Crawford Allan Appointed Head of Referee Operations – Note from Martin Clark


It gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction to have acknowledged the news of Crawford Allan’s appointment as Head of Refereeing following the sad passing of his predecessor John Fleming in October.

Crawford has been a member of the EDRA throughout his career, one which saw him reaching Category 1, a position he held until his voluntary retirement, albeit then taking up a position as fellow Observer. Clearly he will relinquish that position but now has the opportunity of managing the refereeing family, something I know he looks forward to doing with great pride and pleasure.

I am also confident that the members will be in unison with me in rallying behind and supporting Crawford in everything he chooses to do in his new role.

I look forward to a new era in refereeing and working with Crawford in the months and years ahead.

Martin Clark
Association Manager

For full statement from Scottish FA click here.

2019 Highlights – SFAR Edinburgh and District

Similar to last year at this stage, the Association has enjoyed another successful year, not only measured by the excellent number of new entrants, subsequent numbers attending training, prestigious appointments and promotions but by the extremely healthy activity which has taken place throughout the year as outlined by Vikki who yet again has done a tremendous job in pulling together the highlights and major talking points.

What continues to be remarkable is the amount of time and commitment shown to the Association not only in terms of on the park where it matters most in terms of performance but by all the off-field activity. In terms of commitment however it would be wrong not once again highlight the examples set by George Smith who sadly passed away in May after a Courageous and brave fight lasting over 3 years. Similarly, the loss was exacerbated when the refereeing family lost John Fleming in late October. Both of these gentlemen were very close friends and colleagues to us all and will be sadly missed.

Conversely, from a positive perspective, I am confident the Association has a bright future ahead in the next year. Mark continues to do a fantastic job in supporting me……..and that’s no mean feat, but particularly with those on the development path, where he arranges the regular training evenings and seminars supported by an equally enthusiastic Michael Banks. likewise our President (Stuart Luke) continues to ensure that time at our meetings has a strong emphasis on coaching and reflection on refereeing which provides healthy debate. The support from those on the management committee is another very positive aspect and the effort and time given by them is very much appreciated.

This year has also seen a large number of new entrants, promotions and also prestigious appointments. It would be wrong to be blasé about the representation our women referees receive in regards to the finals of the major competition but once again the EDRA are the forerunners.

A particular highlight of the year though was not only Peter Stuarts promotion to Category 1 status but his appointment as the referee to the Scottish Junior Cup Final. A first for the association since Brian Colvin.

Similarly Ralph Gordon’s appointment as an Assistant Referee to the Scottish Cup Final was due to recognition of Ralph as a first class Assistant Referee and role model for all.

These appointments along with David Doig, Graeme Leslie and Gavin Duncan to the Challenge Cup Final marks one of our most successful years for some time and marks our progress.

Similar to the message from Mark at this juncture last year, If you have not been to an Association meeting, can we encourage you to come along. You will be made very welcome and gives you the opportunity to keep abreast with changes to the laws and put your points over in a very friendly and open atmosphere.

New Year, a New Decade and new goals…and I hope that you will use the short festive break to refocus and evaluate what you want to achieve from your refereeing. It does not matter what level we are at or what role we play I am sure we all wish to continue to develop and to do our best.

Wherever this year takes us can I therefore on behalf of Calum, Mark and I wish you and your families every success and a Happy New Year.

Martin Clark (Association Manager)

2019 Highlights:

February 19 – Introductory Class – First highlight is back in February where we welcomed 18 new officials during our February class! Our Feb class is 5 Sundays and we are running another in 2020. For info click here

February 19 – This year we also launched our skills videos on the website! These can be a great tool for new officials but also for experienced referees to also look back on! These videos have been viewed just under 900 times. If there is anything you would like to see added get in touch!

February 19 – Visit from English Referee Association. – We not only collaborate with our colleagues across Scotland but also from other International Associations. This year we had the English Referee Association visit us here at EDRA where they shared some of their practices and we shared ours back. It is a great way to ensure we are both doing that most we can for our officials!

February 19 – Two of our female officials were out officiating in Oman in February 19! Niamh and Sandie went to officiate in the MESAC Football tournament in Oman with some of our other Scottish Colleagues.

February 19 – Borders Recruitment story in paper – Jonathan Gall helped with recruitment down in the Borders by having an article in the local paper!

