SFA Referees Edinburgh & District
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Dear Member,

I firstly congratulate all the members who have progressed up the "refereeing ladder" and wish you all the very best in the coming season. It is an often a repeated phrase but it's worth saying again that with every promotion comes further expectation, and I would urge all members to ask themselves how they intend to raise the bar even further over the coming months. 
 
Make no mistake the competition at the top end of refereeing is intense and you can guarantee that the very night that you decide to "rest up" or have that McDonalds they'll be someone else in your category out at the gym or sticking to their dietary plan. It's a fine line that decides which referee progresses to the next level but control what you can control and try to influence what can't.
 
 

Annual Dinner
Scott Millar
It is also worth recognising that there will be a number of referees who didn't progress to the level that they wished to attain. I sincerely hope that the few weeks left of the summer will give you the time to re-energise and come back stronger for pre-season. 
 
To members at every level who officiated at end of season cup finals I offer my sincere congratulations. However it would be remiss of me not to single out, and personally congratulate, Crawford Allan on his appointment to the Scottish Cup final, a hugely deserved reward for a great, and popular, member of our Association. 
 
I know that that this time of year for Martin and Ian can be both bitter and sweet as they deal with the disappointments and the delight of referees who have or haven’t met their own goals. But we should all recognise that they carry out their duties without fear nor favour and do the utmost for our Association. I'd like to record my thanks for their efforts over the last 12 months and look forward to their continued support. 
 
To Mark Doyle and the Development Team, I am going to keep this very brief but every referee in the EDRA owes you all a debt of gratitude. I hope that you are rewarded in some way by seeing members that came into your class, some only a few years ago, now officiating at the top of the game in Scotland. You are all the lifeblood of our Association and I encourage you to keep up the great work. 
 
Although I've started this message talking about those on the senior list, that's only a small percentage of our membership and I recognise that we need to engage further with all levels of refereeing in the EDRA. I was reminded of this when I recently watched a high profile youth game which was attended by a crowd that would put the larger Junior clubs to shame. There were no assistant referees, no barriers to prevent the spectators from encroaching into the field of play and even though the referee had an excellent game there was no hiding place from the frustrations of several over excited parents. 
 
I took on board the comment from the referee afterwards who felt that the monthly meetings weren't geared to support referees at this level. To that point I'd like to think that the EDRA has always had a progressive view and I would urge members to contact me directly with their thoughts on how we can tailor meetings to their needs.  
 
To further expand on my last update my personal view is that every minute, that members give up to attend a monthly meeting, should be geared to making them a better referee. 
 
It's a monthly training slot, we shouldn't give up half of that precious time talking about the business of the Association. There will always be transparency in the minutes issued and I trust my Council to carry out their duties in the best interests of the Association. We welcome feedback, via the secretary, and won't shy away from our constitutional responsibilities but I would like to progress further the "as per council minutes" routine that was introduced in recent years. 
 
To that end I will be asking Council and the Scottish FA how we can add to the existing coaching material and will look at extending invitations for guest speakers to attend. 
 
The end of season also saw Calum Murray and Paul Reid stepping down from the senior list. If I turn to Paul in the first instance I am sure that the senior list will not be a better place without him on it. A dedicated and excellent referee, hugely respected and a great mentor to many, not only in the EDRA but across Scotland. I’m sure that Paul still has a lot to offer the EDRA though and look forward to working with him over the term of my presidency. 
 
Calum Murray will rightly be regarded as not only one of the best referees that the EDRA has produced, but one of the finest in Scotland. It's sometimes easy to write such an accolade in isolation but I'm confident that his name would be the first on the lips of many supporters, players and coaching staff across Scotland as the referee that they all hope to get when the fixtures are announced each Tuesday. Never one to court controversy but also brave when it mattered. Without further embarrassing him I’ve never heard a bad word said against him and he is a true gentleman in every sense of the word….Although I do hear that he hosts annual "Eurovision Song Contest" parties which he almost managed to keep quiet right to the end. 

I'm sure that Calum will help promote refereeing within the EDRA in the years to come but firstly I hope he enjoys his richly deserved retirement from the senior list. 
 
I was going to end by reminding members about the importance of looking after your fitness over the summer but I feel that is now a "given" for everyone aspiring to reach the top.  
 
I trust that all members enjoy their break (albeit with women's football the season never ends) and look forward to seeing you all back for training and the monthly coaching slots in due course. 
 
Best regards  
 
Scott Millar