014 Kilbirnie Ladeside No2 Des Roache: top ref to assistant boss, training with Paula Radcliffe & racing Haile Gebrselassie, talking Chinese meals on the pitch, why he chucked refereeing & the Champions League winner's top his wife wears to clean the hou
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DES ROACHE was once the ninth best Under-20s athlete in the world over 1500 metres and used to train with Paula Radcliffe.
When a knee injury ended his dreams of making it on the track he turned to refereeing.
He took charge of the 2010 Scottish Junior Cup final and spent five years as a category one whistler.
But when football gets up and running again Des will be making calls of a different kind.
In May he was appointed assistant manager to Martin Ferry at West of Scotland League side Kilbirnie Ladeside.
He tells Gareth and Paul how he hopes to keep his emotions in check now he’s the man in the dugout rather than the man in the middle.
We hear how he was desperate to get to the end of his first ever game as a ref – and why officiating in the juniors was what he loved most.
Des talks us through his thought processes after sending a player off in that junior cup final and why he once told a player on the pitch all about the Chinese meal he was having a night after a game.
But he also explains why he felt he would never reach the top of the game as a whistler and why that led to him packing it in and reveals who the toughest player to referee was.
There’s the Champions League winner’s shirt his wife wears while cleaning the house and the day he came up against running great Haile Gebrselassie too.
All that and more on Episode 14 of Down The Divisions.
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Down The Divisions logo design Adam Aitken
Intro and outro music Bensound