THEY’VE sampled the experience of father Clive Oliver, now Town and their supporters have another chance to check of the youthful promise of his son Michael.
The pair, from Newcastle, are the only father-and-son team on the Football League referees’ list.
While Clive, 45, has been officiating at the top level since 2004-05, this is 22-year-old Michael’s first season.
But the whistler, who became a league linesman at 19, has already taken charge of two Town games, the 4-1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Grimsby in September and 3-2 FA Cup win at Accrington in November.
Clive was in the middle when Town beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 at the Galpharm in December.
While Michael heads down to West Yorkshire tomorrow, he’ll be on his way to referee Rochdale’s League II game against Chesterfield at Spotland.
Town boss Andy Ritchie wasn’t over-impressed with the performance of another twentysomething referee, Steven Cook, as his side lost out at Gillingham last week.
And Michael Oliver came in for criticism from Stoke boss Tony Pulis after the Championship leaders’ 2-0 defeat at Preston on Tuesday.
“The referee was a very young one and I’m not blaming him for the result,” said Pulis.
“But I thought he gave some poor decisions and certainly reacted when the crowd reacted.
“I suppose that’s experience. But I don’t think he should be given the opportunity to gain experience from a team that’s at the top of the table and a team that’s at the bottom of the table and fighting for their lives.”
Tomorrow’s Town clash will be his 23rd appointment of the season, the first being Mansfield versus Lincoln in League II.
So far he has dished out 53 yellow cards and four reds.