BY CHRIS MCNULTY
LETTERKENNY man John Duffy has been appointed as the Referee Observer for Sunday-week’s FAI Ford Cup final between Sligo Rovers and Drogheda United at the Aviva Stadium.
Duffy, a Bonagee United clubman, has previously acted as Referee Observer for two League Cup finals – the 2006 tie between Derry City and Shelbourne and the 2010 meeting of Sligo Rovers and Monaghan United – but this will be the first time to do an FAI Cup final.
“It is a big honour and I must say that I was shocked when I got the phonecall to confirm it,” Mr Duffy told the Donegal News.
The call was made on Tuesday by William Attley, the FAI Chief Referee Observer.
Mr Duffy said: “It was a big shock because it wasn’t something that I had been expecting at all. By far, this will be the biggest game ever for me. I’m really looking forward to it. It’ll be exciting to be involved in an FAI Cup final in the role.”
He is a regular at League of Ireland matches at Finn Park and the Brandywell where he can be seen examinining the finer details of the performance of the match night team of officials. The referee for the FAI Cup final will be Paul Tuite, who will be assisted by Damien MacGraith and Michelle O’Neill with Derek Tomney as Fourth Official.
John Duffy has been assessing referees for over twenty years now.
“Eddie McNulty gave it up and myself and Barney McLaughlin took it on, myself in the Donegal area and Barney in Inishowen,” Mr Duffy said.
“Here I am now, still at it. It’s something I enjoy doing. Once I stopped refereeing I didn’t want to be out of football, so this gives me a chance to be really involved in the game.”
John Ward, the Chairman the FAI’s Elite Referees Committee said said that the appointment was in recognition of John’s ‘consistently high performance level throughout season 2013’ as well as his ‘dedication and commitment’ to the role.