David Roome, development underwriter at NMU Glasgow, officiates as football assistant referee
How did your interest in being a football referee start?
After 25 years of playing football and on the slide from peak power, the switch gave me the platform to remain involved in the beautiful game for hopefully another 20 or so years at a good level and retaining a level of continued fitness.
How did you build up your skills?
I enrolled in a 12-week course for learning and application of the laws of the game and once certified, the refereeing pathway started from low-level junior games and building up game experience, pushing forward to higher level football.
What is the experience like?
You regularly feel the full spectrum of emotion and over the course of a season, anything can happen. At the top end, it’s a very pressurised arena with intense media scrutiny. When a big game goes well, you have that high. But if an error is made, you feel the depths of despair. There is no better feeling though than standing in the centre circle with a packed-out stadium at the start of a game.
What has been the highlight so far?
Officiating at the Scottish Cup Final at the national stadium: Celtic vs Motherwell at Hampden Park in May 2018. For domestic football, there is no bigger game.
How has refereeing changed you?
Dealing with the change of being on a football pitch as a player in the heat of battle, full of adrenalin, to now having to be the calming influence, trains the mind to be able to cope with pressure in a much more programmed and manageable way.
Any crossover between this activity and your insurance day job?
There is a crossover in terms of managing relationships and teamwork. In my development underwriter role, I’m on the road a lot throughout our broker network. Nine times out of 10 in a meeting, the topic of football arises. Also, as you get appointed to games at short notice, my brokers are very understanding if I suddenly need to rearrange meetings when I get called up. Fortunately, NMU encourages sporting activity and exercise, allowing me the flexibility for time away from the office to officiate matches.
What’s your next challenge?
Having being promoted to FIFA development in June, the challenge is to pass through the development process to be appointed to Champions and Europa League games on the world stage in the future.
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