JAK Clark has joined Suffolk FA as the Referee Development Officer.
The 28-year-old (pictured above) will have responsibility for the development of the Referee workforce across the county, including the recruitment, conversion, retention and progression of Referees within the game.
Jak, who qualified as a Referee in 2017, is a Level 4 official, refereeing at Step 5 and 6 of the National Football League. Jak is also a Level 3W Womens National Referee and holds a Level 1 in Coaching Football qualification.
He is a member of the FA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) programme which provides selected referees from a variety of levels with quality training, education and development opportunities.
His most prestigious appointment so far was refereeing last season’s CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Final at Colchester United FC between AFC Sudbury Reserves and Framlingham Town, who won 2-0.
Born in Norwich, Jak grew up in Beccles and attended Bungay High School. He then did a degree in Sport & Physical Education at the University of Bedfordshire, graduating in 2016.
Jak, who was head groundsman at Heveningham Hall for two years prior to joining Suffolk FA, lives in Halesworth with partner Hope and has a three-year-old daughter Ada.
He said: “I am really motivated by wanting to help and develop other people and give them the same level of support that I have received.”
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal said: “We’re delighted to welcome Jak to the Suffolk FA team. His personal values of wanting to help people realise their potential fit ideally with this role, our refereeing work, and in general with the organisation.
“One of Jak’s key roles will be to ensure new referees, who have just completed a Referee Course, are appropriately mentored during their initial matches.
“After completing their initial games and gaining some experience and confidence, further development opportunities can be considered including local training and webinars, progressive appointments on local leagues, transitioned into other formats and ages of the game, the Suffolk FA Referee Academy, applying for promotion, invited to the Suffolk FA CORE programme, and/or The FA CORE programme.
“Jak’s experience of having worked through the Suffolk refereeing system will be invaluable in ensuring further enhancements and developments are made to continue to support officials at all stages of their refereeing journey.”