2017 Highlights – SFAR Edinburgh and District

Firstly can I thank Vikki for pulling together the highlights of what has been a great year for our Association, be it the number of new entrants to have successfully passed their referee exam and began their refereering career right through to Gavin Duncan receiving his first Scottish Premiership referee appointment and Fiona and Emma refereeing their first national cup finals.

As you will see there have been many achievements and milestones but I hope each one of you can look back on the year with a sense of satisfaction and that you have met or gone some way to achieve some of the goals you may have set and I would therefore encourage you to take the opportunity to set some new ones for the year to come no matter what stage we are at

It has of course been a year of change with the adoption of the new constitution and the way that the association is both governed and the frequency that we meet. It will take time for this to fully develop but the early signs are encouraging given the healthy numbers we see attending training, coming along to meetings as well as taking advantage of the numerous opportunities to develop through coverage by our development team and our development academy meetings.

On behalf of Martin and I we would like to wish you and your family a Happy, successful and prosperous New Year and look forward to seeing you in the weeks ahead.

Mark Doyle
Assistant Association Manager
SFAR Edinburgh and District

2017 Highlights
Referee Awareness course in Jan 2016
In January we held our referee awareness course which was aimed at Females. We had a great attendance and even had two continue 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 2018 which again is aimed at females. Thanks to @sfa_southeast for supporting!

La Manga
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.

Tournaments Abroad
This year a number of our referees and development advisers had the opportunity to attend tournaments abroad these have included locations such as, France, Netherlands, China, Portugal and United Arab Emirates…

Women’s League Cup Final
Back in May Emma Hingant and Vikki Allan officiated at the Women’s League Cup Final, Celtic v Hibernian. This match was live on BBC Alba.

Diversity and Inclusion
1.
Back in March we got involved by sharing a post to celebrate International Women’s Day. At the Edinburgh and District Association we have a dedicated Women’s team who look to increase recruitment and retention of Female referees at the Association. We are very lucky that we have some great female members, who have had some fantastic appointments in 2017!

2.
We also got involved with the @ScottishFA_YAOC raising awareness of Cerebral Palsy Month in which our referee Cameron Conner shared his blog on his achievements in Football. At the Edinburgh and District Referees we want refereeing to be inclusive to all and what Cameron has achieved through football shows this in his blog!

3.
In June, Vikki Allan one of our female referees went to Tanzania with Morag Pirie from the Aberdeen Association to be Assistant Referee in a World Record breaking football match on the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. This was an initiative with Equal Playing Field to raise awareness of gender equality in sports. Check out the documentary from their trip

First Premiership Appt
A more recent highlight was our referee Gavin Duncan having his first Premiership appointment in the middle which we are sure there are many more to come!!

Seminars & Training
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. We also run seminars throughout the year such as the Assistant Referee Seminar back in March which included a practical and video analysis sessions.

UEFA Tournaments
Back in February a number of our members were appointed to the U16 UEFA Women’s and Men’s Development Tournaments at the ORIAM. This was a great opportunity for our referees to work with some of the up and coming players from across Europe!

Social Side
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 togethers, FootGolf, Annual Charity Quiz and our flagship event the Annual Dinner! In January we presented the Sick Kids Foundation with a cheque for £1250 from the Charity quiz in 2016, we can’t wait to present the cheque to them in February for our recent Quiz which we blew last year’s total out the water with!! (Total to be announced when we present the cheque!)

UEFA CORE
Our FIFA Development Assistant Referee David Doig also had the fantastic opportunity to attend UEFA CORE this year in Switzerland. This course focuses on match preparation, player management, control of the game, tactical awareness and fitness training, combined with practical exercises and mental preparation.

Scottish Youth Cup Final
Back in April our referee Kevin Lindsay was appointed to be Assistant Referee at the Scottish Youth Cup Final Celtic v Rangers. This was streamed live on YouTube.

Retirements
This year has also seen some referees hang up their whistles at the SFAR Edinburgh and District. Billy Connor and Jim Sim both retired this year from our Association, both had great careers and a love of refereeing which I am sure they are both now giving back to the up and coming referees at the Association.

Billy in his last year of refereeing donated all of the money he earned from refereeing to MacMillan Cancer Care; we believed this was a fantastic thing to have done so when he retired the Association also made a donation on his behalf. His total was over £2000 raised for the charity!

