When Craig Beard first picked up a referee’s whistle after giving up his rugby league playing career, he never imagined he would officiate 100 games at the region’s top level.
Beard started refereeing in 2010 and reached the milestone on Saturday in the A grade game between Armidale Rams and Inverell Hawks.
“A lot of hard work goes into refereeing which a lot of people don’t realise. I start pre-season training and train once or twice a week so to get to 100 and still be going is pretty good,” Beard said.
Highlights for Beard include refereeing last year’s A grade grand final between Macintyre Warriors and Narwan Eels and receiving the 2017 referee of the year award.
For the full interview, tune into the Group 19 podcast which is published on Fairfax Media websites across the New England North West every Friday from 6pm.