Premier League

Jarred Gillett: The Premier League's first overseas referee

Jamie Spencer
Jarred Gillet moved to England from Australia and has been an EFL referee since 2019
Jarred Gillet moved to England from Australia and has been an EFL referee since 2019 / Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Jarred Gillett will become the first ever overseas Premier League referee when the Australian takes charge of Watford vs Newcastle at Vicarage Road on 25 September.

Gillett was born in Gold Coast and was one of the top referees in Australian soccer for almost a decade before moving his life to England in 2019.

Having made his A-League debut in 2010, he was named referee of the year five times in nine seasons and officiated at five A-League ‘Grand Finals’. He was in charge of 154 matches overall.

In addition to refereeing in Australia, he has also handled games in the Chinese Super League, Saudi Professional League and Indian Super League.

Why did Jarred Gillett start refereeing in England?

Jarred Gillett
Jarred Gillett was an A-League referee for nine seasons / Tony Feder/Getty Images

Gillett was a FIFA-listed international referee representing Australia until he left the A-League in 2019, with his move to English football coming about that same year after he accepted a post-doctoral research role at Liverpool John Moore’s University.

He had previously achieved a PhD in biomechanics from the University of Queensland at the end of 2018 and relocating to England saw his research continue, focusing on children with cerebral palsy.

Within a few weeks of arriving in England, Gillett was enlisted as a fourth official at a Liverpool legends exhibition match at Anfield. Three weeks after that, he became an EFL referee, taking charge of a League Two clash between Morecambe and Cheltenham in April 2019.

At the end of that campaign, Gillett was chosen to referee Blackburn against Swansea in the Championship and he had been in charge of 64 EFL games by the end of the 2020/21 season.

Jarred Gillett – VAR expert

The 34-year-old was upgraded to the Premier League’s referee pool for the 2021/22 campaign and his primary role in the opening weeks of the season, until being selected to take charge of Watford vs Newcastle, had been as a VAR official.

He has worked on a number of games from VAR HQ at Stockley Park already this season and is arguably an expert in the field. He was among the first referees trained in VAR technology in 2017, with the A-League the first top-flight division to adopt the innovations.

Jarred Gillett – mic’d up

Gillett drew international fame in March 2019 when he wore a microphone for his final game in the A-League, allowing television viewers to listen to everything he said. It was fascinating and drew widespread praise.

Can Jarred Gillett referee in the Champions League or World Cup?

Having had to give up his FIFA listed status in 2019 when he left Australia, it remains to be seen whether Gillett could yet return to international refereeing.

It is not a closed door for him to officiate internationally under FIFA or UEFA jurisdiction, but the decision has to come from the FA to include him on their list. Citizenship would first be a requirement to do so.

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