Departing Hills highlights host of bright refereeing prospects

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Departing Suffolk FA Referee Development Officer Colin Hills says there are some ‘tremendous referee prospects’ in the county.

The 58-year-old is leaving after four years to return to work as Referee Development Manager for the Cambridgeshire FA, where he previously spent 10 years in the same role.

Colin, who was born in Ely and still lives there, has just completed 30 years as a 
referee, qualifying in Cambridge in 1985 following a 13-week course where he learned the laws by studying the book.

He was a Football League official for six years and has been a Football League assessor since the 2003-04 season, after having to retire from refereeing due to a ruptured Achilles.

Colin, who joined Suffolk FA in November 2011, said: “I have gained most satisfaction from seeing referees achieve their full potential and enjoying their refereeing.

“It is a great feeling when positive feedback is received from clubs and league officials praising referees.

“There are some tremendous referee prospects here and I will be following their progress with interest, and hope that it is not too long away when Suffolk will again have a Football League Referee.”

Colin, whose refereeing highlights include officiating at FA Cup and Worthington Cup quarter-finals and an Ipswich Town versus Norwich City derby, said he was proud of his achievements at Suffolk FA.

These included the development and introduction of new practical referee course which has since been adopted by The FA, and seeing the course change to include all the ‘tools’ the candidates need to referee a game, working with the South Suffolk Youth League to provide games for brand new referees from the courses, and now seeing the evolution of their referee incentive scheme and helping increase the number of active female referees and seeing the introduction of their own development group.