12:40 Thursday 21 February 2013

FA centre hosts referee master class

Written byROB SMYTH

A FORMER top Premiership referee has hosted a masterclass at the new national football centre.

The Football Association (FA) opened its doors at St George’s Park to put on a special training session hosted by Dermot Gallagher and coach Steve Dunn, both former top-level referees, in the immaculate grounds of the £105 million facility.

The day started in the classroom with an introduction to refereeing and overview of National Referee Development Programme and Carlsberg Awards.

This was followed by an interactive session on the challenges referees face on the pitch and the skills they require to succeed in their jobs.

After a lively question and answer session, the group was then to the outside pitches for a practical session.

Mr Gallagher, who refereed at the highest level in England for 17 years, said: “The aim was to showcase the work that referees go through to get up to optimum fitness, be at the top of their game to make decisions in an instant, and to explain the work they do in the classroom to improve their understanding and decision-making within the game.

“It is not easy being a referee with the scrutiny they face today and it can be a lonely job.”

With referees under increasing scrutiny, the newly formed FA Carlsberg Referee Awards have been set up to highlight the great work that is done by referees from grassroots level all the way to the Premiership.

Referee coach Steve Dunn said: “We are keen to highlight the work that goes on behind the scenes with referee coaching and development in this country.”

There are six award categories, which include outstanding contribution to refereeing and the women referee award for outstanding performance and contribution.

Anyone over 18 years old can be nominated and more information is available at www.thefa.com/my-football/

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