2009 All-Ireland football final referee Marty Duffy has called on Croke Park to commit “more resources and manpower” to implementing the national referee development plan.
Unveiled in late 2018, the targets set out in the GAA’s referee development plan include increasing the number of new referees recruited at club level, enhance referee education at club and county level, develop a referee mentoring programme, and renew the referee advisor system.
Duffy, in his final report as chairman of the Connacht GAA referees committee, said the “ambitious” document is the “blueprint for the future of refereeing”, but remarked that more needs to be done to achieve the objectives listed in the report.
“There are some interesting proposals, when and if they are implemented, they will streamline the pathway for referees from club to provincial to national level,” said Duffy.
“I do think that Croke Park needs to commit more resources and, in particular, manpower to drive this forward. One man in HQ with an already huge workload cannot make this happen with the speed and enthusiasm required.”
The Sligo native said Connacht is “well ahead” of other provinces when it comes to mentoring the next generation of whistlers.
“We have a brilliant team of mentors in Connacht that invest huge time in developing our up-and-coming referees.
“At national level, John Horan has expressed a strong desire to form a National Mentoring Programme for referees at all levels. A blueprint has been submitted for approval which has been stalled because of the current circumstances. It will be based broadly on the mentoring system Connacht has in place for many years.
“It is proposed it will be trialled with the National Referees Panel members at first, then being rolled out to the provinces and county level in time.”