February 19 – One Year on Story on website. – It’s important that we share our stories so in February Sean Duff shared his journey one year on in refereeing!

March 19 – International Women’s day – Celebrating our female members and their experiences in officiating. – In March we celebrated International Women’s day by asking some of our current female officials their thoughts and highlights of officiating so far! We are very lucky at EDRA to have a number of female officials, which we have had 5 come through the class this year alone. If you are interested in signing up for a class see more info here

March 19 – International Friendly Appt – David Doig was appointed to an International Friendly – England C v Wales C.

March 19 – Craig Ferguson was appointed to a UEFA U17 Euro Qualifying Tournament in which he officiated Poland, Russia and Portugal.

March 19 – Vikki Allan was appointed to a UEFA U17 Euro Qualifying Tournament in which she officiated Republic of Ireland, Norway and Germany.

March 19 – In March we had three officials appointed to the IRN BRU Cup Final. Congratulations again to Graeme Leslie, David Doig and Gavin Duncan! – Connah’s Quay Nomads v Ross County.

April 19 – First Super League Appt – In April Dominic Falconer received his First Futsal Super League Appointment – TMT v Polonia Edinburgh 3rd Official Glasgow City v Polonia Dundee 1st referee

April 19 – In April Mr George Smith was made Honorary President of our Association. Sadly Mr Smith passed away not long after he was appointed our Honorary President. Our Association Manager Martin Clark shared a tribute on our website to him. http://www.edinburghanddistrictreferees.co.uk/2019/05/21/a-personal-tribute-to-george-b-smith-gbs/ 2019 sadly saw us lose a number of the refereeing and footballing family. For those who have passed we take a moment to remember our own memories of them. Of those that have passed this included our Honorary President George Smith and also Head of Referee Operations John Fleming.

May 19 – SFA Youth Cup Final – In May Daniel Graves was Fourth Official at the Scottish FA Youth Cup Final – Celtic v Rangers

May 19 – SWFL1 Cup final – In May Emma Hingant (Ref), Vikki Allan (AR1) and Scott Downie (4th Off) were appointed to SWFL1 Cup Final – Celtic v Renfrew.

May 19 – SWPL Cup Final – In May Vikki Allan (AR1) and Emma Hingant (4 Off) were appointed to SWPL Cup Final – Glasgow City v Hibernian.

May 19 – In May we held our Annual Dinner, which is a Celebration of the Achievements from the Association members.

  • National Cup Finals –
  • o 1.05/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Emma Hingant – SWFL Cup final 18, SWFL1 Cup Final 19 & SWPL Cup Final 19
    o 1.10/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Niamh Westwood – SWFL Cup Final 18
    o 1.15/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Vikki Allan – SWFL2 18, SWFL1 18, Women’s Scottish Cup 18, SWFL 1 19 & SWPL Cup Final 19
    o 1.20/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Scott Downie – SWFL 1 Cup Final 19
    o 1.25/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Iain Snedden – Scottish FA Youth Cup final 18
    o 1.30/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Gavin Duncan and Graeme Leslie – Scottish Challenge Cup Final 19
    o 1.35/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Ryan Lee – Scottish FA Youth Cup Final 18
    o 1.40/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Daniel Graves – Scottish FA Youth cup Final 19
  • The Presidents Award is awarded by our President each year to someone who has gone above and beyond for the Association. This year Stewart Luke presented this to Jimmy Duncan!
  • The Frank Campbell Assistant Referee of the Year award was presented to Iain Gallacher!
  • The Trainers Award this year was renamed to the Bill Mullan Award. Bill sadly passed away late last year but was a very respected member of the Association. We were delighted to have his son Gerry in attendance to present the award. This year the award went to Ralph Gordon!
  • The Development Team Award is chosen by the Development team and given to someone who has excelled during the season. Congratulations to Daniel Silva!
  • The Referee’s Referee of the year Award is nominated by the membership and then attendees vote a shortlist on the evening. This year the award was presented to Peter Stuart, congratulations!
  • Our final award of the evening was the Bill Tait Award. This award is presented to an official who has performed extremely well over the season in the Juniors. This year the award was presented to Daniel Graves!
  • At the Dinner we also share a video of achievements from throughout the season – check it out here!!!

May 19 – U19 SYFA Cup Final – In May Ian Baillie (Ref), Kevin Kyle (AR1) & Raymond Hume (4th Off) were appointed to the U19 SYFA Cup Final between Harmony Row YC v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy FC.

