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Appeal for new refs

THE SHETLAND Football Partnership has issued a call for more volunteers to step forward to increase the number of qualified referees in the islands.

A three-hour category 8 referees awareness workshop will take place next Thursday (25 June) from 6-9pm to train participant in the basic rules of the game, completion of which will allow them to referee junior matches.

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The free course will be delivered by the Scottish Football Association at Islesburgh Community Centre. It is aimed at those interested in getting involved in supervising junior matches and refereeing in the future.

Shetland Football Partnership secretary Michael Duncan said there was “an urgent need to bring in new people to supervise games and support existing referees”.

Between senior, junior and juvenile football, Duncan said there were around 400 fixtures each season and currently only 19 referees in Shetland.

“We are actively seeking to recruit and develop new referees to fulfill future fixtures and I’d urge anyone with an interest to get in touch,” he said.

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“We’re wanting guys to come forward and offer some time – whether it’s two games a season or 20 games a season – we do need to build a pool of refs.

“We’re looking at clubs, players that’s retired, parents watching on the sidelines – we could do with some new blood.”

Duncan said the Shetland Football Partnership – made up of the isles’ various footballing associations and referees group – wanted to “avert the danger of a shortage in future years”.

He said those who take part in the course – to be run by experienced local referee Steven Goodlad – could then get involved with youth fixtures initially. That could free up more seasoned referees to concentrate on senior fixtures.

A more advanced referees course may then be staged in 2016 for anyone interested in qualifying to take charge of senior matches, for which referees are paid a match fee of around £30.

SIC sports development officer Clark Denby said: “This workshop is both a positive and vital step forward for local referee development for junior and adult players. We expect a strong turnout so please make sure you book early.”

  • Anyone interested in attending the refree course should contact: Shetland Islands Council’s sport and leisure department on (01595) 744006 or sportandleisure@shetland.gov.uk
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