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Academy Referee
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

For football referees the summer is the off season with many choosing to relax before the new season in August. I decided my time would be better spent learning with experienced referee coaches from Europe and America. I also liked the idea of meeting young referees from other countries and seeing how/if they differed in their technique and approach to English referees.

How did you find your placement/internship?

A Facebook advert!

Application process

I had to complete a football Laws of the Game exam as well as a video exam which asked how you would deal with various scenarios. I also had to fill out a personality questionnaire and obtain a letter of recommendation from my local county FA (Sheffield and Hallamshire)

Main responsibilities

Acting as a referee and assistant referee (linesman) or as many as 6 junior games of football per day. These ranged from Under 12's to Under 18's and were of a very high standard.

Typical day

A typical day would be to get up at 6:45am and head down to breakfast at the hotel before being assigned into a group of 4 and given a coach for the day. Arrival at our designated pitch would be between 8:30am and 10am. From then games of 25 minutes each way would commence until around 7pm in the evening. Typically I would act as a referee twice, an assistant 2-3 times and be resting the rest of the time. After this we would go for dinner at the Anoeta, the stadium of Real Sociedad before heading back to the hotel for a meeting at around 9pm.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I enjoyed meeting the international referees and seeing how they are taught to do things in their respective countries. This was useful for my own development as we could discuss why they are taught to do it their way and what benefits they can bring to my own game. I also enjoyed having a highly qualified coach with me every day. On all 4 days I was with a coach who used to referee internationally or at the top level domestically. Their knowledge and advice has proven invaluable and will help me rise up through the levels in England

Challenging aspects

Fatigue was the main challenge. Being used to refereeing 2 -3 games a week I found it difficult doing around 20, albeit shorter matches, in 5 days.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

My course and this placement were completely different from one and other so not really!

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

I have wanted to take my refereeing as far as I can for a number of years and this placement reinforced my desire. It's very competitive at the top so there are not guarantees but I intend to give it my best shot!

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Go abroad! Experiencing how different work cultures are, even in the same industry is important is you want to make it to the top of your chosen profession.

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Form completed: 31 Aug 2017

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