Latics Vs Birmingham - Meet The Ref
Its that time of the week again, lets start to look forward to the weekend and we have another big game on Saturday when Alex McLeish brings his Birmingham City side up the M6 to Wigan.
The Latics Vs Brum game is set to be refereed by Bristol born official Lee Probert who has been a Premier League ref since 2007, so far this season Probert has been in charge of six Premier League games taking in Birmingham twice and the Latics once in the away defeat at Everton.
The 37 year old was the 4th official in the Manchester United Vs Arsenal game earlier this season when in the 90th minute he attracted the attention of the match referee had words and stood back as Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger was sent to the stands.
Arsenal appeared to score a late, late equaliser only for the assistants flag to be raised for a correct offside decision and disallow the goal, obviously frustrated Wenger turned around and kicked a water bottle that was in the technical area, passionate yes, confrontational and dangerous no.
Probert stepped in and Wenger was banished for the final 25 seconds of the game to the stands.
Lets up no one gets banished to the stands or from the field of play on Saturday.
As per usual in our meet the ref we have a recent interview with Lee Probert taken from RefWorld.com for you to enjoy:
How did you get introduced into refereeing?
My interest in football began at an early age due to my father managing several amateur local football teams. I was encouraged by him to take the referee`s exam at the age of 16 when I realised that I would not achieve my dream of becoming a professional footballer.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My refereeing career of almost 20 years has seen me progress through local leagues, contributory and football league and the ultimate highlight of my career so far was gaining a full time position as a Select Group Referee in 2007/2008 season.
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
To date the most memorable game I have officiated would be the Carling Cup Final 2006/2007 season at the Millennium Stadium between Arsenal and Chelsea. To be involved in such a prestigious final was an acknowledgement of all the hard work and dedication that is required.
What are your aims as a Select Group Referee?
My aim initially is to gain the experience required to establish myself as a respected and competent referee within the Select Group list and also to attain a position on the FIFA list of referees.
What skills do you think you need to become a professional referee?
There are many skills required to become a professional referee, to be confident and possess a calm approach when making decisions, having assertiveness, resilience and patience but most importantly having sound knowledge of the rules of the game, man-management and communication skills.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career and why?
The constant support and guidance of my parents throughout my career perhaps has been the biggest influence by far, although along the way I have had the pleasure of working alongside experienced coaches who have assisted the development of my career.
In your opinion who is/was the best referee?
In my opinion the best referee of his time was Jack Taylor who has been the only English referee to take charge of a World Cup Final in 1974.
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Closing date is Friday 4th December 5pm
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