Another referee who retired this year was our Category One Referee Crawford Allan. After many years on the Senior list he decided it was time to retire. He has recently now been appointed as an Scottish FA Referee Observer.

Women’s Scottish Cup Final
In November Fiona Morton and Iain Snedden officiated at the Women’s Scottish Cup Final, Hibernian v Glasgow City. This match was live on BBC Alba.

Annual Awards Dinner
This year we decided to mix up our Annual Dinner and turn it more into a Celebration of the Achievements from the Association. Many awards were presented that evening for Cup finals and commitment to refereeing. Congratulations again to all who received. One of the awards we presented that evening was to Rev. Frank Campbell for his commitment to being an Assistant Referee in the Juniors, sadly Frank passed away in November. We are glad at the Association that we got to celebrate Franks commitment and that he will be remembered for this.

Video from Dinner
At the Dinner we also shared a video of achievements from the season. You can view this on our homepage.

SCORE 17
This year also saw Ryan Lee and Iain Snedden 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.

Promotion
Another highlight was Peter Stuart being promoted to Cat1D. He was rewarded for all his hard work and subsequently given the opportunity to advance to the top level in Scottish Football.

International Appointments
Throughout the year the Association has also had a number of International Appointments. Our FIFA Development Assistant Referee David Doig had a number of fantastic appointments including Club Athletico de Madrid v Chelsea and Manchester City v Feyenoord in UEFA Youth Leagues. Our Female FIFA Assistant Referee Vikki Allan also had a number of appointments abroad in World Cup Qualifiers and Champions League.

Referee Course
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 48 pass the course which is fantastic!! We also had 6 pass the advance course! Look out for adverts on our upcoming class soon or for more info see Become a Referee page.

Iber Cup – Tom Mitchell

Tom Mitchell, Cat 5 EDRA Referee
IBER CUP SCANDINAVIA, DENMARK AUG1-6 2016

Sunday : All ref gear packed and quiet drive to Aberdeen airport for Flight to Esbjerg, Denmark. Iber Cup hosts provide accommodation and full board meals for the week. 80 minute flight was smooth and quick. On arrival at the Football Club I was welcomed in and offered lunch – very nice. Weather is also warm and grass playing surfaces look very good.

Monday : Met Ben and Kevin, Referees from England and Belgium. We will work as a team of three. Iber Cup organisers Jesus and Andre held the referee briefing for Tournament Regulations and Appointments for Tues.

Tues: First set of games went well. Brilliant warm/sunny weather. Over 200 teams at this tournament. I refereed teams from Poland, Portugal, Norway, Denmark and England. Aberdeen u15 representing Scotland. Opening ceremony in the Blue Water Arena.

Wed : Long day refereeing. Covered 28km and used 5500 Calories. Very high standard of football from all pro-youth teams. No dissent from coaches – this is football at its best. Bus transportation takes us between the two large venues. Pitches are in great condition.

Thurs : Playoff and knockout stages. Ben, Kevin, Remco (Dutch referee) and I rotate Referee and Asst Referee duties during the morning and late afternoon sessions. We have a mid afternoon sleep break to recover the legs.

Friday: Finals of the small sided games and semi-finals of the 11-aside. I have been appointed to the Final of the small sided Bristol vs Football Academy Poland. Before the final I am Referee and AR for 3×11-aside games throughout the day including Liverpool and Lisbon.

Saturday: Just the one game today but it is an important one. I am part of the referee team appointed to the Reading vs Tokyo final. Kevin is in the middle, Remco is AR1, I am AR2 and Ben is 4th Official. An early handball from Tokyo results in a penalty and its 1-0 to Reading. Late in the first half a brilliant timed run by Tokyo striker and he is able to slot the ball beyond the keeper. Reading take the lead 10 mins in to the 2nd half only for the Tokyo team to hit a cracker from outside the penalty area into the top corner. Penalties and I am at the corner of the goal area. The penalties are taken brilliantly until the Reading no.6 unexpectedly puts the ball over the bar and Tokyo win. Referees are presented with one of the Iber Cup Match Balls used in the tournament as a token of their gratitude and thanks.

In the afternoon we watch the Liverpool vs Aberdeen game (with Liverpool taking the honours) and then it’s off to the old town of Ebsjerg for some sightseeing and a meal to finish off the week. Cycling around town was a nice way to loosen off the legs after a great tournament week. – Tom