GOING full cycle, Scott Muir’s career as a Group Nine referee will reach a fabulous milestone on Sunday.
Two decades after making an unheralded debut as a touch judge in a lower grade game at Harris Park, Muir will return to the suburban Wagga venue to referee his 250th first grade game.
Only recently turned 44 years old, Muir has been booked to control the mouth-watering clash between top-of-the-table Gundagai and third-placed Southcity.
And despite 22 years of involvement in Group Nine football, Muir admits the thrill of refereeing two imposing teams remains as vibrant as ever.
“I’m really looking forward to Sunday,” Muir said on Thursday.
“It’s always good when you get to referee a game like this.
“They’re two of the better teams in the competition – it’s got a real semi-final feel.”
Heading into Sunday’s major appointment, Muir stands alongside Bernie Nix and Max Biles as one of the “survivors” of the Group Nine refereeing ranks.
“There’s only a few of us left,” Muir said on Thursday.
“We’ve been going for 20 years or more.”
Recalling his initiation to refereeing in 1993, Muir said his first taste at Harris Park has been completely uneventful.
“I actually ran a line in for a game between Turvey Park and Temora,” Muir said.
“I didn’t get to do a centre until the following week. I did my first centre at Eric Weissel Oval.”
Nowadays, Turvey Park and Eric Weissel Oval are no more, but Muir continues to ply his trade.
“I’ll keep doing it for as long as I keep enjoying it,” Muir said.
“Sunday will be my 363th game in any grade.”
A mentor for the young referees on the rise, including Jake White and Toby Popple, Muir regards controlling the 2012 first grade grand final won by Albury as his career highlight.
However, Muir also rates “any final” as “inspiration” to back up for the following season.
He is also relishing the chance to try to ensure Sunday’s blockbuster lives up to its hype.
“I’ll take it as it comes,” he said.
“I’ll try to control the ruck and keep the 10 metres.”
Significantly, Muir is now nurturing his 14-year-old daughter Sarah-Jane as a referee.
“There was no influence (from me),” he said.
“Sarah just wanted to do it.”
One of Group Nine’s finest
Name: Scott Muir
Total games: 363
First grade games: 249
Highlight: 2012 Group Nine grand final
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