As­sis­tant ref is selected for Ham­p­den show­piece

East Kilbride News - - THE BACK PAGE - Paul Thom­son

As­sis­tant ref­eree David Roome has hit a ca­reer high af­ter be­ing ap­pointed to this week­end’s Scot­tish Cup fi­nal.

But he in­sists he wants to go com­pletely un­no­ticed when Celtic and Mother­well clash at Ham­p­den.

The 38-year-old is part of match ref­eree Kevin Clancy’s team for Satur­day’s show­piece, when cham­pi­ons Celtic are bid­ding to com­plete an un­prece­dented back-to-back do­mes­tic tre­ble and the Steel­men are aim­ing to clinch their first tro­phy in 27 years.

A for­mer left-back for EK This­tle and East Kil­bride YM, the spot­light will be on Roome and the team when they step out at the Na­tional Sta­dium.

It will be the tough­est test of his nine-year ca­reer as an of­fi­cial – and he’s hop­ing for a quiet day. He said: “It’s the big­gest game in the Scot­tish sea­son and it’s ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic to be part of it. For play­ers in­volved in one, they’ll have all these dreams of scor­ing the win­ning goal and run­ning to the fans in cel­e­bra­tion.

“But when you are ap­pointed as an of­fi­cial, you just want to turn up and hope­fully no­body even knows you are there. You just want to do a good job and go up the road.

“I was ab­so­lutely de­lighted and elated when I got the call. Hope­fully there are no ma­jor is­sues and the game goes well for us.”

Roome, from Calder­wood, has en­joyed a rel­a­tively rapid rise to the top of the game af­ter call­ing time on his play­ing ca­reer in 2009.

He served his ap­pren­tice­ship in the am­a­teur and Ju­nior ranks and the last two years have seen him run the line in the Scot­tish Premier­ship.

He has al­ready been in­volved in a fi­nal this sea­son, of­fi­ci­at­ing dur­ing In­ver­ness Ca­ley This­tle’s Chal­lenge Cup win over Dum­bar­ton, and he was also an as­sis­tant for Mother­well’s win over Aberdeen in the Scot­tish Cup semi-fi­nals.

“I started at 29 and to get to this stage it has been quite quick, but if you are deemed to be good enough, you are deemed to be old enough,” said Roome, who was in­volved in last week’s Ed­in­burgh derby be­tween Hearts and Hibs.

“The Scot­tish Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion have got a good path­way for it and if you are per­form­ing well then they are happy enough to put you in.

“And that rings true for me. This is only my sec­ond sea­son as a spe­cial­ist as­sis­tant and I’ve man­aged to get the semi-fi­nal and fi­nal of the Scot­tish Cup.

“When I got the call I had to pinch my­self, but a lot of my peers con­tacted me to say it just shows you the level of com­mit­ment and train­ing I’ve put in has paid off.

“Now I’ve got the ul­ti­mate ap­point­ment, so it’s fan­tas­tic.”

Fi­nal date David Roome is off to Ham­p­den

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