May 19 – We were very lucky to have had a number of promotions during the season! Congrats to all! – Peter Stuart (Cat 1), Ryan Lee (Cat 2D), Greig Haynes (Cat 3), Scott Downie ( Cat 3D), Will Pare (Cat 3D), Daniel Silva (Cat 3D), Tommi Kerr (Cat 3D) & Derek McNee (Cat4).

May 19 – Observers – In May our Assistant Association Manager Mark Doyle was also appointed as an Scottish FA Assistant Referee Observer!

May 19 – Scottish Cup Final – In May Ralph Gordon was appointed at AR2 in the Scottish Cup Final! – Hearts v Celtic.

May 19 – Recognition of Contribution to Refereeing award – In May Bob Wilson was recognised by the Scottish FA for his Contribution to Refereeing and was given an award.

May 19 – SCORE 19 – We were very lucky to have three members accepted onto the SCORE programme this year!

June 19 – Junior Cup – In June Peter Stuart was appointed as Referee to the Junior Cup Final! – Auchinleck Talbot v Largs Thistle.

June 19 – SWFL 2 Cup Final – In June Fiona Morton (Ref) and Vikki Allan (AR1) were appointed to the SWFL2 Cup Final Dryburgh Athletic v Morton.

June 19 – Choose Life Suicide Awareness Charity Tournament – In June four of our members volunteered to take part in the Choose Life Suicide Awareness Charity Tournament! Well done to Abdul, Stuart, Sandie and Kostas.

June 19 – EDRA Women’s training day – In June the EDRA held it’s first all female local training day! We ran through practical activities and also clips later in the afternoon!

September 19 – Champions League last 32 – Vikki Allan was appointed as AR2 to Champions League last 31 Atletico Madrid v Spartak.

October 2019 – EDRA are passionate about Women’s recruitment in Scotland. One of our female officials Vikki Allan has been part of the promotions this year.

October 19 – Presentation to Drew Herbertson – In October the Association made a Presentation to Drew Herbertson who had retired in May from the Scottish FA after 38 years service!!

October 19 – Presentation to Scott Millar – Scott Millar was presented an award at our October Meeting for stepping down from the Senior List.

October 19 – Presentation to retired members – At our October Meeting we also presented retired members with awards to mark their service to the Association. These were presented to Steve McGeouch, James Tucker and Paul Gartland.

October 19 – Euro Qualifiers – In October Vikki Allan was appointed as AR2 to Euro Qualifier Germany v Ukraine.

October 19 – In October Niamh Westwood was appointed to UEFA U17 Euro Qualifying Tournament, she officiated Italy, Northern Ireland and Montenegro.

October 19 – In October Peter Stuart was appointed to UEFA U17 Euro Qualifying Tournament, he officiated Germany, Andorra & Belarus.

November 19 – Women’s Scottish Cup Final – In November Vikki Allan (AR1), Emma Hingant (AR2) & Niamh Westwood (4th Off) were appointed to the Women’s Scottish Cup Final! – Hibernian v Glasgow City.

December 19 – In December Gianluca Marini officiated his first match in the Futsal Super League Fair City Santos v Dundee West FC.

August/October 19 – New Entrants Class – We recently had 48 new entrants pass their exam and join the EDRA! This class was August to October over 10 Monday evenings. If you are interested in our next class starting February see the following link

Malcolm Jones

Having been given the extremely sad news early on Saturday evening of the passing of Malcolm Jones, it left me, and I am sure all who came into contact with Malcolm, dismayed and shocked to say the least.

I, like a number of my peers over the years made many visits down the coast to Dunbar, indeed my last visit as an observer was only a few weeks back when I was warmly welcomed by Malcolm and his fellow team officials. The hospitality and friendly smile, irrespective of the result, was always extended by him, always keen to make sure you were looked after and that everything was as it should be.

It was a team effort from the Jones’s with his son Geoff as manager and a regular visitor being his other son Graeme (Well known to all senior listed officials as the SFA sport scientist, working until very recently with the refereeing family).

Malcom was a gentleman and one who will be sadly missed by everyone including us all in the refereeing family.

Our thoughts at this, the saddest of times, are with the Jones family.

Regards

Martin Clark
Association Manager
SFAR Edinburgh and District

Three successful candidates enter the SCORE’19 programme!

