Top whistler Brendan on standby for top job at FAI Junior Cup decider
Ardee whistler Brendan Gillespie has been named as the reserve referee for this weekend's FAI Junior Cup final at the Aviva Stadium between Pike Rovers and North End United.
It comes after 18 months of continual assessment and will be one of the career highlights for Brendan, who has enjoyed his fair share of big games in the past. Those have included taking charge of an Ireland v Northern Ireland international plus top Leinster and local ties, and just two weeks ago, the FAI Women's U18 Inter-League Cup Final in Monaghan.
Officiating for the past 15 years, Brendan says he's delighted with the opportunity to be part of the big day. He revealed that he'll approach the occasion in his usual way, as if he's refereeing the game. 'It's like a player, you never know when you'll be needed, so you have to prepare as normal.'
Brendan says he has met a lot of people down the years through refereeing and would recommend it for any young people. 'The key to being a good referee, I feel, is to be yourself. If you treat the players with respect, you'll hope to get that back. It's about man management but if a 'good yellow card' is needed to help a situation, then that's ok.'
He says there are a lot of options for referees now and they can move on to the League of Ireland and FIFA standard. In terms of the 'referee bashing' that sometimes goes on from managers and players during a game, he says that has improved greatly down the years. 'Look, it's human nature, you just get on with it,' he remarked.