When the captain is the goalkeeper...


New Member
Level 7 Referee
Just had a quick question about how to manage the goalkeepers and captains combo.

I often talk to the captain throughout the game, and if a player gets a bit heated, a quick conversation involving said player, the captain and myself can often calm the player down, preventing the need for further action later in the game. The same can be said for backchat, as I use the captains to give a team wide final warning and it just helps game control overall.

But how do you approach this when the captain is the goalkeeper? For instance if I want to have a word with a teams striker to cool them, I risk slowing the game down to call the keeper up to have a word, or I risk frustrating the keeper who has to keep leaving his goal every time. What would you recommend I do to combat this?

Do you use another player on the team (who you know is vocal enough to take the place of a sort of vice captain) or do you not use the captain unless it does not inconvenience the keeper/captain for example during a long stoppage or when the game is close to their goal? Or do you find a middle ground?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

(Apologies if this has been discussed in another thread)


Regular Contributor
I ask the keeper to nominate someone sensible who I can use, if needed, so I don't have to drag them 70 yds down the other end of the pitch.
This approach works well - and good practice to invite the keeper/captain and their on-field player/acting for captain to join you for the coin toss and pre-match words of advice from you.