Fitch's appointment a boost for Suffolk

PSYCHOLOGY school teacher Carl Fitch will be showing the flag for Suffolk referees when he takes the line in Saturday's FA Trophy semi-final, second leg between Ebbsfleet and Stevenage.

Elvin King

PSYCHOLOGY school teacher Carl Fitch will be showing the flag for Suffolk referees when he takes the line in Saturday's FA Trophy semi-final, second leg between Ebbsfleet and Stevenage.

The prize for the winners is a trip to Wembley Stadium, and Stevenage will be out to defend a 3-2 advantage after the first leg last weekend.

It is a measure of how well 23-year-old Carl has done to be picked out of 300 other level three referees to tackle this prestigious match.

Mick Thorpe is the only Suffolk referee qualified to take charge of Football League games, and Carl looks well on the way to follow suit.

He teaches at Farlingaye School, Woodbridge, and regularly runs the line in the Blue Square Premier and the Premier Reserve League.

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Carl also takes controls of games from the Blue Square South down to the Ridgeons League Premier.

He began refereeing at the age of 14 and says that he has no regrets having already been featured in a number of live televised matches on Setanta TV.

“It is pleasing to get the nod to run the line in this game,” he said. “My next step up would be the Football League line, and hopefully this will help towards that.”

On the other line will be Tim Robinson from Bognor Regis who was at the young referee academy at the same time as Carl.

Football League referee Simon Hooper from Wiltshire will be in charge of Saturday's game.

Carl's uncle Darren was a speedway rider with Ipswich Witches while Carl is a key member of St Margarets Cricket Club where he is a qualified coach and runs the under-11 side.

Thorpe has been missing from the Football League in recent months but the Martlesham-based referee is hoping to be back in very action soon.

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