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Communication is the key for skipper Ward
6:00am Saturday 28th September 2013 in STFC News
BACKCHAT in the professional game will go on the decline as referees become more communicative with the players.
That is the opinion of Swindon Town captain Darren Ward, who is convinced dissent will become rarer if the men in black were more open with their thoughts.
Ward highlighted a particular example in the Capital One Clash with Chelsea on Tuesday night, recalling a conversation he had with whistleblower Michael Oliver following the visitors’ opening goal.
He told the Advertiser: “It was for the goal. I said to the ref ‘he was offside’. He said ‘no, no, he very rarely gets it wrong’.
“I said ‘cor blimey, is he a robot?’ and we had a laugh with each other.
“It was one of those moments where it’s a funny. You don’t normally get that so it’s good.
“I have played with and alongside a lot of these referees now. I’ve played well over 500 games and I think I’ve got a reasonably good name in the industry.
“Beforehand we have a chat and make sure it’s done professionally and well and that’s how it should be.
“When you do get a response it’s a pleasure, when the referees are like that. It does make the game easier and it makes it a lot smoother for everyone.”
Ward, a veteran of 534 professional matches across 18 years, accepts that referees are always going to get a bit of stick from players and fans, whether they produce the perfect performance or an abject one.
However, he is convinced that simple communication with the 22 men on the pitch alongside them would make the task at hand much easier.
“I think it’s hard. It’s a very difficult job for them. I think if everyone’s honest, if you can interact with them and communicate with them at that level, like the rugby players do, it’s fantastic discipline,” he said.
“You’d think it should be the other way round really, with the size of these guys and the way it is, but I think gradually you’ll see a change and a bit more communication and discipline come, which is important.
“Over the years everyone has made an effort to improve it. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, it’s something that will take time but hopefully it will change and the next generation coming through will have better standards and better discipline.”
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