Brent Falconer, Calum Doyle and Steven Wilson

Congratulations to Brent Falconer, Calum Doyle and Steven Wilson who have all been successful on their applications to the SCORE 19 programme. Brent will enter the programme as a Referee and both Calum and Steven are following the Assistant Referee pathway.

The Scottish Centre of Refereeing Excellence (SCORE)is a programme ran by the Scottish FA Referee Operations department in collaboration with Heriot Watt University. It helps to identify and develop talented referees and assistant referees through intensive coaching, observation and training. It has provided the officials with opportunities to obtain one to one coaching and training from experienced coaches. Aside from the refereeing benefits, it will also expose the officials to a number of academic topics which will help them manage and deliver their matches successfully.

Congratulations again to all three, we wish you all of the best throughout this programme and also to the other successful candidates across Scotland.

Recognition of Contribution to Refereeing Award

On Saturday 25th May prior to the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden, Bob Wilson was presented by the Scottish FA with an award to recognise his contribution to refereeing.

The Association nominated Bob for this award for the amount of work and years he has contributed to developing our up and coming referees, especially within Schools football. There isn’t a new referee who Bob hasn’t given advice to or helped them when starting out over the years. The commitment Bob has for developing officials goes above and beyond, attending all association meetings and giving up his free time to watch many of our new referee’s first matches.

We are glad and very thankful the Scottish FA presented him with this very deserved award, congratulations Bob!

John Fleming, Head of Referee Operations at Scottish FA presenting Bob Wilson with his award.

A personal tribute to George B Smith (GBS)

I begin by thanking the association most sincerely for allowing me the privilege to share this personal tribute with the membership.

Having known George (GBS or in early years Mr Smith) since the day I joined the EDRA in 1977, it was in January 2016 that our relationship took on a completely new slant for reasons out-with football.

Prior to this, I was as aware, as were all other members, of the unrivalled career George enjoyed in terms of refereeing, all of which has been well documented and will remain documented in the history of this association.

Whilst I will always be aware of the success George enjoyed, both on and off the field, it is the more personal side of George that I have the great pleasure of sharing with you all.

George and I readily acknowledged and agreed that we could not be considered as ‘buddies’, albeit he had been instrumental during my refereeing career or should I say he ensured I remained there until my retirement from the senior list in May 2000. Nevertheless, we had mutual respect and the call I referred to above in 2016 was to move things in a different direction.

I do not use the word ‘Dignified’ to often, but I assure you that from that day forward and until his sad passing, George epitomised the meaning of the word in every sense of it. He took me into his confidence and something that remained there until the latter months of his life when he thought he should release me from what he called a ‘burden’. I never considered it that, yet also respected his opinion. I have to say at this juncture that it was my pleasure to offer any support for a man who had provided the same for me.

In the early days following diagnosis of Prostate Cancer, George was placed on medication and closely monitored, albeit even then, he had a very good idea of the eventual prognosis / outcome. Notwithstanding, never at any stage did he resort to self-pity or defeatism but instead being an extremely proud man, he fought through things whilst only thinking of others.

I was allowed and extremely privileged to share in George’s journey, regularly visiting to enjoy long chats, nostalgia and his aspirations for the younger members looking to replicate the success George enjoyed from refereeing.

Regular Monday visits included Hot X buns on offer from Pamela, when she was also more than happy to throw in her tuppence worth into the varied topics of conversation.

George was also a very proud family man, married to Pamela and their two children (Euan and Lynsey) gifting them with four lovely grandchildren. Away from refereeing, and particularly after retirement from the day job, it was the family that took up most of George’s time, including some excellent cruises that Pamela and he enjoyed.

I would like to suggest that if ‘Legends’ exist in football, then that was what George achieved in terms of his 58 years as a member, during which witnessed him refereeing at a level only some can dream off.

He was extremely proud and supportive of this association to the end. Whilst he fought his illness with great dignity and support from his loving family, he may have succumbed to the illness, but I would suggest that his memory will live long with us all.

One fond memory I share with you in terms of refereeing took place when we attended the various Observers meetings, where for some obscure reason, George insisted that I sat close to him when it came to the Laws of the Game tests. I can only assume he got the same results as me then, and therefore, albeit only on the odd occasion………..for that I’m truly sorry George.

