WHO ARE YA? Keith Hackett, Refereeing legend and Professional Game Match Officials Ltd

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1) Who are ya?

Well my name is Keith Hackett. Age 69. Born in Sheffield where the FIRST Football Club was formed and where the Oldest ground in the World at Hallam football Club is in existence.

2) Who do you support?

Born in the North of Sheffield I support Sheffield Wednesday

3) What was your first game?

My first Game took place at Intake School, Cadman Road, Sheffield and featured
Sheffield United Juniors v Hillsborough boys Club

4) What do you do for a job?

I am now retired but my background was Sales and Marketing and I was a Director of several Companies during my career.

I helped to form the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd working initially has Development Manager and then becoming General Manager in 2004.

I introduced innovations such as Sports Science, Prozone Analysis, Sports Psychology, Buzzer Flags, Communication Kits etc to refereeing, and we were the first Group of Sponsored Referees.

I also started the process of getting the Premier League to introduce Goal Line Technology.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I played for a local Junior Club before taking up the whistle.

6) How did you get into it?

As above, I played for a local Junior Club before deciding that I wanted to take up the whistle. I then dedicated myself to learning the Laws of the Game and becoming a Referee.

7) What do you get out of it?

I get a great deal of enjoyment from having been involved in Refereeing and continuing to do so from the sidelines. I have officiated in over thirty five countries. I have increased this to 100 by travelling the World educating and developing referees. I will shortly be launching my fourth ‘YOU ARE THE REF’ Book with Artist Paul Trevillion.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

I would advise any young referee that you get out of the game what you put in. Lots of Training, Discipline with regard to Nutrition. The highest level of integrity. Courage, Commonsense, Consistency and a great knowledge of the Laws of the Game and how to apply them.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

 I would love to do it again with the support that modern referees receive from Sports Science and Psychology.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I refereed at the top level from 1975 – 1995 having had a year before that has a Linesman.
Best, Charlton, Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Platini, Maradonna and many more were players I controlled.
My star player was KENNY DALGLISH….. a 100 percent committed player who had a win mentality.
He was terrific.

Many thanks, Keith.

WHO ARE YA? Andy Jones, FA Get into Football Officer at Salford Community Leisure

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Andy Jones – FA Get into Football Officer at Salford Community Leisure

1) Who are ya?

Andy Jones, age 37, lives Monton, Manchester

2) Who do you support?

Manchester United

3) What was your first game?

It was a long long time ago, so I can’t remember the opposition, but I just remember it was Ron Atkinson’s team, and Ralph Milne had a shocker!!!

4) What do you do for a job?

I currently work for Salford Community Leisure, managing a range of funding projects across a number of different sports. I manage a city-wide football coaching programme called Soccerstars, which has 5 sites and provides grassroots coaching for young players aged 5-11 years.

I previously spent 12 years as a football development officer for Trafford, Manchester City council and then the Manchester FA.

I also coach at a local Junior club, Deans Youth and Ladies, coaching the development centre for 4-6 year olds, plus my sons team, the Under8’s.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Just played my final season for Trafford FC, and I worked for Manchester United at the Carrington training centre every Friday as part of my role with Trafford MBC as MUFC funded the role.

6) How did you get into it?

I worked part time as a Leisure Assistant and a casual coach working in schools at the age of 17 whilst studying leisure management at Salford Uni. From that, I got more experience and got to find out about full time roles.

7) What do you get out of it?

I’ve always enjoyed sports, both watching and competing, so to work in the industry was the ideal job. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some major events such as 2008 Uefa Cup Final, Hyundai World Cup fan parks 2010, and Englands world cup bid 2018

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Be willing to volunteer, or work casual hours to get your foot in the door and build up a good relationship with potential employers. Its more difficult now due to funding cuts within local authorities, but there are still opportunities.

You can build up employment by coaching for a number of different employers. Do coaching badges in a range of sports, and don’t pigeon hole yourself to one sport, as being able to coach a variety of sports makes you more versatile.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I’d try going abroad, probably to the USA to coach on summer camps. I have old friends who did that years ago, and now live out there and have successful careers in coaching football, in the sunshine in LA!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

David Beckham. I’ve been lucky enough to meet him a few times, plus my current favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo – easily the most talented and exciting player I’ve seen play live.

WHO ARE YA? Vicki Galt, DeaFFF NW

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1) Who are ya?

Vicki Galt, 42, Lancaster

2) Who do you support?

Long term – Nottingham Forest – I was born next to the ground! [I used to live a five-minute walk away from it – GM]

Now – Morecambe FC (as I hire the pitch there for our deaf Football Club), and Man Utd as my sons are big fans!

3) What was your first game?

Nottingham Forest v – I can’t remember!

It was in 1986/87 and I went along with the St John’s ambulance. I just remember hoping someone needed first aid on their knees!

4) What do you do for a job?

I used to be a nurse in intensive care but then I had three kids – two of which are deaf.

I’ve set up and run various deaf and special needs groups. I have recently set up one in Lancaster, but I’ve now moved on to voluntarily creating deaf sports groups (especially football) throughout the North West for deaf kids to play competitively alongside their peers – DeaFFF NW.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

No, apart from the deaf sports clubs.

6) How did you get into it?

My eldest came home from grassroots football and said that after a year they still weren’t including him and he still didn’t really know anyone there, despite the club receiving deaf awareness training and support being given! So, I subsequently set up football training for deaf kids in Lancaster and Morecambe.

7) What do you get out of it?

I get the satisfaction of seeing my boys play with their deaf mates in sports that they want to participate in, plus the rewards from organising events, fundraising and socialising with other deaf families in the area and around the region.

I just wish that the FA would recognise that the deaf want to play deaf football not pan disability football as they don’t have a physical disability themselves!

