Actonians FC opened their doors to referees from across the capital who turned out in droves. The AFA & Lonsar Referees’ Society, with generous sponsorship from the RA-FA Youth Council Referee Development Fund, organised a referee training workshop for all referees across all counties.
The invitation stated “You do not have to be a member of the Society in order to take advantage of this opportunity” and capital’s referees showed up in numbers.
The morning began with warm up exercises and continued with topics such as Laws of the Game updates; for example, on how to differentiate a DOGSO, how to manage penalties and direct free kicks. And, for the first time there was also assessing the communications kit – an experience reserved for professional referees only.
The day consisted of three different workshops covering refereeing topics such as “identifying a DOGSO” delivered by FA Licensed Tutor John Sporry and Errol Walker, managing penalty decisions as well as direct free kicks delivered by Peter Georgiou.
10 to 12 referees attended each workshop, with each group rotating to the next workshop, one after the other exposing everyone to useful tools and techniques that are critical to managing a game to a successful conclusion. Attendees had the opportunity at the end of each workshop to ask further questions, develop and discuss new approaches to problem-solving on the field of play.
The email invitation had stated “This event has been well-attended in the past, and feedback from those attending has been really fantastic.” Tini Kaja, a London FA referee, said “I found the DOGSO session extremely informative and useful.” Tini went on to say, “I have enjoyed every society event and I plan on attending all of them.” Post event feedback also showed that everyone had enjoyed the sessions and said that they would make use this of knowledge in their first games in the new season.
The final session consisted of a whole group exercise whereby AFA RDO John Cooke had prepared a number of cones, and asked participants 10 questions relating to the Laws of the Game updates. This is to train our referees to be able to “access their knowledge while on the move” John said. Just as well because during the game, we do not have the luxury of time.
After the sessions, everyone enjoyed free burgers, sausages, bacon, salad, cakes, fruit and much more – all prepared by Tania O’Toole who had spent her morning preparing food to feed over 35 tired and well drilled referees.
We would like to thank everyone who attended and especially huge thanks to Actonians FC or allowing us to use their club premises and our volunteers without whom our work would be impossible.