Referees have one of the toughest jobs there is in the beautiful game – and it’s no different at the Galway Cup this week.
As well as having to deal with 22 players on the field of play at once, they also have to manage the lofty expectations and strong opinions from a number of interested parties on the side lines.
Anyone from parents to grandparents, to coaches and physios – each havE seen something different from the exact same incident.
Andy Hall is just one of 24 referees who will oversee proceedings over the course of the week and was delighted to be invited back after his debut at the tournament last year.
All of the referees involved throughout the week are here in a refereeing capacity by invitation-only and, having made his debut in the middle last year, had no hesitation when this year’s invite arrived in the post.
“This is my second year here and to be invited back for a second year is fantastic for me,” Hall told extratime.ie.
“It’s a great experience for referees as well as the teams involved, as there are teams involved from all over the country as well as from abroad.
“The teams from the US and the UK all bring different styles of play and it’s great to experience these different styles and cultures as a referee.
Hall played the game himself at a semi-professional level for over 20 years in the UK and only decided to become a referee when he hung up his boots as a player and took over in the middle.
“Before I moved over to Ireland I was a player in England at a semi-professional level.
“After hanging up my boots as a player, I decided to do a bit of refereeing, mainly to keep fit, and it took off from there.”