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Don’t just start a group yourself without speaking to someone that knows the kids and their needs first – don’t get into it without the involvement of others as the kids won’t come!

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

After the fight for funding, first with the training and now with DeaFFF NW, I would have secured the funding first in hindsight, but then I may not have got any and the groups wouldn’t exist!

I’ve only just secured funding as the first year of DeaFFF NW was a trial to see what numbers would attend – upwards of 50 a session at times! Now, I have some sponsorship for venues and BSL interpreters.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I would love to meet Karen Brady – she worked in football proving that women could make it in the profession. If I could develop DeaFFF NW the way she developed her club I would be really pleased.

David Beckham has used his name for fundraising and I would love some advice from him too!

Playerwise, it would have to be Peter Shilton; or an unknown to you all but well known to me – Adam Thomas! He is deaf and played for us at Morecambe Deaf FC when he moved up here from Plymouth. He has since gone on to Deaf Man Utd and England Deaf Futsal where he was picked for the Euro qualifiers in Oslo.

That shows that deaf kids can become football stars, and he came from our grassroots deaf squad!

Many thanks, Vicki. All the best with your initiatives.

See www.ndcs.org.uk for more information.

Glenn Hoddle

NEAR POST – DYKE BRINGS IN HOD TO LEND A HAND

FA Chairman Greg Dyke confirmed today that former England manager Glenn Hoddle will be on an FA commission to improve the England team.

He also stated that the Premier League has turned down a role on the same commission, but will offer help and support on an informal basis.

Like Greg Dyke, Hoddle also believes that foreign players are hindering the England national side’s chances of winning a major tournament:

“We’ve got foreign owners, who bring in foreign managers, who bring in foreign players above English players and it’s a downward spiral.

“The England manager’s job is a hard job as it is and it’s going to get harder and harder unless we readdress it with a rule change.”

Hoddle also feels that creating independent academies for under 16s can lead to a resurgence of English talent in the Premier League.

“We need to go back to making English elite academy schools from 12-16.

“I think parents would prefer that in some cases rather than sign for Manchester City, Tottenham or Chelsea, because a lot of players are getting their hearts broken at 12 or 14. They’ve been there for years and suddenly they’re not good enough.

“Whereas if this is a neutral academy, if they’re coached, are good enough, have the hours under their belt and the desire then at 16 they will be signed.

“We’ve got to make them as good as the young Spanish, French, Dutch and African players – that is the task. But I truly believe unless we go down that road we won’t be able to catch up or overtake them technically.

“It hasn’t been our No1 criteria for 30 years. But they really need to focus with every coach the main criteria should be how do we get players at a young age to master that football. For it to be a part of their body, not let the ball control them.

“Certain people, when they’re in possession, the ball is part of their body. When other people are in possession it’s not, it almost looks not even round, it looks square.”

Hoddle has launched Zapstarz, a competition for children aged between eight and 16. Kids can showcase their talent by sending videos of themselves and their footballing skills to Hoddle and his team to be judged. The best young footballers will then get the chance to play in front of professional scouts.

Hoddle ran a similar initiative in Spain for 18 to 21 year-olds who had been released by professional clubs but had enough potential to get back into the game. His big success story so far has been Ikechi Anya who now plays for Watford and scored for Scotland last month.

Hoddle’s dream for Zapstarz is that more star players of the future follow the same path as Anya. However, he also hopes that the new initiative can improve the standard of those young players who play recreationally in their local parks and own gardens:

“It’s about improving a generation of kids, from grassroots [upwards].

“I think a generation of players have missed out on playing against a wall. It’s all I ever did.

“I’ve got a bug bear about the lack of two-footed players, that’s something we can do with six, seven, eight-year-olds. They can go into their garden and what we’re doing could change them.

“There’s a lot of opportunities.”

NEAR POST – FA MUST IMPROVE BRANDING SAYS GREG DYKE

Greg Dyke has told Marketing Week that the FA “needs to up its image” and is failing to communicate to fans how it manages the English game. Dyke stated that the FA is also reviewing its brand image in an attempt to be more “proactive” with how it promotes its work with the national teams and at grassroots level.

His comments come in the wake of criticism of the FA’s decision not to punish Fernando Torres for scratching Jan Vertonghen in the Chelsea versus Spurs match.

The FA can retrospectively punish players for incidents that the match officials were not in a position to “fully assess” during the match, such as the Torres incident, reviewing the incident and setting an appropriate penalty. However, the FA chose not to act in this case, leading to calls for action from outraged fans. The fact that the FA’s hands were apparently tied by the parameters of the disciplinary code was not communicated as well as it could have been, leading to Dyke’s comments.

“When [the FA] didn’t charge Torres for scratching there was uproar, but it was something that had been decided according to disciplinary rules.”

As well as being Chairman of the FA, Dyke is also the executive chairman of the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), and spoke to Marketing Week after an event hosted by ATG.

“My view of the FA is that it needs to be more proactive and on the front foot [engaging with fans]. The work the ATG are doing now is very proactive and I think there are parallels to be drawn between it and football.

“If you want to be financially successful as a media business then you’ve got to focus on performance. What drives people forward in terms of performance is that passion. Football is no different. Once you have that then you can worry about the money.”

The ATG, which is reputedly the UK’s largest theatre group, is embarking on a vigorous sponsorship drive. The company is looking to sell the naming rights to its theatres, pioneered by Football Clubs and also the Academy chain of music venues, along with creating what it claims are “flexible” sponsorship strategies.

Greg Dyke is obviously bringing corporate marketing and communication thinking and language to the table at the FA from his business activities, so we can no doubt expect further comments from him on the subject of “image”, “branding” and “channels” in relation to English football in the future. How well this is received remains to be seen.