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Montgomery dedicates Referee Award to colleague

By Richard Manubah
Young Liberian referee, Isaac Montgomery
Young Liberian referee, Isaac Montgomery

(mylbsonline.com/Liberia/Nov.3/2013) Isaac Montgomery, whose entry into the mainstream of football refereeing in Liberia is steadfastly maturing.

Montgomery, has dedicated the Referee of the Year Award he won recently for excellent performances in the LFA last league season.

The award winner, told mylbsonline that he dedicated the award to Jerry Yekeh, because according to him, the latter is his well-regarded colleague.

Montgomery emerged the dux of CAF young and talented referees’ course in Cairo, the Egyptian Capital few months ago, thus manifesting further the exceptional touch he has given his umpire career in the local football league since retiring from Track and Field.

The young Liberian referee represented his native land at a number of international competitions.

Though young, Isaac won selection from his bosses at LIFRA to officiate several big fixtures during the 2012/2013 championship campaign involving LISCR, BYC, Invincible Eleven, LPRC Oilers, among others.

The 2012/2013 championship campaign was eventually captured by BYC.

Montgomery’s qualities, high and controllable speed, endurance, tactical movements, coupled with good hands-on knowledge of the game’s laws and implementation during matches assigned him, have earned him a firm place in the Liberia Football Referees Association [LIFRA] as one of the prominent refs.

He told mylbsonline.com: “My heads will not get swollen by this big achievement and I will not raise my shoulders high up in the air. What this honor has done for me is that it has given me a renewed vigor to push forward and work harder to prove the extent to which I deserved being named the ‘Best’ among equals.”

Reflecting on his hard-work during last season, the LFA Best Referees Award Winner picked the FA Cup semi final duel with BYC and LISCR FC. The match was called off with 10 minutes remaining on the clock, due to the fall of darkness.

“That game was my most memorable assignment. It had a real hot intensity and was a little bit challenging, because the two teams are good. On the overall, however, I’m so grateful to God firstly for the high level of improvement I have experienced.”

Assistant Referee, Francis Sarnor, who shared the same flight with Montgomery to honor their participation in the CAF youth course in Egypt, has also been appreciated by Montgomery, who has seemingly become his close ally.

“I highly relish the time shared with Sarnor both in the execution of professional duties and leisure,” Montgomery said.

On a serious note, he added: “I can actually feel relaxed when am in the center and my “friend-and-brother,” Francis Sarnor, is on the lines [Assistant Referee]. He understands me so well.”

When our reporter queried him about recommendations to further improve football officiating in Liberia, he gave hats off to LIFRA and the Director of refereeing at the LFA, Stanley Konah, for, in recent time, introducing a female referees’ recruitment program under the sponsorship of the LFA.

In his mind, this is a welcoming development that would benefit the LFA more than LIFRA, because he further noted: “The FA has the responsibility to ensuring that fans have a splendid national league in terms of officiating. This program aims to mainly encourage the huge participation of women referees during the league season.”

Montgomery is also urging LIFRA members to strive for the best level of professionalism, because according to him, the ‘beauty’ of the game depends not only on the classical display the players put up, but also on the high quality officiating.

“Colleagues, I thank you all for the support we gave each other during the last league season and I further urge us all to continue living up to the dictates of the laws of the game which is our guide when executing our duties as professional referees,” the lad concluded.

 


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