Sunderland Vs Wigan Athletic at the Stadium of Light this Saturday will be refereed by Wirral official Mike Dean, it will be Deans 3rd Sunderland game of the season and his 3rd Latics game also.
40 year old Dean has been a referee since 1985 and a Premier League referee since 2000, he has been FIFA listed since 2003 and he refereed last seasons FA Cup Final between Portsmouth and Cardiff City.
So far this season Mike, as he is known to his mates, has been in charge of 22 Premier League games issuing 91 yellow cards and 8 reds putting him in 2nd place in the cards table with an average of 4.50 cards per game.
Mike Dean recently conducted a rather interesting interview and low and behold here it is:
Q How did you get into refereeing?
A Well I started back in 1985 and I did it really to keep fit. I had just finished my job and was not working and started putting on weight so I decided to give it a go. I passed my class 3 exam and it took off from their really.
Q How long did it take you to work your way through all the different levels?
A I started in junior football covering 11 to 16 year olds on Sunday mornings. Then I started on the West Cheshire league and by 1989 I was running the line in the Unibond league. I then became part of the Football League as a linesman in 1997 and was involved in the 1997 play off final between Crewe and Brentford.
The following season I went into the middle and was there for three seasons before getting a call to join the Premier league in 2000/2001 season. So all in all I started at 17 and it took me 15 years to go from Sunday league football to the Premiership and am now being nominated for FIFA list.
Q What are the biggest changes to have occurred during this time?
A The biggest change without doubt has been the fitness. That has shone through more than anything else and even Managers and Directors are making comments about it. We are now on top of the play and generally the refs are more mobile.
Q How are relations between Managers and refs?
A In the main they are very good. I get a lot of good feedback from refs and many come and knock on the door afterwards to make that point. I think sometimes one incident can overshadow a game. Obviously some mangers focus on a decision that they feel may have cost there team three points but we do get on even then.
Q Did you have a role model when your were working your way through the ranks?
A There were two local refs who helped me a lot at the time, Alan Jones and Bob Nixon. They both had experience and they were always there if I wanted to pick up the phone and have a chat.
Lets hope that Deano, that`s how he is know to his really good mates, has a quiet game and the talking points are the performances of the players and not the officials
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