A gentleman, his standards were of the highest calibre throughout his career, and on becoming a ‘Supervisor’ (As it was known in those days), you would only have to ask referees who allowed unparliamentary language to pass without intervening what the feedback was like.

In closing, I am aware that a separate note has been posted regarding George’s funeral arrangements, and I would like to think that time permitting in our busy lives, as many as possible can attend to say farewell to our ‘Legend’ and show respect and support for the family at this desperately sad time.

Thank you yet again for allowing me this platform to share some of my thoughts with you.

Martin Clark
Association Manager

Funeral Details:
Tuesday, 28th May
Warriston Crematorium, 36 Warriston Road, Edinburgh EH7 4HW
12.00 noon

Mr George Smith – Honorary President

Mr George Smith – Honorary President
It is with great pleasure that I can announce Mr George Smith as Honorary President of the SFAR Edinburgh and District. This comes after it was unanimously agreed at our recent AGM to bestow this position upon Mr Smith, who has served the association with distinction for 58 years.
I am sure members will join me in congratulating George in being presented with this position, and will agree that there is nobody more deserving of this recognition.

Stewart Luke
EDRA President

One Year on..

The first year after becoming a referee is one of the most important for development. At the Edinburgh and District we want to ensure that our officials are supported and enjoy being part of the Association. We asked Sean Duff to let us know how he got on in his first year….

Just over a year ago I signed up to the new entrants class & decided to give refereeing a go. At the class I wasn’t long in realising that even though I had played football for about 15 years I actually didn’t know the game as well as I thought. After 6 enjoyable weeks of learning the laws of the game I completed the course.

Before I had refereed my first game I started going along to the training sessions on a Wednesday night and was really anxious about what to expect. It turned out I had nothing to be worried about, as although you’re worked hard and pushed every week, the group of referees there are a great support and tell brilliant stories about their games! Now going to training is one of the things I look forward to most about my week as its great catching up with everyone at the same time as pushing each other to get fitter.

My first game was Hearts against Hamilton under 12s at the Oriam and now looking back it’s funny to think how much progress I’ve made since then. I was more stressed before my first game as a referee than I ever was a player, worrying about all the things that I could do wrong. How do I get the team lines? How should I introduce myself as the referee? What if I log the match details wrong? As soon as the game started however, that all went and I couldn’t help but love the buzz of being involved as an official. I knew that my development adviser on the touchline was there to support me and keep me right, and getting told what I was doing well at half time and being given pointers for the second half, reassured me that I was doing well and gave me the confidence to go out and enjoy the experience. I remember feeling relieved when I blew the final whistled having worried so much before the game started, however I’d caught the buzz and now couldn’t wait to do it all over again.

Throughout my first year I can now say I’ve been involved in over 50 games both as a referee and assistant referee. My two biggest highlights so far have been being appointed as an assistant referee in the East of Scotland league where I learn a lot from experienced referees, and being promoted to Category 4 Development which enables me to referee in the under 20s Lowland/East of Scotland league. Now in the upcoming season I’m looking forward to gaining more experience through officiating at a higher level and continuing to enjoy refereeing!

2018 Highlights – SFAR Edinburgh and District

Once again the Association has enjoyed another successful year, not only measured in the number of new entrants, prestigious appointments and promotions but by the healthy activity which has taken place throughout the year as outlined by Vikki who has once again pulled together the highlights and major talking points.

What is remarkable is the amount of commitment shown to the Association not only in terms of on the park where it matters most in terms of performance but by all the off-field activity. In terms of commitment however it would be wrong not once again to highlight the examples set by Bill Mullan who  sadly passed away in November and George Smith who retired after 58 years unfailing service to Scottish Refereeing and our Association in particular.

I am sure the Association has a bright future ahead in the next year. We have now bedded in the new Constitution and the recent changes in our meeting format brought in by our President Stuart Luke has been refreshing with an even greater emphasis on coaching and reflection on refereeing which has given rise to some lively debate. If you have not been to an Association meeting can I encourage you to come along. You will be very welcome.

New Year, new goals…I am sure that you will use this time of the year to refocus and evaluate what you want to achieve from your  refereeing. It does not matter what level we are at or what role we play I am sure we all wish to continue to develop and to do our best.

Wherever this year takes us can I therefore on behalf of Calum, Martin and I wish you and your families every success and a Happy New Year.

