‘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.