Hertfordshire FA sent Daniel Barcroft, Daniel Jones and Scott Crowhurst to the conference.
Daniel Jones from Hemel Hempstead (previous winner of The Herts FA ‘Most Promising Referee’ Award – Annual Awards) has since been selected by The FA for a further Development programme involving an FA Talent Exchange Programme with the Danish FA.
For these Referee’s the Conference brought a conclusion to a 2 year ‘scholarship’ programme that has included an opportunity to take part in the following key initiatives:
- Bespoke on-line learning tasks and discussion forums
- Attending 2 Training and Development Conferences at Staverton Park and St George’s respectively
- Taking part as a Referee in Premier League Youth Tournaments
- Taking part in a Young Talent Exchange Programme with the Danish Football Federation
County FA’s nominated 2 or 3 of their most aspiring, committed and talented young Referees to take part in this flagship FA Referee development initiative over a two year period.
The programme forms a superb footing in terms of the resources, training, education and experiences that it provides in order to prepare that Referee for the new challenges that he or she will face.
During the two days at St George’s Park all of the Referees took part in a number of high quality technical and practical training sessions lead by the National Referee Manager’s and a small number of support staff from around the counties.
The Referees were also treated to a Question time session with Football League Referee Darren England, FIFA Assistant Referee John Brooks and Women’s FIFA Assistant Referee Natalie Walker. All three of these officials had previously graduated from this programme and had since reached the heights of the Football League and respective FIFA panels.
During the weekend, the Referees were joined by a number of high profile guests from within the Football Association. Barry Bright, leader of FA Council was there throughout as was Dave Horlick (Vice Chairman of the FA Referees’ Committee) and Peter Ackerley (Senior National Game delivery Manager).
Barry and David joined Ian Blanchard (Senior National Game Referee Manager) in presenting all of the Referees with their diplomas of attendance during the Saturday evening graduation dinner in the Bobby Robson ballroom.
During the Conference opening, National Referee Manager Daniel Meeson told the Referees
“There has quite simply never been a better time to be a Referee, there has never been a better time to be a young Referee. Referee development continues to be on the rise in this Country and the support channels that exist now in comparison to 20 years ago are immense. Take hold of the future. Be the very best that you can be.”
As the weekend of training and education came to a conclusion it was left to Ian Blanchard to sow some final thought provoking words to all of those young referees who had completed the programme.
“As a group, we have come a long way over the 2 year period. I have before me over 100 Referees who have matured and grown as individuals but have developed and got better together. It is important that you utilise your time on this programme as giving you some solid learning foundations on which to build on.
I know that the respective Conferences will have motivated and inspired you but the hard work now begins. Make sure as you move through the Referee pyramid that you stay focused, disciplined and resilient. It is an honour to have been given the opportunity to play a part in your early development as a Referee.”
All of the 103 Referees who took part in this foundation programme will now move into steps 4 and 5 of the FA National Referee Development Programme.
For more information on refereeing in Hertfordshire, please contact Referee Development Officer, Phil Sharp on 01462 650220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org