Stirlingshire Referees appointed to Scottish Welfare Cup Final

Congratulations to another 4 Stirlingshire Referees who have been appointed to a National Cup Final on Saturday 5 May.

The Donald McNair Scottish Cup Final, held by the Scottish Welfare Football Association will be played between Royalle Madrid and Montrose Golfy Thistle at Indodrill Stadium, Alloa at 3pm.

The referee team appointed to the game:

Referee: Tom Cavanagh

Assistant Referees: Fraser McKay & Mark Keye

4th Official: Alan Lansdowne


Well done to them all on these appointments and we hope the game goes well for you all.


Team of 4 Stirlingshire Officials appointed to SSFA Senior Shield

Congratulations to 4 Stirlingshire referees who have been appointed to this game – the Scottish Schools FA Senior Boys Shield.

Referee: Paul Taylor
Assistant Referees: Graeme Heeps & Ross Donaldson
4th Official: Fraser Mackay

The game will be played at Hampden Park on Friday 4th May with a 7pm kick off between St Ninians HS and Cathkin HS.

We wish all the officials good luck for the match!

Alastair Grieve appointed to Glasgow Cup Final

Alastair Grieve has been appointed to referee the 2018 Glasgow Cup Final, to be played between Celtic and Rangers.

This competition features the under 17 teams from the Glasgow based clubs and will be played at Firhill.

The match will be shown live on STV2 at 6.30pm on Monday 30 April and will be Alastair’s first live TV appearance.

Congratulations to Alastair on this appointment and we wish him and the other officials all the best for the game.


Francisco officiates at BUCS Futsal Finals

Francisco Fardilha recently officiated at the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Futsal Finals which were held at St Georges Park, Burton upon Trent.

This was an excellent appointment for Francisco and recognises his experience involved in Futsal.











Francisco also recently wrote a blog piece about his experiences:


A Portuguese referee abroad

When two years ago I came to Scotland to undertake a MSc in Sports Coaching at the University of Stirling, I could not imagine I would be writing these lines. I had no football refereeing experience, and had spent the previous 11 years of my life coaching and refereeing futsal, a very popular sport in Southern Europe, South America, and Asia.

During my first year in Stirling, I was the Head Coach for the University of Stirling’s Futsal Club, being responsible for managing both Men’s and Women’s teams. Despite a very successful season, the time and energy requirements of my activity as a coach – which included planning and delivering coaching sessions, reviewing matches, and training recordings, as well frequent overnight stays in England for away matches, booking facilities, etc. – started having a negative impact on my studies.  So, when applying for a PhD in Sports Studies, I have decided to stop coaching and took up a football refereeing course for personal enrichment.

The course was very informative, and I liked the professionalism and enthusiasm of the lecturers – Stephen Finnie, Craig Charleston, Alastair Grieve and Colin Drummond. So, when it ended, there was no other option but to ‘give it a try’.

From the nervousness of the first match – especially due to being on my own having to judge offside offences – I slowly started to gain confidence and to enjoy my role as a referee. In comparison to Portugal, the pitches in which youth football is played in Scotland have less conditions and much less spectators, but players and coaches’ behaviour is in general better.

Being a researcher in Sports Coaching and having been a coach myself, I try to show empathy to coaches and players, explaining my decisions clearly when that does not interfere with match fluidity and fair-play. I have found that Scottish people are very passionate about football but overall fair in the way they discuss the Game, even if it means sometimes making harsh self-judgements.

This first year has not been without mistakes. The silliest one (that I have noticed) was in an U13’s match: just a few minutes after starting the 2nd half, the ball is played from a corner kick into the penalty area. A defender involuntarily blocks his own goalkeeper in the goal area and when the attacker is ready to tap the ball into the goal, I blow the whistle to give a foul in favour of the defending team. It did not take me a second to understand my brain had tricked me but thankfully both players and managers were understanding.

One of the things that has struck me the most so far is the existence of a meritocratic environment. From the beginning I was told that if I trained hard, attended the weekly sessions, meetings and kept developing my technical skills, I would be given the opportunity to progress. This has meant that over the past few months, having tried to ‘tick’ all those ‘boxes’, I have been fortunate to train alongside former international officials, and current and future category 1 referees (we have some in the making!). I have also been given the opportunity to take part in Club Academy Scotland matches, to be an assistant in Women’s Premier League matches and most recently to referee BUCS matches.

This week I had my first match with assistants and despite the combination of joy and anxiety, it made me understand that I am still at the beginning of the journey. There is still a lot to learn and it goes way beyond the book of the Laws of the Game or the fitness tests. It is fundamental to invest in becoming familiar with the context and culture of players and coaches and to learn from more experienced colleagues the ‘tricks of the trade’ – e.g. managing own and others’ emotions while in situations of stress.

