Footballers can solve Yeovil and District League refereeing crisis
Players themselves can go a long way to solving a refereeing problem that has crippled a local league for seasons, according one of its officials.
More than 550 footballers take to pitches in South Somerset every weekend to compete in the Yeovil and District League’s four divisions. But despite the organisation’s exemplary disciplinary record, referee recruitment continues to be an issue that leaves appointment officials with weekly headaches.
However, the league’s honorary treasurer Paul Murley believes those participating in should consider extending their involvement in the local game beyond their playing days by taking the whistle.
Murley has been a referee for 22 years, playing - and often running the line as a substitute - during his younger days before taking an officiating course and progressing from youth to junior football.
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He said a player’s knowledge of the game as well as fitness brought two obvious benefits to becoming a respected ref.
“Our disciplinary record in the county is probably one of the best, and yet we struggle year after year to recruit referees,” he said. “The key to me, and always has been, is in our own players. In my opinion the best referees are those who have played the game.
“If you love the sport, your playing days are coming to an end or you would like a change then becoming a referee is something to consider.”
New or prospective referees can enter a contract with the Yeovil and District League that will see their course fees reimbursed after a officiating for a full season. The league pay referees a flat rate and travelling expenses. For more information contact league chairman John Shearing on 01935 429384 or email@example.com.