Referee courses June 2018

Increased support for trainee referees

AN INCREASED level of support is benefiting newly-qualified referees in Suffolk.

ALL 56 candidates who have completed The FA Referee Course since November 2017 are still continuing to officiate in matches around Suffolk.

The 100 per cent success rate reflects the increased level of support offered to newly-qualified referees. Following a restructure of the Suffolk FA Referees’ Department, the focus has shifted to ensuring that referees receive effective mentoring. Closer relationships with leagues and clubs have been able to enhance this provision.

Peter Biggs, who qualified last November, said: “The first few matches are the most daunting but you’ll be assigned mentors who are there to support and encourage your progress through those difficult first games where you really need someone on your side to help you learn and gain more confidence in your abilities.

“My mentors were very generous with their time and support, making themselves available for help and advice any time I needed to call on them.

“The staff at the Suffolk FA will always do what they can to make sure you’re getting the matches you need to progress and answer any questions that you have – it’s so nice to know you’ve got that support when you need it and I’ve found them to be friendly and accommodating.

“If you were to ask me if you should take the course, I’d answer with a resounding YES!"

David Cousins, whose grandson Josh Clague also qualified last November, said: “My grandson enrolled on a referees' course last winter and from the induction process through the course itself and since qualifying he has received a level of support from Suffolk FA that has made his introduction to refereeing a totally invigorating and enjoyable experience. Everything has been well run and I cannot recommend it highly enough to any other aspiring referees.”

Suffolk FA are now offering further opportunities for anyone wishing to become a referee, with four new courses starting in the next two months at the following venues:

Walsham-le-Willows FC: Introductory Evening – June 27th; Practical Training June 30th & July 1st

The New Croft, Haverhill: Introductory Evening – July 25th; Practical Training July 28th & 29th

Caister (Delivered by Norfolk FA): Commences August 3rd

Great Blakenham Village Hall: Introductory Evening – August 6th; Practical Training August 11th & 12th

The FA Referees Course is the starting point for anyone wishing to join the tens of thousands of referees who operate week in, week out on local parks, throughout the English football pyramid, up to those who officiate The FA Cup Final and on the International stage.

The initial stage of the FA Referee Course itself is made up of one Introductory Evening, as well as two full days’ practical training. Candidates will be given resources to enhance their knowledge of the Laws of the Game, allowing the course to focus on the practical application in a safe and nurturing environment, delivered by highly experienced FA Tutors.

The next stage then requires the candidate to referee five matches with support from the Referee Developer Team before attending a final Celebration Evening.

Suffolk FA Referee Development Officer Ian Atkins said: “It is vitally important that referees feel they are supported in the early stages of their career.

“We are always striving to ensure that we offer the best possible support, both to offer the opportunity to share experiences as well as to encourage those referees to aspire.

“We hope that by continuing to provide high-level mentoring support, we continue to attract those individuals who wish to enjoy the beautiful game in a different way.”

To find details of the above courses click here

If you require any further information relating to The Referee Course, please contact the Suffolk FA Referees’ Department on 01449 616606 and select option 4 or email

The Suffolk FA referee development programme is sponsored by Globex Freight Management Ltd.

Pictured above is Suffolk FA Referee Developer Chris Dale (right) mentoring a young referee at last month's KBB Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival at Whitton United FC.

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