New Years Message from Association Management and President & 2021 Highlights

Well we made it… who thought after 2020 that 2021 could hold even more in store for us. What has been another unpredictable year with football having to stop right at the beginning of the year, we did finally see a return to games and also to spectators in attendance. Even through it all it has been another fantastic year for EDRA officials. Below is an end of year message from our Association Management team and also our President George Calder. Throughout today we have been sharing our 2021 highlights across social media, however they have also been rounded up together at the bottom of this post. Wishing our members and their families a healthy, happy and safe 2022.

George Calder, President
With 2021 coming to an end, it’s certainly been a year to remember. I want to extend my thanks to all members for your continued efforts and contribution to the association throughout the year. I sincerely hope you and your families have a fantastic Hogmanay and a very prosperous 2022.

Martin Clark & Mark Doyle, Association Manager/Assistant Association Manager
A whirlwind year has passed with once again the pandemic occupying our minds. A virtual shutdown at the start of the year eventually saw the majority of us returning to training and referee activities, lets hope that despite the ever increasing threat of omicron that the advances made in vaccine protection and testing will allow us to
continue at the start of the year.

Despite the challenges the Association finds itself in good health. The activity of the Referee Instruction Team, superbly led by Danny Graves has seen not only our numbers increase but the syllabus streamlined and the course more interactive than ever.

Our Development Team have also returned to support our development referees at all levels. Their guidance and experience I am sure has been gratefully received and certainly the feedback on our development referees performances is extremely promising for the years to come. Next year we shall have more practical sessions and thanks to Michael Banks for his support and enthusiasm that he brought to planning these events.

Training is a key activity for the association and I would encourage anybody who has not attended this year to please set this as a new year’s resolution. You will be warmly welcomed along to the ORIAM no matter what stage you are at in your referee career. It therefore is only right to say a huge thanks to Jimmy and Lee who lead us week in week out as well to Olma for her support as well. It would also be remiss not to say thank you to Nicole Palmer who after a number of years as the Association’s physio stepped down from her role.

In regards to meetings unfortunately these have remained online through the Zoom functionality, we do hope to return to in person meetings in 2022 but will be led by government/ORIAM guidance on numbers. If you are yet to attend one of our meetings can we encourage you to attend, the coaching slot which is the main part of these meetings is invaluable for all officials development.

I would like to thank the Management Committee for all of their work and support throughout the year under the leadership of George and Vikki our President and Vice President who have guided us in the most challenging of circumstances.

The Association is however only as strong as its members and therefore it is to each and every one of you that I would like to thank, not only for your perseverance throughout the pandemic but the professionalism and dedication that you have shown since the return to football many of whom who returned to refereeing after a protracted period of time. The shouts may be the same but without you football at all levels in our area simply could not take place.

I therefore wish you all the best for the year ahead and as the games come thick and fast as the season progresses I hope that the goals, ambitions and targets you set will be realised

Happy New Year

2021 Highlights Roundup:
An hour with George – 355km in 24 hours and £2500 for Blood Bikes Scotland
A 24 hour challenge created by Calum Doyle started at 4pm on 15th June which is when former Honorary President George Smith’s World Cup match at Italia 90 began! This was in memory of our Honorary President and raised over £2500 for Blood Bikes Scotland with members cover 355km in 24 hours!

In November some of our Development Referees took part in Movember. While there was definitely some criminal looking moustaches, what they raised for charity definitely wasn’t! Well done to all who raised a fantastic £400!

Annual Quiz
It was great to see our annual quiz return in 2021 after COVID obviously stopped this in 2020. It was an amazing turnout as always, congratulations to Team Duncan who won on the night. We will confirm the final amount raised in early 2022 as we plan to present Scotlands Children’s Charity with the cheque.

Gavin Ross Retirement
Gavin Ross who had been on the Senior List since 2008 and Cat 1 since 2014 retired at the end of the 20/21 season. In October we presented Gavin with a token from the Association to mark his retirement. We thank Gavin for his service while on the list, however look forward to continuing to work with him through coaching our development officials.

Calum Murray Observer
In 2021 Calum Murray was appointed as an UEFA Observer. He received his first of many appointments we are sure in October to an U19 tournament in Czech Republic.

International Appointments – Gavin Duncan, David Doig & Vikki Allan
We are very fortunate that three of our officials received international appointments over the course of 2021! These were at European Conference League, UEFA U21, Women’s Champions League and Women’s World Cup Qualifiers. Congratulations to Gavin Duncan, David Doig and Vikki Allan again.

UEFA CORE is a programme where potential European international referees are given early experience and training at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon. We are very excited to confirm that Craig Ferguson has been selected as an AR candidate for next years cohort. We wish Craig the best of luck during this course.

Return of Futsal in September after COVID stopped in March 2020
After what we are all aware happened in 2020, we finally saw the return of Futsal in September 2021 after having to stop in March 2020. It was great to see our Futsal Officials return to action! Did you know that any qualified SFA Referee can take part in a short course which would add a Futsal Qualification to your records? If you are interested get in touch and we will look to run a conversion course in 2021.

Two classes on Zoom
This year we had two fantastic Referee Classes which were very well attended. The first was back in February over Zoom and the second in August which was attended in person as restrictions eased. We had an amazing 50 new referees pass the course and can’t wait to see where their refereeing journey takes them. Our next class will begin on 6th February, should you be interested please see the following link to register interest –

Regional Training Days EDRA members attended
In May and November the Scottish FA held their Regional Training Days via Zoom. It was great to see so many EDRA members in attendance in which we had 105 online across the two sessions.

Lockdown Training Challenges from Jimmy
As we went into another lockdown in 2021, training obviously had to go back online. Our trainer Jimmy and President George Calder created online challenges for our members to keep fit over the lockdown. It was great for members to send in some clips and share these across our channels!

Observer Appointments at League Cup Semi Final and Final
For the 20/21 League Cup we were very fortunate to have Mark Doyle appointed as AR Observer to the Semi Final and Stewart Shearer as AR Observer in the Final.

We were delighted to have had a number of promotions during 2021, well done to all below:
Stewart Luke-Cat1
George Calder & Iain Snedden-Cat 1D
Daniel Graves & Ryan Lee  – Cat 2
Mikey Dixon, Abdul Ezz, Lewis Hogarth, Steven King, Jack Leslie, Ewan Pow and Andrew Simmonds – Cat 4D

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