Tag Archives: supply league

My first supply league middle

1st-star-medal-gold Following on from my first game of the season (in a 4th official role), it was time to grab my whistle and have my first ‘middle’ of the season too. This was on my local supply league now that I am eligible to do those games following my promotion to Level 4.

The warm-up from the previous game had given me confidence that my achilles was going to behave, and I’m very happy to report that it stayed rock solid throughout the 90 minutes. However, the first game back is always a shock to the system, so the end result was that everything else hurt instead! Thankfully, just the usual DOMS after the game rather than anything more sinister.

The game itself went well although I am aware that I have a lot of work to do to get my fitness back to my peak level. That’s to be expected following the injury. I’ve resumed training runs again with the achilles remaining stable but I am being careful with how I am ramping up the activity to avoid anything else going ‘ping’.

It was a great moment to start that training run yesterday, as I was very much aware that I was able to run along pain free so had a big smile on my face!

It’s a busy week though: Another supply league middle coming up, then my first outing as Assistant Referee on the contrib, then refereeing an U18s Premier League Academy match!

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!

Farnham Town v Ash United

As part of my break, I decided to take the opportunity to go and watch a local supply league game (Combined Counties Premier Division).

I also took along my camcorder as it has been a bit neglected recently, and I thought it would be interesting to try recording a game and having my first play with iMovie.

The results are above. Certainly from reviewing the footage, I can tell I need to play with zoom less as it can be distracting! Definitely a learning experience. I also missed a lot of the second half, including two of the goals, as I was just having a chat instead!


Pre-season starts here!

It really does not feel like that long ago I was piling in the games at the end of the 2010/2011 season. The snow and other bad weather meant there was a backlog so quite a few midweek evening games were available. This was great for me as it means I have already hit my required quota of 20 games since March in order to hit one of the promotion criteria.

Now, here we are in pre-season mode! I’ve been keeping up my running and have been involved in a couple of games but now the ‘real stuff’ begins. I have a pre-season schedule coming together with a mixture of referee and assistant positions at various levels. Referees need a pre-season just like players do! It is a chance for us to get the fitness in line (both physical and mental stamina), perhaps try a few new things and ensure we are confident when the season truly begins.

I had my first game this week as Assistant Referee. This was a valuable learning experience as the other two officials are both active supply league referees. In addition, the game was frenetic due to lots of triallists wanting to prove their worth!

The teams themselves are at a higher level than I am currently permitted to referee. Some notes on that:

  1. FITNESS AND SKILL: A lot higher than ‘parks’ football! I was able to keep up just fine and it was a great test of my sprinting ability. The ball would be kept in play for a lot longer as well which made it a more interesting game overall.
  2. MORE PHYSICAL PLAY: The challenges and general play were a LOT more physical. However, there were no complaints as most of the time it was controlled and the players were just getting on with it. This took adjusting to. At ‘my’ level, I would be giving fouls for that sort of contact and the players would be expecting that to happen as well.
  3. ADJUST ASSUMPTIONS: A couple of times I flagged for offside way too early. I was in ‘parks’ mode where I would assume (correctly) that the offside applied because no other player could be involved. I needed to wait to absolutely sure in this game because another player could EASILY zip through, or the advantage could shift IMMEDIATELY and should be considered. A great learning experience.

A summary of the game is that my fitness was easily up to the task but that it took me longer to get my mental sharpness in line, especially with not flagging for offsides too soon. As the players are faster at this level your assumptions have to be a bit different. Things flowed a lot better during the second half. My concentration had also been a hit a little bit due to a ‘flag malfunction’ in the first half….

Lots more games to come. It is going to be a busy and productive season and I am really looking forward to it!

p.s. I’ve also been nominated by Surrey FA for consideration to FA Competitions for this season which is really exciting!