Rattray (35), a project manager for the Opportunity Enhancement Trust that works with local school pupils to help develop their literacy, numeracy and enterprise skills through a LEADER supported project, gave some background to the situation across Moray.
"The Central Schools Football League is the official title of the Moray and Banff schools league and there are ten secondary schools involved. At present there is a real problem finding referees both for midweek games and for Saturday mornings and this has already lead to three games being postponed with a number of others being taken by the coaches/teachers.
"In general the games at U-13, 14 and 15s are relatively easy to manage and while you get the odd moan on the park it is an enjoyable experience as opposed to an afternoon dealing with the abuse handed out to officials at the higher levels of the game.
"However the problems are arising because in places such as Buckie there isn't a single qualified referee, but we now have four schools teams and a host of other games at a variety of levels. So much work has been put in to developing the sport in the town over the past seven or eight years and yet a lot of that good work could come undone because there are no referees for games.
"The Moray clubs have a number of players who work offshore or in jobs where they may be free to cover afternoon fixtures and just having them cover the occasional game would make a huge difference. Again, taking Saturday morning games may not be as suitable but again taking an U-13 game is never going to be particularly strenuous."
Rattray himself has been covering schools games for the last five years and believes that it is an excellent opportunity for the players who may have an eye on management to be a step ahead of the game.
He added, "There are a number of talented players coming through the ranks with Stuart Thomson from Speyside High having picked up a contract at Aberdeen during the summer and the fact that the North of Scotland U15s have been national champions twice in the last three season's tells you a lot about the standard of some of the football.
"From a schoolboy players perspective I think it would be fantastic for the young lads to see the likes of Highland League experienced players such as Zico Davidson, Donnie Munro, Kevin Main, Kevin Stuart, Craig McGovern, Ashley Grant, Neil Whyte or Fraser Bremner in charge of their games and hopefully the lads will be willing to help out for the sake of the game."
The Moray and Banff Referees Association is currently putting plans in place to hold a new referees course beginning at the end of this month. The venue of the course will be decided by the level of interest throughout the region. Anyone interested in participating (or even just covering some schools matches) should e-mail Steven Rattray on