Mark Doyle
Assistant Association Manager
SFAR Edinburgh and District

2018 Highlights

Referee Awareness Course January 2018

In January we held our referee awareness course, which was aimed at Females. We had a great attendance and some even transferred onto the full course! The day is a short course, which includes an interactive session! We are looking forward to our upcoming course in January 2019! Thanks to @ScotFASouthEast for supporting and to @murieutdgirls for coming along to help!

Nutritional Session – January 2018

We all know how hard it is after the Festive Period to look after our nutrition, which is why we held a nutrition session for all our members to come along and hear what can help us perform better!

La Manga Winter Training Camp

At the end of January our top referees went to the Scottish FA winter training camp in La Manga! Below is a photo of them before one of the training sessions with our Referee Committee member Calum Murray and our Physio Nicole!

Presentation to the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity

At our association meeting in February we presented the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity with a cheque for £2000!! This was the funds raised from our Annual Charity Quiz at the tail end of 2017. An absolutely fantastic amount!! We can’t wait to present the money from this years quiz early in the New Year!

Kieran Green Presented with Trophy for U18 Independent Schools Final

In February we presented Kieran Green with his award for being appointed to the U18 Independent Schools Scottish Cup Final!

Referee Courses 2018

During the year we run 2 referee classes one in February over 5 Sundays and the other in August over 10 Monday evenings. This is the full course, which will allow you to become a qualified Scottish FA referee. This year alone we have had 35 pass the course (5 of who are female), which is fantastic!! Look out for adverts on our upcoming class soon or for more info see our website www.edinburghanddistrictreferees.co.uk or email instruction.edra@gmail.com

Futsal Course & Blog

In December we ran a Futsal Course in which 8 referees attended from EDRA and other Associations. We were very lucky that FIFA Futsal Referee Gordon McCabe came along to assist as well! In October Dominic Falconer wrote a blog for our website on why to become a Futsal Referee.

Daniel Graves featured on Scottish FA site

In February it was great to see Daniel Graves one of our Cat 3 Referees on the Scottish FA website speaking about his referee journey and how this began on the SQA Referee Course!! This year we had a fantastic amount of referees join through this programme, especially on the female refereeing side where we saw 4 new referees join the association!

Youth Referee Ambassador Programme Created

In 2018 Vikki Allan our Secretary who is also the Youth Referee Ambassador of Change until the end of this year created the Youth Referee Ambassador Programme. The Youth Referee Ambassadors are a follow on programme to the Scottish FA’s Youth Ambassadors of Change. In February Vikki Allan was featured on the Scottish FA website promoting this programme and why it is important for the recruitment and retention of referees.

Youth Referee Ambassador appointed for EDRA

In 2018 the Youth Referee Ambassadors were created this is a follow on programme to the Scottish FA’s Youth Ambassadors of Change. The YRA’s look to support recruitment and retention of young referees all over Scotland. Calum Doyle was appointed as our YRA here in Edinburgh and District!

Supporting International Women’s Day

At the Edinburgh and District Referee Association we are very lucky to have such a great group of female referees. Back at the end of 2015/early 2016 we set up our Women’s team to promote recruitment and retention of female referees. Back then we only had around 3-4 active female officials at the Association which had been stagnant for around ten years, we are now beyond delighted to have around 15! Back in March we celebrated International Women’s day by displaying a post of some of their achievements.

Presentations at SSFRA Dinner

In May the EDRA had a table at the SSFRA dinner in which Fiona Morton and Iain Snedden were both presented with awards for their appointment on the Women’s Scottish Cup Final in 2017!

Support the Referee Week on Sky Sports News

March was Support the Referee week on Sky Sports, we were very lucky to have two guest appearances on the show! Daniel Graves went on Sky Sports News to talk more about the SQA Referee course. He spoke about the benefits and skills that can be learnt from refereeing! Check out the interview below:

The second interview on Sky Sports News was Vikki Allan and Crawford Allan! They discussed the opportunities available to referees, the SQA programme at Holy Rood High School (which was being run by Daniel Graves with around 40 students taking part!!) and the great sponsorship between refereeing and the support which Specsavers offer.

SQA Presentations

In April Martin Clark and Mark Doyle both attended Holy Rood High School and Dalkeith High School to present a number of pupils with certificates for successfully passing the SQA Referee Course. 56 pupils sat the course, which is fantastic! Thanks to both Steven Wilson and Daniel Graves for leading the courses.

