The intriguing backstory behind the overseas referee who will take charge of Blackpool’s game against West Brom

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Blackpool will have the rare occurrence of having an overseas referee take charge of one of their games.

 

Neil Critchley’s side return to Bloomfield Road tomorrow night to take on high-flying West Bromwich Albion, who sit third in the table.

Jarred Gillett, the man who will officiate the fixture, has a fairly unusual backstory to how he came to referee in England.

The Aussie is now in his third season in the EFL, but Tuesday night’s game will be the first time he’s taken charge of a Blackpool game.

Gillett spent nine years working as an official in the A-League, which is the highest football competition in Australia, before making the move to England after taking up a postdoctoral research position at Liverpool John Moores University.

Since then, the 35-year-old has officiated games in League Two, League One, the Championship, the Carabao Cup as well as the Premier League.

He took charge of his first top flight game in September for the 1-1 draw between Watford and Newcastle United, becoming the first overseas referee to do so in the process.

Australian Jarred Gillett is the man in the middle at Bloomfield Road tomorrow

Australian Jarred Gillett is the man in the middle at Bloomfield Road tomorrow

The Queensland-born referee, who has worked as a VAR assistant in the top flight, also officiated Norwich City’s 2-1 win against Brentford earlier this month.

He was promoted to the top referee panel in the UK – the Select Group – by PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Having refereed a number of A-League finals matches during his time in Australia, Gillett has also found himself tasked with running the rule over big games in England.

For example, he presided over the second leg of the 2020/21 Championship play-off semi-final between Brentford and Bournemouth.

Gillett dished out 103 bookings in the 32 games he took charge of last season, but only showed three reds.

The highly-regarded official has dished out two reds and 23 yellows in the eight games he’s officiated so far this term.

A FIFA listed referee, Gillett has also taken charge of games in Japan, China, India and Saudi Arabia.

In 2019, he hit the headlines Down Under after being mic’d up for his final ever A-League game, a fixture between Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers.