A TAMESIDE football referee will officiate one of Europe’s most prestigious matches after landing a high profile appointment.
Chris Kavanagh will have the whistle for tonight’s UEFA Youth League final between Portuguese giants Benfica and Spain’s Real Madrid.
And the Ashton-based Premier League official admits enjoying every moment on the pitch, even when players and fans dispute his decisions, is key.
He also admits the team alongside him pushes him to be better.
Chris, who will be part of a quartet along with Dan Cook, Sian-Massey-Ellis and David Coote in Geneva, Switzerland, told the FA: “My advice would be to enjoy every moment you have in football. That’s key, but also set yourself goals and keep focused on them.
“I was absolutely delighted to receive the appointment. It came as a shock but we were all buzzing to receive it.
“The highlight is how well we’ve continued to grow as a team and learn from each game.
“The more games we do the more we know how each other thinks but also, we want to continue getting better so we constantly challenge each other about incidents in the game.”
Chris started refereeing as a 13-year-old and has worked his way up from local football, to non-league, the EFL and the Premier League.
Now he is receiving important European football appointments after ending the domestic season as an official at the Championship Play-Off semi-final between Brentford and Swansea.
And no matter whether he is on the touchline, in the middle or in the VAR room, every one has been important.
He added: “This year has been a mix of refereeing, fourth official and VAR appointments.
“Each one is completely different but continues to build experience in European football.”