Trainers, Development Advisers and Seminars

Thanks to our Trainers and development advisers for a great year of training and development as well. We train every week with our trainers and they keep us in great shape. Our Development advisors also go to our games week in and week out to give us advice to make sure we are the best referees we can be. Once a month at training we run various different seminars focusing on aspects of officiating such as Assistant Referee, Sanction Procedure… etc.

Annual Dinner

In May we had our Annual Dinner, which is a Celebration of the Achievements from the Association members. Many awards were presented on the evening see list below:

National Cup Finals –Fiona Morton, Stewart Luke, Iain Snedden, Vikki Allan, Kevin Lindsay & Niamh Westwood

Nut of the Year – Nelson Da Silva

Trainers Award – Craig Ferguson

Referee’s Referee of the Year – Duncan Smith

Development Award – Mark Harris

Presidents Award – Derek Hall

Frank Campbell Memorial Award – Kieran Kennedy

Bill Tait – Ryan Lee

Retirements – Crawford Allan & Alan Hogg

At the Dinner we also share a video of achievements from throughout the season – check it out on our homepage!

Retirements

At the end of the season we also had some retirements from the Association, these were recognised at the August Association Meeting.

Alan Ferguson

Andrew Shepherd

Gavin Kennedy

Willie Weir

Equal Playing Field

In March, Vikki Allan one of our female referees went to Jordan with Morag Pirie from the Aberdeen Association to be Assistant Referee in a World Record breaking football match. This was the second World Record for the duo after climbing Kilimanjaro in 2017 to get the record for the highest game in the world. The match in Jordan was the lowest Altitude match in the world by the Dead Sea. During this trip they also took part in 4 football camps across Jordan with 700 little girls teaching them football and refereeing skills. For some of the girls this was the first time they had ever played outside let alone with a football and was a very emotional trip! This was an initiative with @EqualPlayingField to raise awareness of gender equality in sports. Check out the documentary from their first trip with the second documentary airing soon about Jordan!

SCORE 16

This year also saw David Doig and Simon MacLean complete their SCORE Training and were presented with certificates from Craig Thomson. SCORE (Scottish Centre of Refereeing Excellence) programme is the Scottish equivalent of CORE for our up and coming referees. This for looking at areas such as match preparation, player management, control of the game, tactical awareness and fitness training, combined with practical exercises and mental preparation.

We also caught up with David and Simon to hear all about how they found the programme.

SCORE 18

This year also saw Daniel Graves and Craig Ferguson gain entry on the SCORE (Scottish Centre of Refereeing Excellence) programme which is the Scottish equivalent of CORE for our up and coming referees. This for looking at areas such as match preparation, player management, control of the game, tactical awareness and fitness training, combined with practical exercises and mental preparation.

Promotions

2018 was a fantastic year for promotions at the EDRA, with around 18 officials being promoted! Well done to all!!

Development Academy

The Development Academy, which is now in its fourth year, continued in 2018 to support on a regular basis our development category referees. Regular seminars and fitness sessions have been held throughout the year with guest presenters and these have helped support a number of referees in their fledgling referee careers over the seasons. Thank you to all who helped support and also attend this.

Child Protection Team

This year also saw a massive project come into play for our Child Protection Officers at the EDRA! They had to ensure every referee pre 2004 had the EDRA up to date Disclosure. This was a massive project but the team were fantastic and never let it faze them. Thank you to George and David!

George Smith Retirement

In October it was announced that George Smith would be retiring as an observer. Mr Smith has been involved with refereeing and the Edinburgh and District Association for 58 years. Mr Smith was a top domestic official but also a FIFA Referee for Scotland, he retired from refereeing in 1992 and was appointed to what is known now as the Referee Committee. Mr Smith still remains as the only EDRA referee to have been appointed to the World Cup. The Association posted a tribute to Mr Smith on the website noting many of his accolades. There were further tributes at our Association meeting in November by Calum Murray. 

Social Team

At the Edinburgh and District Association we also have a great Social team who organise events throughout the year for our refereeing family! These have included great events such as go karting, regular get together, FootGolf, Annual Charity Quiz and our flagship event the Annual Dinner! Details of our Annual Dinner for 2019 were sent out recently by email and will be posted on social media early in the New Year.

