In 2011 I decided to stop being an active referee, my goal was to stay active in soccer. Being a referee is a passion for me. I want to share this passion with my colleagues to make them better on and off the soccer field. In 2015 I became a brand ambassador for Expo-Line and since then we have made great strides with Expo-Line's disappearing spray. The spray is used with top referees around the world and in the major leagues.
We have organized several workshops in different countries to teach referees how to use the spray in a professional way.
With all this knowledge and experience, we can take the next step.
In 2018, Expo-Line, Arbitrage Voetbal Vlaanderen and Patrick join forces. And the "Referee College" is born. The Referee College organizes workshops to train referees at different levels.
Physical training, mental coaching, technical skills... In fact, an opportunity that every motivated referee should take. Professional support with physical coaches, technical instructors, etc.
Being a referee is not a sexy hobby. It is a job. I know. But it is a great opportunity for personal development. Learning how to interact with players and the public, knowing and applying the rules on the field, being fit, improving social skills, it's a life lesson and an experience. It is a passion.
Our team is ready to give each participant of the Referee College an experience they will never forget. We will give you a glimpse into the life of a top level referee. And it will be a great pleasure to share my years of experience with you.
Are you ready? I, we... are.
Are you ready? I, we... are.
Also read my book: "Everything for the job" to know all my experiences.
Thanks to the introduction of the vanishing spray in 2015/2016 in European soccer, I had the opportunity to interact with many European referees. At that time, together with Frank, I gave trainings on the use of the 'Vanishing spray' in many European federations. This increased my respect and appreciation for the referees. It also gave me a better understanding of the difficult challenges referees face, both physically and mentally.
In many countries, attracting referees has not been easy for a long time. It is quite a difficult task for many referees. Since we are in contact with many international referees and we are also a supplier of spray up to UEFA and Champions League level, we have a huge network beyond national borders as well as outside Europe. And so I thought we should do something with that. After all, we could play an inspiring role as an Expo-Line for many young referees in Belgium.
Furthermore, for the 'Vanishing spray' we also collaborated with Frank De Bleeckere, a name that is an integral part of the Belgian refereeing landscape. With all the achievements Frank has made as an international referee, it seemed obvious to me to do something together about referee education. If there is anyone in Belgian soccer who has all the necessary experience to share with both beginners and more advanced referees, it is him.
And that's what happened.... Under the Expo-Line flag, in cooperation with Arbitrage Voetbal Vlaanderen, we created the Expo-Line Referee College a few years ago. Our intention is not only to provide training. Although this is obviously the first step. But our ambition is to become a quality label. Hence the name College!
No compromise is made on the level to be reached. The participating referees are challenged both physically and mentally. And this is for the simple reason that there is no room for compromise in the truth game either. Decisions have to be made in a second with respect to soccer in general, the game, the audience and often the cameras!
This requires strong personalities who do not flinch at the slightest opportunity.
A referee must "stay there". Only an authority on the field can direct a match correctly.
Authority rules the game!