotes and links to articles worth reading.

A Dutch interviewer in newspaper ‘de Volkskrant’ about big football tournaments: “That’s where the Ronaldo’s of this world are.”

Cover photo of Volkrant’s summer appendix with Serdar Gözübüyük.

“That means nothing to me. Come on, if they go to the bathroom, they stink too.”

The reply of Serdar Gözübüyük, a very talented Dutch referee, who stresses that a certain status doesn’t change the person. He emphasises that even if you become more popular, also as a referee, you need to be yourself. You can the the full interview (in Dutch) in last weekend’s Volkskrant.

“There is a greater appeal to your sense of empathy. One minute you make a lace set, the next whistle you for a serious offense.”

Barry Huizinga is going to whistle at the Olympic football tournament and talks about the difference with regular football.

“It’s safe to say my preparations for this season have been far better than last year given I spent twelve weeks hopping around like long John Silver after ankle ligament reconstruction.”

Bobby Madden from Scotland blogs about his preparations for next season. Worth reading and he’ll publish more parts of his journey towards season start. (That’s what the words ‘part 1’ suggest.)

A referee “must be prepared to accept that he may occasionally punish a player when no simulation has occurred because such decisions are difficult to make.”

From a statement by the Professional Game Match Officials (UK). These guidelines must reduce the number of cheating incidents.