2018 Appointments

We are very lucky at the EDRA to be appointed to some fantastic fixtures! Below are a list of prestigious appts this year:

In May the Women’s Leagues had their Cup Finals. Emma Hingant (AR1), Niamh Westwood (AR2) and Vikki Allan (Fourth Official) were appointed to the League One Cup Final between Hibernian U23 v Celtic. For the League Two Cup Final Vikki Allan was the Referee between Spartans FC v Kelty Hearts.

Back in April Iain Snedden and Ryan Lee were appointed to officiate at the Scottish Youth Cup Final Hibernian v Aberdeen as referee and fourth official respectively.

In May Fiona Morton officiated at the Women’s League Cup Final, Hibernian v Celtic. This match was live on BBC Alba.

David Doig was appointed to a UEFA Mini Tournament as an Assistant Referee for the U19 Elite Round:

Denmark v. Turkey

Austria v. Denmark

Denmark v. Bosnia & Herzegovina

In November Fiona Morton (Fourth Official) and Vikki Allan (AR2) officiated at the Women’s Scottish Cup Final, Hibernian v Motherwell. This match was live on BBC Alba.

Gavin Duncan was appointed to a UEFA U21 Championship Qualifying Match between Sweden v Hungary as Fourth Official.

Vikki Allan was appointed to a UEFA Women’s Champions League Tournament as Assistant Referee:

Gornik Leczna v Anderlecht

Gornik Leczna v Martve

Martve v Anderlecht

David Doig was appointed as AR1 at a UEFA Youth league 2nd Leg 1st Round match between IF Elfsborg v KR Reyjkavik.

A short tribute to mark the retirement of George Smith

By Martin Clark, Mark Doyle, Calum Murray and Paul Reid

George Smith has intimated his retirement as a Referee Observer. This brings to an end 58 years of active involvement in refereeing. In due course, the Management Committee will discuss the most appropriate way to mark Mr Smith’s unprecedented contribution to our Association and to Scottish refereeing more generally.

1987/1988
George Smith in action

Many members will know Mr Smith only as a Referee Observer. It was, however, as a referee that he first made his mark and assembled a refereeing CV that, for an Edinburgh referee, is unlikely to be surpassed. Largely due to his own modesty, it is little talked of these days. But it seems appropriate to set out some of the highlights to place his career, and news of his retirement, in its proper context. Having passed his entrance examination in August 1961, Mr Smith was promoted to Category 1 in 1971. He was first nominated as a FIFA referee in 1974 (at the then remarkably early age of 31) and served continuously between 1978 and 1991. He was regularly appointed to European club matches, including the 1989 quarter final, second leg between AC Milan and Werder Bremen (a match featuring the likes of Maldini, Van Basten, Gullit and Carlo Ancelotti). On the international stage, he was appointed to the Finals of the FIFA World Student Games (1987) and the FIFA World Youth Tournament (1989). But the pinnacle of his career arrived in 1990 with his appointment to referee at the World Cup Finals in Italy. He remains the only Edinburgh official to have been appointed to referee at a World Cup Finals.

Domestically, his achievements are similarly without rival. He was, in 1980, the first Edinburgh referee to take change of the Scottish Cup Final (an Old Firm Final, no less; he ran the line on the final 12 years earlier). He went on to referee the finals of 1988 and 1990 (the latter was the first to be decided by penalties; the only other final decided that way being the 2006 final, which was the next to be referee by an Edinburgh referee, his prodigy D G McDonald). That tally of refereeing three Cup Finals is the same as the rest of the Association put together! In 1988 and 1989, Mr Smith also refereed the Scottish League Cup Final. It almost goes without saying, that throughout his time at Category 1, he was a regular feature of the biggest games in the country.

1980 SCOTTISH CUP FINAL
CELTIC V RANGERS
George Smith

In August 1992, Mr Smith retired from active refereeing and in November 1992 was appointed to what is now known as the Referee Committee. He served on the Referee Committee for 15 years. Removal of the mandatory retirement age of 70 extended his time in the stand, which concluded earlier this week with his retirement. During that time, referees throughout Scotland, but most particularly within our Association, have benefitted greatly from his advice, experience, support and friendship.

That is only a summary of an unprecedented career. Fuller tributes will be paid at the November meeting. But it hopefully gives some context to a career that this Association is unlikely to see matched. And after 58 years, we all wish Mr Smith a very well earned, much deserved and happy retirement.