Players seek better communication with refs

THE Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland (PFAI) is to set up a referees’ seminar as calls for more communication between players and match officials arose following Sunday’s FAI Ford Cup final.

Players seek better communication with refs

Referee Richie Winter came in for strong criticism for his decision to send off Shelbourne’s Barry Clancy as Sligo Rovers went on to retain the trophy in a dramatic penalty shootout at the Aviva Stadium. The course, in conjunction with the referees association, bids to create a better understanding between players and officials.

“We made an application about a month ago to set up a referees course for players,” explained PFAI general secretary Stephen McGuinness.

“We felt we needed a better relationship between both. We’re going to look at a course for players to go on and understand the rules and regulations and understand how difficult it is to make decisions. Players feel the relationship that had been there is gone. I don’t know if that is coming from the hierarchy or is that just it. I’d like to see them (referees) be able to come out after games and be able to talk.”

Derry City’s Libyan international striker Eamon Zayed, one of six nominees for the PFAI Player of the Year announced yesterday, says more players should try to become referees when they finish playing.

Zayed admitted: “More ex-players at the end of their careers should go into refereeing. I just think players could see things a little bit better.”

Referees not entertaining any dialogue on the pitch is also a major issue for players. “There are a couple of them you can speak to. But, no, the majority of them you can’t say a word to them. They won’t give you an answer. They’ll just tell you to walk on. It really is frustrating when they do that.”

Former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane is the PFAI’s guest of honour at their annual awards night, sponsored by Tissot, at Dublin’s Burlington Hotel this Saturday night.

PFAI Player of the Year Award NominationsPlayer of the Year: E Doyle (Sligo Rovers); D Kavanagh (St Patrick’s Athletic); M Quigley (Dundalk); R Ryan (Sligo Rovers); P Sullivan (Shamrock Rovers); E Zayed (Derry City).

Young Player of the Year: D Lafferty (Derry City); J McClean (Derry City); E Stevens (Shamrock Rovers).

First Division Player of the Year: S Brennan (Monaghan United); D Cassidy (Shelbourne); G Cummins (Cork City).

Irish Overseas Player of the Year: R Dunne (Aston Villa); W Hoolahan (Norwich City); S Long (West Bromwich Albion).

Referee of the Year: M Doyle; A Kelly; P Tuite.

Premier Division Team of the Year: G Doherty (Derry City); P Sullivan (Shamrock Rovers); S Greacen (Derry City); C Sives (Shamrock Rovers); E Stevens (Shamrock Rovers); S Bradley (St Patrick’s Athletic); D Kavanagh (St Patrick’s Athletic); R Ryan (Sligo Rovers); M Quigley (Dundalk); E Zayed (Derry City); E Doyle (Sligo Rovers).

First Division Team of the Year: M McNulty (Cork City); D Murphy (Cork City); S Paisley (Shelbourne); P Purcell (Limerick); L Fitzgerald (Shelbourne); S Brennan (Monaghan United); G Morrissey (Cork City); D Cassidy (Shelbourne); S Duggan (Cork City); G Cummins (Cork City); P Hughes (Shelbourne).

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