FOR some teachers their ideal weekend is putting their feet up and forgetting all about the stresses of their working life.

However, one Clydebank High teacher loves nothing better than swapping hyperactive teenagers for some confrontational footballers.

Some people might know his face, but computing teacher Euan Anderson, 30, admits he prefers to keep his face off of our TV screens and the sports pages of our newspapers, as that means he has done his job right.

The outgoing teacher - who has risen to the top of the refereeing profession in the Scottish game - has spent 15 years as the man in the middle and he wouldn't change it for the world.

While footballers are off sunning themselves before pre-season Euan is still training five nights a week and spent a weekend recently being put through his paces with the rest of the country's top whistlers.

But the ref reckons the classroom is an ideal place to set him up for a weekend of tackling the SPL's top stars.

He said: "I think working as a teacher is the perfect place for a referee to enhance his people skills.

"You are dealing with a lot of different people and characters and it is the exact same on the park. You have to build relationships with kids and parents just in the same way you do with managers and players.

"I was a referee before I was a teacher but it seems to have worked together quite well and some of the skills I have learned in the classroom I have used in the park and vice versa.

"The kids love seeing me in the papers and on the TV but they aren't slow in telling me when I have got something wrong in their opinion.

"I love being in the background. If I am coming away from a game and my performance isn't mentioned then I am happy because then I think I have got most things right."

The confident whistler kicked off his career at the tender age of 15, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

However, he admits he had to turn to the notebook and whistle if he wanted to make it to some of the country's best stadiums.

When asked about his own playing skills, he said: "I got to the stage that playing wasn't going to get me any further and I am sure anyone who has seen me playing will vouch for that.

"My dad and granda both refereed the amateur cup final at Hampden, so I thought that might be a good way to go. I worked my way up and 15 years later I am at the top of the game.

"Being able to go onto the pitch as a ref is brilliant and I have been at every ground in Scotland in some sort of capacity and I would never have done that as a player.

"To me it doesn't matter where I am working and the kids asked me how it must be great being there in front of 50,000 people, but to be honest I block it all out.

"To me it is 22 players on the park and you don't really know what people are saying about you, you do hear noise but you are concentrating too much to hear it. I know we get stick from everyone from the fans to the managers and players but the managers know we have a job to do.

"But we understand that the managers and players are under pressure as well. It really is make or break for some of them, but if you have a good relationship with them it can certainly make it easier."

All fans around the country reckon they know better in the man in the middle and they are quick to question some of their fitness levels, but Euan says he and the other refs around the country are put through rigorous tests regularly to make sure they are up to scratch.

Talking about his fitness, he said: "We do official tests four times a year and if you don't pass then you don't see any games.

"I train five or six times a week as well as doing a game. I train Monday to Friday after the day job and Sunday is my only day off.

"We wear heart rate monitors and the data is sent to the SFA to make sure we are doing the right sort of training to help us be at our peak.

"There is no point and going to run a marathon because we don't do that on a Saturday and I do jogging as well as cycling to keep me in the best shape possible.

"Sometimes the kids come in and tell me I got this decision or that decision wrong on a Saturday, but when I ask them how many decisions I got right, they can't answer.

"So I ask them whether they get every question in a test right, they say no, I tell them that's just like me. I do enjoy having a laugh and joke with the kids, just like I do with the players."

Euan is delighted to see so many talented younger refs making the grade as a referee, but he hopes more youngsters will take the step into being the man in the middle.

And he admits that although there can be some tough days as the man in the middle the positives are far greater. He has even taken to running courses at the school to encourage pupils to pick up a whistle.

He said: "I started doing a referee class in the school and the kids seem to love it.

"They have actually qualified as referees thanks to the programme and they have been refs for P7 games as well as games in the school. I love doing that type of thing and I think the kids have taken a lot from it too.

"The SFA are really looking to get younger refs into the game and keeping them in the game and hopefully we have helped to do that.

"The rewards of being a ref are massive. You can get to go some of the best stadiums, not only in this country but around the world.

"We have produced some of the best refs around the world and we have two guys who are in the running to go to the World Cup in Brazil next year.

"I spoke to Willie Collum recently about being the referee at Wembley and he said it was one of the best experiences in his life.

"Being a referee has loads of benefits and it is really enjoyable. I would encourage anyone to take it up.

"Sometimes you have bad days, but that is like any job anywhere."

* If you would like to find out how you could become a referee, visit the SFA's website at: and click on referee.