So, when Martin Atkinson ran out to officiate Liverpool versus Barcelona at Wembley following a successful Euro 2016, the eyes of thousands of young English officials were watching closely.
How would he apply the new law changes? What performance would he deliver?
There is no doubt that over recent months, Atkinson – one of the older statesmen in the Select Group of professional referees – has worked hard off the field to ensure a higher standard of personal fitness.
His movement at Wembley in this challenging friendly encounter between two historic clubs was an opportunity to demonstrate his refereeing skills.
The handshakes at the end of the game reflected that the players were happy with his performance.
We at You Are The Ref send our best wishes to Martin Atkinson for the season ahead.