Nearly 100 brand new referees were welcomed to the County this week at the first BCFA combined Module 5 Session at the Village Hotel in Solihull.
The new candidates all had successfully attended the brand new basic referees course in the Summer, completing both the theoretical aspects of refereeing, and being trained in the practical aspects of refereeing. On successful completion of their examination on the laws of the game, the referee candidates were then invited to join their local league, where they were allocated matches to complete their six mandatory training matches in order to put into practice the knowledge gained in the course.
The night was kicked off by Tom Bowkett and Ryan Haynes, both Level 5 Referees and acting members of the BCFA Referee Youth Council. They presented the candidates with advice on the next stages of refereeing and the opportunites for referees in the Birmingham County FA area.
Outlining the objectives of the Referee Youth Council; recruitment, retention and development, the team discussed the varied opportunites to those referees who wish to progress and develop their skills.The team explained the new County Mentoring scheme, the opportunity to join two brand new referee academies based at Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, and outlined the requirements of the joining the Promtion Scheme and Development Group.
Following on from Tom and Ryan’s presentation, PGMO Training and Development Manager Ray Olivier gave the referees an insight into what would be expected if you have the ability and dedication to make refereeing into a career, from officiating on major cup compeitions to having the opportunity to represent England as a FIFA level referee. Whilst Ray clarified the difficulty and rarity of a referee being selected for Level 4 and above, it inspired a lot of the young referees (and some of the mentors) of what can be achieved if you have the right skills and motivation.
After a short break the new referees were invited to take part in a forum, lead by Referee Development Officer David Nixon, who discussed the common problems facing newly qualified referees and advised on how to both pre-empt and manage these problems. As the majority of referees experience some form of conflict in their first six matches, David, along with Referee Manager Corin Readett re-iterated the importance of enjoying your refereeing, and that conflicts with players and spectators can be managed and resolved, and should not deter from referees enjoying the game.
Tom Bowkett along with RA Board Member Laura Ritchie then gave a brief outline of the Referees Association and the benefits of being a part of your local Referees Association, including access to training, support, insurance, and incentive schemes.
The evening concluded with a special presentation for those newly qualified referees who had successfully completed their six training games.
It was a successful night all round and we look forward to welcoming our new Autumn referee course candidates for their Module 5 Session in December.
If you are interested in becoming a Referee please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org