By Kali Langevin and Abby Van Note, in Scotland
Day One (08/04/2016):
We both arrived in Glasgow in the morning after taking overnight flights from the States. On the descent into Glasgow we both noticed how beautiful the country was with the green rolling hills and lots of sheep and cows.
We were greeted in the airport by Paul Salina, one of our hosts for our time in Scotland. Abby had her first cup of coffee – one of many for the day – in the airport, which was surprisingly good, before heading back to the Salina’s house. We got settled and then changed to head out for a light training session to shake off the travel.
After getting home, we reviewed the newly-released Laws of the Game and brushed up on the changes, as we would be refereeing under them for the weekend. We met up with our second host, Elaine Salina, before venturing north of Glasgow to Loch Lomond.
The area was extremely beautiful and the town was older than anything that we have back in the U.S. We walked around, had a bite for lunch, and explored the area before heading back to Glasgow City!
Apparently the drive back was beautiful, but we wouldn’t know because jet lag had hit us and we napped in the back of the car all the way back. Luckily, Elaine is a very kind soul and ensured that no embarrassing photos were taken of the two of us!
For dinner, we met up with PRO Women’s Referee Manager Sandra Serafini and local Scottish FA referees/administrators that we would be working with at the Glasgow City Cup. We couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome with a big Italian meal and the excellent company.
Day Two (08/05/2016):
We caught up on some sleep and had a relaxed morning before heading out to the fields for the afternoon. Kali was not feeling well, so Abby and Paul ventured out while Kali rested at home.
When they arrived at the fields Abby joined the officials in their area and started to meet all of the Scottish referees. There were so many different accents that Abby did a lot of nodding and smiling until she began to understand everything they were saying. During Abby’s first game of the day, she worked with two local Scottish women referees, Oli and Jemma.
It was awesome to get to know them and referee on an all-female crew. The soccer was very different than what Abby was used to in the United States, so it presented some different challenges to managing players and technical areas. After the games Abby and Paul returned home to the Salina’s. Elaine cooked us a traditional Scottish meal complete with haggis stuffed chicken.
Day Three (08/06/2016):
Today was the second day of matches at the Glasgow City Cup. Abby worked two U19 Boys games at the tournament. The level of play was much more physical than the first day; you could tell that teams were looking forward to making it to the playoffs.
After the games, Abby and Paul met up with Kali and Elaine before heading into Glasgow for dinner. There were some familiar faces and some new ones for another delicious meal. It was a great time to relax and chat more with referees who currently work within Scotland’s first division as well as former FIFA referees. Abby and Kali were both extremely grateful for how everyone they met welcomed them to Scotland.
Day Four (08/07/2016):
Today was the third and final day of the tournament, which proved to be windy and wet.
Abby worked four more of the tournament matches, powering through the tough conditions. For the first two matches Abby served as the referee for two under-17 boys games. Both games were competitive and the teams were well matched. One of the finals featured two teams that she had seen on the first day of games!
Between games three and four the weather took a turn for the worse. At one point before the game Abby looked outside the referee tent to see sideways rain and it didn’t get any better before kickoff of the under-19 final, where Abby was an assistant referee.
By the end of the game however the sun was shining and aside from being soaking wet you wouldn’t have known it rained!
Kali was an assistant referee on a third round Women’s Scottish Cup match, where Celtic and Forfar Farmington battled for a spot in the quarterfinals. Paul was kind enough to lend his kit and thankfully the rain, and most of the wind, let up at K-Park.
The match was hard fought by both teams. It was a great experience working with a referee who has worked some of Scotland’s upper division matches and seeing two teams from the highest level of Scottish women’s soccer.
We finished off our time in Scotland with a trip to a local chippy – a fish and chip shop for those of you not fluent in Glaswegian. Derek Rose presented both Abby and Kali with very kind gifts, signed by some of the local referees.
This was a great experience and we’re both so appreciative of all the opportunities to learn and everyone being so welcoming.