I ended last week’s newsletter with the immortal refereeing words:
“I guess the thing that will stand you in good stead is knowing that all decisions need to be sold all of the time.”
But that is only the start of it!
Two seasons back I went to watch a referee who was in the shake-up to get promoted and at the same ground a couple of weeks later I went to watch a referee who was in the “be careful, be very careful” category.
The first referee did get promoted at the end of the season and the other referee was “very careful” and is still on the list.
After watching the first referee strut his stuff – extremely well – I turned up to the second match thinking I was going to witness a train crash.
I didn’t witness any such thing – our “endangered” referee put on a very good performance, somuchso I could not understand why he was where he was on his merit list.
Now of course I may have been lucky and seen him on a good day, but I suspect not.
The difference between the two was how they went about selling their decisions and themselves. Which leads me to talk about the silly things that you and I don’t give a second thought to.
Such as: your e-mail back to the club secretary; the time you arrive at the match; your method of announcing that you’re there; your reading of the League Rules and your application of them, etc, etc.
This week I want to talk about the referee who turned up at a game and he had shoes that could do with a lick of polish and trousers that could have been improved by looking at a press plus of course, wearing a tracksuit jacket at the wrong level does nothing for how your refereeing is perceived.
I’m not kidding here: club secretaries will make their decision on your performance on how you present yourself to them. The home club person will be so busy running the ground they will barely have time to see your performance.
Our referee who got promoted opened the door to the Club Secretary, whereas the other referee just shouted out “come” when the door was knocked by the secretary. Now maybe it didn’t change a thing – but why run the risk?
Make sure that you treat everyone with respect and dignity, make sure you have clean shoes, football boots, kit and outdoor clothes and make sure you look correct at the level you’re officiating at.
If you turn up at Hackney Marshes in a tuxedo or at Old Trafford in a pair of swimming trunks you are asking for the secretary to mark you badly!
Think about how you’re perceived by everyone, ignore what your peers are doing and you should make it to the very top!
Oh and I forgot to mention: remember to look well groomed! I would say clean shaven but if you’re sporting a “full set” it doesn’t need to be shaved off, but two days growth looks like you couldn’t be bothered.