Bundaberg product dreaming of NRL gig
BUNDABERG's Dylan Cassidy is making his way through the whistle blowing ranks in the hope he can live his dream of becoming a NRL referee.
What started as a way to make some extra pocket money, and learn more about league 12-years ago, has put Cassidy on the road to a career in the sport.
Cassidy has recently been selected to referee for the QRL.
"It's been fantastic, I love the game,” he said.
"It really gives you a different perspective for the game, too.”
While the same game, Cassidy said there was a lot of differences in the QRL.
From the pace of the game, discipline and talent, he said it was all a step up.
"At the moment, it's 18s and under-20s and most of them are going to be in the NRL one day and they are a step above,” he said.
Cassidy said one of the highlights of his career so far was when he refereed in last year's Broncos versus Cowboys game.
Regardless of whether it's U13 or U20s in the QRL, who you are as a person can be tested.
"You've got to be quick-witted and thick-skinned I think,” he said.
"Because I was a player I understand how frustrated they can get, but we aren't out there policing.
"We get to see the game from two colours rather than one.”
Cassidy said there was a lot of fitness and communication training that came with being a referee.
"It's a lot more than standing around blowing a whistle,” he joked.
"We do a fair bit of running for fitness and we also play small games with someone taking turn refing - we improve how we perform in a game and work on which vocabulary we use.
"There's also slides and quizzes to test you on what you would do in certain situations and making quick decisions.
"Sometimes you'll get three seconds to decide what you would do or call.”
Cassidy said refereeing was the perfect way for kids to be involved in sport and rugby league without having to play.
"I wouldn't be where I am today, meeting new mentors and progressing further, without the support of the county background.”