West’s bid to be the best

first_imgIn addition to being the number one Men’s touch referee based on the 2009 National Touch League, he is also a regular NRL Toyota Cup (Under 20’s) whistle blower as well. While most people can relax after the end of the NYC, Gavin has to fly back to Sydney to referee a NSW Cup rugby league match. West missed out on a place as a referee in the Trans Tasman series earlier this year, after taking a break from the game to concentrate on his league commitments. West said it was sad to miss out on the series but he has set refereeing at the next Trans Tasman as one of his goals to make up for that disappointment. “I’m very motivated to get that next Trans Tasman game so I’ve got to work towards that,” he said. His road to the top of the referee standings hasn’t come easy. He earned his level six badge in touch in 2002, and had to work hard in the meantime to get to the number one position. “I was the youngest ever to get that (level six), I’ve been on level six for quiet a while now. In 2005 I became number two but from there I had a few years off but I came back this year and got that so I’ve just been refereeing at state cup, NSW level and I was just lucky enough to get that spot this year,” he said. West took time off to concentrate on his goal of becoming a league referee, which included moving from Newcastle to Sydney to pursue his dream.And this is now starting to pay dividends in both codes. West has refereed the most Toyota Cup games this year, and was also named the number one referee at the NYC this week, but it hasn’t come easy. “It’s (a) heavy workload with the training, you don’t get much free time between work and footy but hopefully in a couple of years I’ll have a full time position (refereeing) and it’s the only job I’ll have so I’m not juggling that workload as well,” West said. West’s busy schedule means that it can be difficult to manage his time, especially as the top two touch tournaments of the year clash with important league games. “The NTL is often the first week of league so I had to manage that to get the finals this year and also this tournament as it’s the finals for league as well. I just had to fully focus on league at that time but now that I’m established there I can be a bit more flexible,” he said. Now that he is more established in League, he hopes to be able to make the transition from Under 20’s to first grade in the near future. “I want it done in the next three years at least, I’m hoping not 2010 but 2011 that might occur so it’s just a matter of the numbers game and just waiting for people to retire or getting past their use by date,” he said.last_img read more