- About PRO
By Rachel Smith and Reyna Fonseca, in Scotland
Day One (08/05/2015):
We have safely arrived in Glasgow, Scotland! Everyone has been exceptionally helpful and friendly.
After a nap and lunch, we joined the Glaswegian referees for a training session, which was a great way to get our legs moving after long plane rides. Several of the referees remembered our American colleagues and asked about them – you are missed, Katja, Amanda, Danielle, and Adrienne!
Following the training session, we attended a pre-tournament meeting with the other Glasgow City Cup referees, mentors, administrators, and PRO’s Sandra Serafini.
We are excited for the tournament to start on Friday and thankful for the opportunity to be here!
Day Two (08/06/2015):
On our second day in Scotland, Rachel worked a game as an assistant referee for the Under-18s Scottish women’s national team at the Toryglen Regional Football Centre. Her other two crew members were Scottish referees, Fabrice and Connor.
Our homestay host, Paul, was kind enough to lend her his Scottish kit (no, not kilt) so that she would match the rest of the officiating crew. The game was a selection match for the Under-18s national team and was a good opportunity to practice sound mechanics.
After the game, we headed out to an Italian dinner with our hosts, Paul and wife Elaine, Sandra Serafini, and Papa Tony. Our homestay has been an interesting look into daily life in Scotland and our hosts have gone out of their way to make us feel at home.
Day Three (08/07/2015):
Today was the start of games in the Glasgow City Cup tournament! The tournament is a youth event for boys teams between U13 and U19. There are several coaches, or referee mentors, at the tournament to watch matches and provide feedback.
We worked with a fellow female referee, Jemma, on our first game of the day. It was interesting to talk with her about some of the differences and similarities between officiating in the U.S. and Scotland.
The rest of the day, Rachel worked two more matches as an assistant referee while Reyna ran two more matches as the referee. Unlike most matches in the U.S., coaches, spectators, and substitutes are not always accustomed to having assistant referees and often creep onto the field, presenting some new challenges to manage.
After our first full day of games, our hosts drove us to the countryside to explore the area. We arrived at the small, quaint town of Luss on Loch Lomond. The views of the lake and mountains were breathtaking! Some local boys were even brave enough to jump in the cold water. After a walk along the beach, we headed home. Our hosts prepared a traditional Scottish dinner for us, including haggis-stuffed chicken wrapped in prosciutto. What a treat.
Day Four (08/08/2015):
Rachel was very excited for the opportunity to work a Juniors match as the senior assistant referee today. In Scotland, Juniors League is a men’s semi-professional league. The crosstown rivalry game between Blantyre and Cambuslang was part of an ongoing tournament competition for the Scottish Cup, the world’s oldest football trophy. The game was a hard-fought battle and several incidents of misconduct had to be dealt with. Mentors Derek Rose and Sandra Serafini came to watch the game at Castle Park and gave valuable feedback afterwards. What an exciting match to be a part of!
Day Five (08/09/2015):
Unfortunately, today was the last day of the Glasgow City Cup tournament. Rachel and Reyna each worked three semifinal/final matches, and even got to work the last match of the day together again.
Jon Fleming, the Scottish FA’s head of referee operations, came out to the King George V playing fields today and we were fortunate for the opportunity to speak with him briefly.
After a glorious visit to Scotland, we had to say farewell to our new friends – fellow referees, mentors, administrators, and hosts. We are very grateful for their feedback, kindness, and generosity throughout the weekend. Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible, it was an unforgettable experience!