The FA recently hosted its Young Referees Conference in Daventry.
249 referees aged between 18 and 25 attended The FA’s latest Young Referees Conference which concerned itself with the development of refereeing skill.
Throughout the weekend-long conference the key theme was ‘Getting the big decisions right’ and the young people present were privy to presentations and demonstrations from some key personnel with the refereeing and FA fraternity.
Gary Lewin, Physiotherapist for the England Senior Team, spoke about the need for referees to look after themselves both physically and mentally as well as providing nutritional advice and information on the management of injured players.
Participants were taken through the fundamentals of the Offside Law before Steve Swallow, a Regional Referees Manager, concentrated on how to cope with the demands of the modern game.
Other aspects covered over the weekend were teamwork, achieving promotion, lining techniques and how to deal with simulation. The FA’s Respect programme was also discussed in depth.
Despite the focus on refereeing theory, practical sessions were very well received, particularly given the pleasant weather conditions in Daventry, and fitness and positioning were the major focal points. David Elleray focused on ‘Vital judgements in the penalty area’ advising referees to remain alert, concentrate and ensure their decision is correct.
On a similar note, the conference was concluded by Select Group referees Stuart Atwell and Howard Webb, who shared their experiences with the conference and offered advice on ‘Getting the big decisions right’, telling the referees to manage each situation by staying calm, being strong and taking control.