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Season 2013 / 2014
February Meeting - Sam Purkiss
On a dank and dreary February evening we were delighted to welcome Sam Purkiss as our guest speaker, to brighten our outlook.
Sam only qualified in 2004, entering senior football at the age of 16. He was promoted to level 4 in 2008, joining the Spartan South Midlands League and is now in his third year as a level 3. His first season at that level saw him lining on the Conference South, the following season he progressed to the Conference Premier line and is now in his first season on the Football League. By coincidence his mentor was last month's guest speaker Jarnail Singh.
Sam's interactive session covered a number of topics. In particular he explored what constitutes success and how do we achieve it.
It was clear from talking to attendees that success means different things to different people, with members looking to progress in different fields, including administration and assessing as well as refereeing and lining. As Sam noted there was a considerable degree of success demonstrated by members in the room.
How do we achieve success?
As referees we spend a great deal of time criticising ourselves and not recognising what we do well. We need to improve that balance.
Key things that will help lead to success are:
1. Commitment both on and off the field
2. High-quality administration
3. Excellent communication again, both on and off the field
4. Self-analysis that leads to change - complete any self-assessment before you read what a mentor or an assessor might have said about your performance
5. Take opportunities when they are given to you
6. Be honest - with yourself, colleagues, assessors and players alike
7. Learn how to sell your decisions
8. Remember you are not on your own - you have many "friends in football", including colleagues, mentors, coaches and your referees' society. They are all there to help you succeed.
One important piece of advice Sam once received was that "managing" a game does not mean not cautioning or sending-off; it means taking the right action.
By way of illustrating points six and eight, Sam recounted his experience refereeing the infamous Wingate v Thurrock Ryman League game which he had to abandon following disciplinary action which resulted in the home side being reduced to fewer than the minimum number of players. He was honest in his assessment of the game and its impact on him, and about how his "friends in football" helped him through the aftermath.
This was a thought-provoking presentation, much appreciated by all those present.
By Graeme Thorley
December Quiz - Andy Taylor and Chris Hartley
The Christmas Social presented the opportunity to members steal the quiz trophy from last year's winners; Paul Hale, Dave Kostis and Liam Walshe. Energy was spurring at Rayners Lane as members were seated into their teams thriving of the complimentary drink.
The first half of the quiz was split into three rounds; Advantage, Use your LOAF and Pictures connected to Football. Come the break for the Christmas Buffet, it was 'The Committee' (John Fowler, David Roberts and Steve Williams) who had taken the lead playing their joker card to good effect in the 'Use your LOAF' round.
The second half included three further rounds; Who or what are we, Sound tracks tot he sport and Oh what a year 2013. With the 'Blind Bats' dominating the picture round, it was their turn to take the lead. With the possibility of three new winners to the quiz, a late challenge from 'Got any Quo' was mounted as Walshee looked to cling on hope of retaining the trophy.
However, this was not enough and the 'Blind Bats' went on to win by 8 points to lift the trophy on a entertaining evening. Well done to the three 'Blind Bats'; Doug Douglas, Michael Berchie and Andrew Hickman.
A big thank you to our Quiz Masters, Andy Taylor and Chris Hartley on behalf of everyone who attended. Yet again, an excellent quiz finely put together!
Our next meeting in January welcomes former Football League Referee, Jarnail Singh. Now a Football League Assessor and a mentor to a group of level 3 referees, it is sure that Jarnail will provide some interesting stories from his involvement in the game. It would be great to see as many members turn out as possible to welcome our guest speaker.
By Andy Williams
Meeting News - September, October & November
Harrow Society's season was kicked off by new Vice-Chairman Steve Williams, bringing discussion to the group about our aims and goals for the season - 'Start as you mean to go on'. Andy Taylor progressed this in October with a session called 'Where are you now?'.
Our latest meeting entitled 'A Question of Law' brought much debate around the room on issues that can occur during a game. Once again the Laws of the Game provided the guidance to settle the opinions of those present.
As an incentive to our members this season, Harrow Society provided a Laws of the Game book to those who attended one of these three evenings.
By Andy Williams