It is the news that was reported weeks ago, Australian referee Jarred Gillett was in line for a promotion to the Premier League. Well now, it is official, Gillett will become the first foreign referee to officiate in the Premier League when he takes the field in 2021/22.
The 34-year-old Gold Coast native was a high-profile referee for the A-League for nine years and after over 150 games, he made the switch to England.
Gillett is an accomplished referee
During his time in Australia, Gillett refereed five A-League Grand Finals in 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. He also won the Hyundai A-League Referee of the Year five times (2011/12, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, and 2017/18). Aside from Australia, Gillett has spent time in the J-League, Indian Super League, Chinese Super League, and the Saudi Professional League as well as the 2015 International Champions Cup.
The Australian moved to the United Kingdom in 2019/20 as he was undertaking studies at Liverpool John Moores University. He was put in the Select Group 2 for referees which is a panel of professional referees and assistants. They officiate the lower leagues in England such as the Championship, League One, and League Two.
It was reported weeks ago that Gillett was in the mix to be selected in Select Group One, meaning selection as a Premier League official for the 2020/21 season was on the cards.
In 2019, Gillett debuted in the EFL and made quite the impression. His experience as a FIFA international referee was pointed out as the reason for his success.
Now, Gillett has impressed enough to earn that promotion and in 2021/22, he will referee in the Premier League. After being an official in five A-League Grand Finals and other leagues around the world, this is Gillett’s crowning moment.
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Gillett could open the pathway for others
To have an Australian referee in the Premier League might seem trivial to some football fans, however, this move can not be understated for other young referees who harbour the same dream. This move for Gillett could open up a whole new world for Australian referees. Despite there only being two full time referees in the league being Chris Beath and Shaun Evans, now that Gillett has made the jump overseas, they could follow suit.
They are not the only ones, though, with Australian referees Alex King and Daniel Elder both having good seasons in the A-league this season, officiating 21 and 20 games respectively.
What this does do, is give hope to current A-League officials along with the younger generation of officials that there is a pathway to the biggest league in the world.
It did not happen overnight, it took Jarred Gillett two to three years to get noticed. Consistent performances led him to be selected to officiate in the Premier League. The fact that Gillett was selected to officiate in England’s top division is a remarkable achievement. From all reports, his selection was a no-brainer.
His performances in the EFL have been consistent and he has received praise from fans throughout his time in England. A host of Australian players have plied their trade in the numerous divisions in the EFL and Premier League. Now Australia is represented in an officiating capacity as well, something the nation can be proud of.
Gillett’s appointment serves as a reminder for so many others. It does not matter where you come from. If you put in the hard work and dedicate yourself to your craft, you can achieve your dream.
For Jarred Gillett, all his hard work has paid off. He will now be at the top of world football, officiating in the English Premier League.
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