Give referees a voice and the respect should follow

Jarred Gillett
It's time for officials to be given more than just a whistle

Confident. Decisive. Humorous. 

Those aren't words you'd commonly associate with a referee but that's what springs to mind after being given rare insight into the life of an A-League referee.

In his last A-League match, Jarred Gillet was mic'd-up by Fox Sports as he officiated Brisbane Roar's clash with Western Sydney Wanderers. 

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The resulting footage provided a refreshing perspective as Gillett was able to showcase the personality and overall quality that now sees him on the cusp of trading the A-League for the Championship. 

From attempting to 'bring back the double-hander' to making a show of the VAR procedure, the edited clip showed the lighter side of the person behind the whistle that all too often becomes forgotten when a call divides opinion.

Most referees are known solely for the bad calls they make, rather than the good ones they do or the great people they are when the 90 minutes are said and done. 

While this type of insight can't be captured every week, giving referees a voice is integral at a time where respect for them is reaching a worrying low.

This season, in particular, has seen a number of players caught committing dissent in full voice of cameras with Central Coast Mariners skipper Matt Simon guilty of a particularly awful tirade. 

Though referees and players will never be best friends, shifting the general perspective of officials is vital as a new generation of football fans is brought through.

Exactly how that can be effectively done regularly remains to be seen but Gillett's video is proof referees have the personality to win people over. 

The clip itself also emphasised the impressive communication between the officials with Gillett in constant touch with his sideline referees and also making good use of Kris Griffiths-Jones in the VAR box. 

One issue with VAR from a fan's perspective is the lack of visible communication and it seems a logical next step for what the officials say to be broadcasted when it's used in the vein of the NRL's bunker. 

It would be a good start in rebuilding the bridge between fans and referees - one that has been allowed to rot for far too long.  

Check out Gillett's full video below.