Having a lot to learn is humbling but at the same time makes me very enthusiastic. I do not yet know where I am aiming at, but wherever my refereeing career goes, I can only be grateful that I am part of Stirlingshire RA and feel so welcome in Scotland.

Francisco Fardilha

Regional Training Day – Sunday 20 May 2018

The latest Regional Training Day is being held on Sunday 20 May 2018 at the Oriam in Edinburgh. Please contact Brian McGarry (Association Manager) if you are interested in attending.


See letter of invite below:


Regional Training Day : Sunday 20th May 2018 Oriam & Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, EI-114 4AS
The 2018 Regional Training Day is being held at Oriam and Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh on Sunday 20th May 2018 and is open to anyone in Categories 4, 4 Dev, 5, 6 and 7.

The events both in May and November last year were very successful in terms of attendance and feedback was also very positive. Once again, there will be some practical outdoor demonstrations to enhance your decisions making. It would be helpful if you would bring along your flags, cards and a whistle. Where possible, football boots are the favoured attire for the practical sessions. The course as in previous years will give you the opportunity to receive instruction and coaching from some of our top match officials and assist your development as a referee. The content of the course will be varied, incorporating all aspects of refereeing with advice of the highest quality.

Regional Training Days such as this will focus on your needs at the level of the game at which you officiate.
The day will begin outdoors at 1000 am and should conclude around 3.30 pm.

In order to reserve a place at the Regional training day you should contact your Referee Association Manager by e-mail.

Any other queries, do not hesitate to contact where someone will get back to you. We look forward to seeing you on 20th May.

Yours sincerely

John Fleming

Head of Referee Operations

2018 Annual Dinner @ The Plough Hotel

Saturday 17 March saw Stirlingshire Referees Association hold their annual dinner and speakers night at the Plough Hotel in Stenhousemuir.

The speakers this year were the excellent Alan Rough and Paul Reid who entertained a sold out crowd of 120 guests on the evening.

A number of awards were also presented to members to recognise their acheivements throughout the previous year. All our awards this year were presented by Drew Herbertson from the Scottish FA.

Tom Cavanagh was presented with an award for refereeing in a Scottish Schools National Cup final:









Craig Macrae was awarded the Ian Wales Trophy for his efforts at training:









Steven Craven was presented with the Arthur MacDonald Trophy for his outstanding service to the Association over the past year:









Georgia Boulstridge was awarded the Ewan Mathieson Trophy which recognises her contribution to refereeing at amateur/juvenile level:









A special award was also presented to Stephen Finnie who will retire as a Category 1 referee at the end of this season, after 14 years service at that level:









The Association would like to thank all members and their guests for attending on the night and for contributing to the raffle and prize games.

We would also like to thank the Plough Hotel for providing the venue.




Futsal Referees Training Day

There will be a Futsal Referees Training Day At Oriam on Sunday 3rd December.
The training day will begin at 11am.
The agenda will be 11am – 12noon – Training Class Instruction
12noon – 1pm – Lunch
1pm – Attendance at Home Internationals

If you are wishing to attend please intimate your attendance to and to Wes, to allow him to track the Stirlingshire members planning to attend.

New Entrants complete their first games

Well done to a number of our new entrants who have completed their first games since passing their exam recently.

Thanks go to Archie Riddell for co-ordinating this process and to the mentors for giving up their time to support the new referees in their first games.

We now look forward to seeing these new referees develop and continue to enjoy their experience as a referee.


Pictures below are of Scott Ballantyne and Ryan Kellock who both completed their first games on 18/11/17.

Regional Training Day – Sunday 12 November

The second Regional Training Day of 2017 is being held at Stirling University, FK9 4LA on Sunday 12th November 2017 and is open to anyone in Categories 3 Dev, 4, 4 Dev, 5, 6 and 7.

After the resounding success of our Training day earlier this year, there will again be some practical outdoor demonstrations to enhance your decision making. It would be helpful if you would bring along your flags, cards and a whistle. As these sessions will be on grass please bring appropriate footwear. The course will give you the opportunity to receive instruction and coaching from some of our top match officials and assist your development as a referee. The content of the course will be varied, incorporating all aspects of refereeing with advice of the highest quality.

Regional Training Days such as this will focus on your needs at the level of the game at which you officiate. This year will be no exception.

The day will begin outdoors at 10.00 am and should conclude around 3.30 pm.


To register your interest in attending this training day you should contact Wes (

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