Tag Archives: promotion

End of Season Review 2012/2013

UTMEgoalREVIEW It’s that time again! This follows on from the End of Season Review that I wrote last season. It’s a chance to reflect before moving onwards.


  1. I GOT LEVEL 4: This was my primary goal for the season. I went into the season requiring another four assessments, as although the first one was good, it wasn’t good enough! Thankfully, they all went well to the extent that I knew that for the final assessed game I was home free provided I didn’t really screw it up. There was then a waiting game until I found out whether The FA would take me, and thankfully they did.
  2. CUP FINALS: As the promotion indicates, I performed well during the season, and was awarded with a total of five cup finals, including a county cup. That’s certainly something I am very happy with, although I know not to expect the same sort of thing next season, mainly due to the consequences of refereeing at the next level.
  3. KNEE ISSUES SOLVED: I transitioned to minimalist running before the season started. This worked much better than I imagined, and I took the preliminary fitness test in that style too. The ligament issues I was suffering with in my leg knee healed up pretty quickly. The knee was probably being shot to pieces with all the heel-striking. I felt I was my fittest yet going into the season.
  4. FITNESS TEST PASSED: A requirement for Level 4. Technically this happens between seasons, but hey, it’s happened! I passed the fitness test with no issues despite the achilles issue mentioned below. In fact, I ran the same distance as last year, which was pretty surprising to me.


  1. ACHILLES PROBLEMS: In February, some form of achilles tendonitis crept up on me in my right leg. I suspect an overuse injury following the lay-off over Christmas, increased in scope with the terrible weather! Oh, and my lazyness in not keeping up the supplementary training. It’s never been awful but has put me off training for fun, and is still not resolved at the time of writing. As a result, I’m pretty fed up with it and in the early stages of having a consultant involved (X-Rays, Ultrasound and so on).
  2. FITNESS LOSS: Perhaps a bit harsh to put this, but I would consider my fitness levels to have dropped due to not wanting to train with the persistent achilles issue. It didn’t cause any issues towards the end of the season, and of course the fitness test I mentioned earlier went well.
  3. WEIGHT GAIN: The achilles is my excuse here. Limited exercise = Weight gain. However, it’s a poor excuse as there is nothing stopping me from eating healthily! I have put on about a stone compared to my best weight. I need to pull together the discipline and get that sorted.


Firstly, I’m obviously looking forward to my first season as a supply league referee / contributory league assistant referee. It’s going to be a great experience. My goal here will simply be to ‘Do well and enjoy’.

Secondly, I need to get a handle on the achilles issue. That’s in progress but looks like it will be slow. Very slow. It may even result in me missing some of the beginning of the season as part of the rehabilitation. Worth it though, as I want to be enjoying my exercise and therefore refereeing.

Thirdly, I need to get full fitness back. I’m not unfit but I am falling short of my own standards in this area.

Let’s see how it goes!

Enhanced Promotion: Success!

It’s been a fun year since March 2011. I’ve now been informed that I have been successful in completing my Enhanced Promotion attempt with Surrey FA, which now means that I am a Level 5 (Senior County) referee.

There has been a fair amount involved in this:

  1. Attending two Promotion IST (In Service Training) events.
  2. Passing two exams on the Laws of the Game.
  3. Refereeing a minimum of 40 games (Thankfully, I easily surpassed this, with major kudos to the referee secretaries that I have worked with).
  4. Being assessed a minimum of six times.
  5. (Voluntarily) passing the FA Fitness Test. Not required for level 5 but seemed a good idea at the time 😉

The support from friends, family and (of course) my fellow referees has been outstanding. Thank you to all!

What’s next? Well, I intend to fully enjoy the remainder of the season and relax into my new level. It will unlock a few other refereeing opportunities which I intend to take up. I have also submitted my application to go for level 4 next season in order to keep up the momentum! Plus any chance to be assessed further is a good thing.

In terms of personal development, the key aspect for me has been that I have really enjoyed the journey so far. If you enjoy something, you are going to progress, if you wish to do so. I will try and remember that when I am next being shouted at on the field of play, of course 😉

An evening with Kevin Friend

I attended an FA ‘Have Your Say’ event recently, courtesy of Surrey FA. The guest speaker was Kevin Friend who is refereeing at the highest level in England, being part of the PGMO Select Group.

What struck me about Kevin, and in the same way as when I saw Darren Cann and Mike Mallarkey speak, was just how open, honest and down to earth he was. In fact, the bulk of the presentation focused on mistakes he had made and how he had bounced back from them to get where he is now.

He, of course, learned from them and resolved to keep going, despite the disappointment at the time.

Some key points:

  • STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF: At level 4, Kevin finished his first season in band C. Acceptable, but he wanted to improve. The initial advice he got was that he needed to be issuing more cautions. He tried this. Next season: Band D! “You are giving out too many cards, keep them in your pocket!”. He tried this. Next season: Band E! What happened when he finally refereed to his own feelings and enjoyment? Promotion!
  • YOU ARE CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP: Kevin told the story of an FA Cup game earlier in his career when due to an error by his Assistant, a team played four substitutes. This led to action by the FA and of course a blot on his copy book! Since then, he has always kept a record of substitutes even when delegating the responsibility to an Assistant (or nowadays a 4th Official). Ultimately, as Referee, you are captain of the ship and responsible for your Assistants.
  • NOT GETTING PROMOTION: Kevin was all set for his initial interview and hopeful promotion to the Select Group. The season had gone well. However, in a crucial play-off semi final just the week before, he disallowed a goal which replays showed should have been allowed. Even worse, there was no trace of a foul. This very public critical error was mentioned as a factor for why he did not get the promotion. He resolved to back again next year in that office, except this time being promoted!
  • KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PLAYER: In an infamous Portsmouth v Sunderland encounter, Kevin admits that he lost track of the player he wanted to dismiss for DOGSO. As a result, the wrong player was initially dismissed until the real culprit was identified and it was all sorted out. It looked really messy. However, lesson learned, to the extent of even bringing in a running commentary, e.g. “If number three brings him down now, that’s a red card….”.

The presentation concluded with a video highlighting a set of refereeing mistakes at European level, featuring a wide selection of officials. It just showed how important it is that we get everything right!

It was a great presentation and just goes to show: It is easy to keep positive when things are going well. However, the great referees are able to bounce back from major disappointments in their careers, and know it is down to them… and not blaming anyone else!

Crossing the finishing line… and a county cup final!

Nearly there now! The referee promotion season finishes at the end of this month.

All my assessments are done, the marks look good, and I’ve submitted the required paperwork. There is the possibility that I will be assessed this weekend but it seems unlikely now. I’ve done everything I can so just need to sit back and wait for the results.

Will I have been successful in going from level 7 to level 5 in one season? (I obtained level 6 back in October).

It’s been a fun and eventful season. I hope all my fellow promotion candidates have enjoyed it and get what they are after when everything is announced.

I got some good news yesterday: I’ve been appointed as Reserve Referee to the Women’s County Cup Final in April. This will be great for experience, including playing with ‘the big flashing board’, and adds to the two county cup finals that I was privileged to be appointed to last season.

Will there be any other interesting appointments in the near future?

Welcome to Level 6

This post is a little bit belated. I was very pleased to have my refereeing promotion to level 6 confirmed by Surrey FA back in November.

There has been a lot of work involved in getting to this point, combined with a lot of support, although it is an ongoing process as I have level 5 in my sights come March 2012. This is all part of the Enhanced Promotion scheme.

Thankfully, that is going very well so far. Unlike the initial phase, I now get my marks for each of my assessed games, so it is easier to tell if I am on track. I have had two of my minimum of three assessments so far and am very happy with how they have gone. Hopefully, just one more strong one and that’s job done!

The Christmas and New Year break has come at a good time. I’ve been racking up the games and some relaxation time was definitely in order. A few niggly injuries were starting to hit me and I really want to make sure that I am sharp for the remainder of the season. In addition, I can go over the array of assessments to date and pick out the development points that I should be concentrating on.

Roll on January!

Half-time in my Referee Promotion Year

It’s now coming up to half-time in my refereeing promotion season. The full year runs from March 2011 to the end of February 2012. However, as I am on the Enhanced Promotion scheme, I had until the end of September 2011 to achieve all the 7-6 objectives.

It’s a strange feeling knowing that I have now done all I can:

  1. Refereed a minimum of 20 eligible games (I’ve managed about 27 according to my records).
  2. Attended the ‘In Service Training’ course.
  3. Passed an examination on the Laws of the Game (I scored 100% !).
  4. Received a minimum of three Assessments.

There are a few other requirements, which I have also achieved, but these are more administrative (such as being CRB cleared!)

Now, I get copies of the assessments but I cannot know for sure whether they are ‘pass’ standard: The mark is not revealed to candidates! However, they are positive and give me a good feeling.

Ultimately, the decision now rests with the Refereeing Committee who will consider all of the above and decide what happens next. All I know at this point is that will happen sometime in October.

The waiting game begins…

Promotion Season: One month in…

I am going for a refereeing promotion this season. It is the first time I have been eligible (length of service requirements) and I am currently a level 7, with my eye fixed on a minimum of level 6 as my target.

Being promoted will allow me to officiate at a higher level of game, so the quality of football will increase as well as the refereeing challenges.

The promotion season runs from March 2011 until the end of February 2012, so we are currently one month in. I am racking up the games (A certain number must be refereed) so that won’t be a problem. I have also had two assessments which are a key factor in whether a candidate gets promoted or not.

The first assessment identified quite a few things that I needed to tighten up and I have been working solidly on these. By the time the second assessment came along I had really taken the previous advice on board and did much better and I received some very strong compliments! Naturally, advice for further improvement also featured so now I am working on those items.

Only a relatively small number of my games will be assessed so the marks from club officials also come into play. So I need to be please the teams I am refereeing to keep a trend of high marks.

There is a long way to go but the suggestions from assessments plus the advice from my colleagues and mentors is going a long way.

Assessors’ Handbook.

See you on the other side…