Last updated on 18 December 2014
FA Young Referees enjoy development exchange with Danish FA
There are currently 107 young referees from all over the country participating on a two year development programme hosted and ran by the FA National Referee Managers. Whilst the programme is largely a distance learning opportunity, it also involves:
For the latter, 2014 saw the FA National Manager take a new stance on how the young referees would be selected to take part in the Danish FA exchange programme. So for the first of two ‘exchanges’ with our colleagues in Denmark, the following referees were chosen to represent the FA over the 2 legs:
The first of the two legged exchange was held in October at Liverpool FA who, under the watchful eye of the Liverpool FA Referee Development Manager and FA Referees’ committee vice-chairman Dave Horlick and his team of willing volunteers, play gracious hosts to the 3 young referees from England and Torre Ostergaard from the Danish FA and his 3 respective young referees – Patrick Andersen, Nikolaj Pedersen and Sidsel Rasmussen.
Each leg of the programme is a 3-day development experience for all of those referees involved. They are given bespoke practical and theoretical referee training and education by National Referee Manager, Daniel Meeson, which prepares them for the match day experiences that they will encounter over the weekend. In Liverpool, the 3 young Danish referees refereed a number of local games very kindly arranged by Liverpool FA. The English referees operated as assistant referees on the games that were all recorded to then provide the group with some invaluable learning resource later in the programme when they analyse and critique elements of their performance and decision making.
This year, the party were afforded the ‘treat’ of watching Everton versus Swansea in the Premier League where upon they were all given a valuable insight into the demands of refereeing at the very top when Kevin Friend, the match referee, played host to a brief question and answer session back at Suites Hotel.
In return, during early November, the FA party then travelled over to Copenhagen to complete the 2nd leg of the development exchange. After the group were welcomed to the Danish FA headquarters by Torre and his colleague Simon Gelvad, all of the referees were provided with a rare opportunity to be involved in a practical referee training session lead by top Danish and FIFA Referee, Mads Kristoffer.
Match days were set up in Copenhagen ready for the English Referees to put into practice some of the learning and development that they have taken whilst being on this programme, in addition to remaining open and receptive to alternative guidance afforded to them by Torre and his referee coaches. After some detailed video analysis and feedback on Sunday morning, each of the referees were given the opportunity to watch AB Copenhagen play Fredericia in the Danish 1st division. All of the referees were able to meet with the team of match officials after the game to discuss any observations or questions that they had compiled during the 90 minutes.
This is now the 6th group of young referees that have been involved in this programme over the last 4 years. Its concept was born from a dual idea between Senior National Game Referee Manager, Ian Blanchard, and Torre Ostergaard from the Danish FA. Ian and Torre saw this programme as a huge opportunity for both countries to construct a small development programme that would provide a valuable insight into identifying the next generation of refereeing talent in England and Denmark. They wanted to produce an informative, developmental and motivational experience for those involved to realise and subsequently fulfil their potential in refereeing.
“Over the last 4 years, this programme has played its part in identifying, nurturing and developing refereeing talent to the next level. You only have to look at the first exchange that we did when Helen Byrne participated, who is now in the first year as a National list assistant referee. This shows the realistic opportunity that is afforded to every single referee that comes onto this programme”
Chairman of the FA Referees’ committee, David Elleray, echoed Ian’s words and sights this exchange as an integral part of the two year Young Referee development programme.
“We are very happy indeed that we have such close co-operation between The FA and Denmark to develop the young Talents from both our countries. Friendship and learning together are very special and I have no doubt that this excellent programme will bring great benefits for refereeing in both our countries.”
The next batch of referees will again be selected from the 107 young referees currently operating on the 2 year programme. The next exchange programme will take place in March and April 2015.
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