A Cork soccer resource. This is an archive of mini club histories that I have published over the years. To find your club, check the label list on the left side or else use the "search the blog" box above. If you spot any errors (esp. in dates) contact

Sunday, October 4, 2009



There were some honest straight talking exchanges at the specially arranged between the AUL U18 and U17 managers and the Referees Inspectors and Society members which took place at the Imperial Hotel last week; the use of foul language by players, the attitude of managers and selectors, allegations of victimisation of reporting clubs, and inconsistency on the referees' part, turned out to be the main topics.

Willie Long, chairman of the local branch of the Irish Soccer Referees Society, was delighted with the chance to talk to the managers: "We do try to get consistency. There is constant coaching on the laws of the games at our fourteen meetings every season; we use videos on the laws and also on first aid; self-correct papers are regularly handed out with questions and multi-choice answers".

"There is a major commitment on the referee's part. Our society helps them prepare match reports, instructs them in how to address players, and also organises testing training sessions at the Mardyke. Those who attend these sessions are encouraged, they get the better games."

Ballincollig manager Denis Campion and Everton manager Noel O'Sullivan both pointed to inconsistency as a major problem. O'Sullivan mentioned an example last season where one of his youth players was drafted in for an intermediate cup game where the use of foul language was not punished while the same offence was being severely punished at youth level even to the point where it was being given more attention than the basic laws.

Bad language was also being used by the odd referee from time to time and Rockmount manager James Corcoran was a recent victim: "Had it been one of my players, I would have taken him off." Corcoran's policy may well be one to adopt at schoolboy level according to Senior Referees inspector Pat Kelly: "Problems are starting at a younger age and good habits at schoolboy level could be a big help later on".

Frank Casey had these words of advice: "Make sure everything is right before the game. Don't draw the ref on you. Make sure shinguards are in place and that socks are tied and so on. Let us work together".

Some clubs were frustrated because they felt there was little they could do about their grievances with a referee. The answer came loud and clear from both the referees and the league management and it was report, report, report.

"But if we report, we will be victimised", was the reply. "Not so", assured Willie Long, "No club is victimised. The match will be reffed as it is on the day, not with reference to the club's previous history. If we come across anything like that, if a referee intentionally robs a team, that referee will be shifted. I am genuine when I say no club will be victimised".

His comments were echoed by branch secretary Christy Byrne who encouraged clubs to report instances of misconduct on a referee's part to the league. "There may even be some benefit in reporting mis-applications of the laws by a referee, you could well be doing him a favour in the long run." If the reports don't come, the league won't know about it, the society won't know about it, and the mistakes, deliberate or otherwise, will continue unabated. So report and break the circle.

At the end of the lively discussion, most present could go along with one of Pat Kelly's closing comments: "We all have a function in football - co-operation is the way to go".

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