#FridayFocus – U4E Scottish Exchange
The first part of the U4E Scottish Exchange weekend took place from 15th till 17th September, hosted by John Heron, and involving Miheala Dimitiova from Bulgaria, Usman Mani from Norway and Christina Perez Martel from Spain.
On Friday evening Miheala umpired GHK v Western Wildcats with Sarah Cooper from Shetland. The match was an even affair and Aileen Ross provided feedback to the girls. Christina umpired Clydesdale Western v Kelburne with Gregg Maxwell: a fluid match with lots of goals. Mani umpired Uddingston v Western Wildcats with Tim Hart. This was a very high intensity game with a tight 0-1 scoreline.
On Saturday the 3 were in Edinburgh. Mani umpired Grange v Grove Menzieshill (EHF Small Club of the Year 2016) with Alistair Munro (Scottish umpire on the U4E program also). The high-intensity match tested both umpires’ skills. Miheala & Christina together umpired Grange Ladies v Grove Menzieshill. That evening the guys enjoyed a dinner in the centre of Glasgow with members of the West district umpire group.
On the final day Christina umpired Western Wildcats v Clydesdale Western with Sarah Wilson. This was a fantastic match that Christina thoroughly enjoyed with close 1-0 score. Miheala umpired GHK v Edinburgh Uni with Alex Walker, again coached by Aileen Ross. It was a very one-sided match that allowed Miheala to award lots of advantage. The final match of the exchange saw Mani umpire Hillhead v Stepps at the national hockey stadium in Glasgow, with Jamie Telfer. This was a typical cup encounter that tested the umpires’ management skills. Martin Monaghan provided coaching feedback to the umpires. The umpires were provided with written feedback to work on during the season.
Thanks to all who supported the exchange including the coaches, umpires and teams, and to Scottish hockey who supplied the guys with sponsored tops.
Participant view: Mohammad Usman Tajamal (Norway), mentored by John Heron
“The U4E exchange program is a wonderful opportunity, and has helped me in many ways on my path to become a better umpire, as well as bringing me closer to my goal as an international umpire. Thank you to Scottish Hockey for arranging a wonderful hockey experience in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Accommodations were great and the level of hockey has been an experience far superior than I have ever experienced during my 10 years as an umpire in Norwegian hockey.
Mostly, I would like to thank John Heron for showing us such great hospitality, help, advice and friendship. John is a real asset for Scotland and European hockey! His knowledge and vast experience is such great help for us younger umpires. He is willing to help out every umpire that crosses his path and I have never met anyone with more passion for umpires than him.
I will recite John here “you might not remember the games, but you will never forget the experience. You will make friends for a lifetime and that is what this program is about. Experience, learning and making friends you will always remember!”