Within the Jersey FA Business Plan 2015-19 a four year target was set to have 48 registered referees in order to provide 100% coverage of all games on the Island. To support this aspiration a Jersey FA Referee Development (RDC) was created and opened as a ‘pilot’ initiative in January 2016. Following an extremely successful roll-out earlier this year, an approach was made to the One Foundation to request partnership funding to continue the programme for over 20 weeks during the 2016-17 season. Linked to the Jersey FA Capita Centre of Excellence, a three hour theory and practical session is provided each week for young referees to learn and officiate games in a high quality learning environment. The RDC provides young officials, who have recently completed their FA Basic Referee Training Course, with the opportunity to work as a team under the guidance of Jersey FA RDC Co-ordinator Paul Daniel.
The aims of the Referee Development Centre are as follows:
- To provide a high quality learning environment in which young referees can officiate the game;
- To provide increased support to young people who are interested in becoming a referee;
- To increase the number of referees and assistants working in the grassroots game;
- To officiate player development centre games in a controlled learning environment;
- To raise the profile of refereeing opportunities for young people.
The young officials identified for this seasons programme are: Dominic Le Fondre (16), Michael Pih (16), Jordan Le Fondre (16), Harry Walker (15), Daniel Allen (15) and Ethan Woodley (14). Jersey FA RDC Co-ordinator Paul Daniel said: “Following the very successful pilot programme last season we followed up with the delivery of an FA Basic Referees Training Course in October. This has enabled us to expand the RDC to two groups of three officials working on alternative weeks. We have also been able to introduce a mentoring programme utilising the knowledge and experience of our referee workforce.” Jersey FA RDC Mentor Jamie Le Fondre said: “Having been involved myself last season as a recently qualified referee, I recognise the value the Referee Development Centre played in my development. The Centre provides an excellent learning environment for younger referees to develop their skills and also provides the opportunity to meet and work alongside more experienced officials”. Jersey FA Football Development Manager Brian Oliver said: “We are delighted that the One Foundation have been so supportive of our vision to provide a programme to support the next generation of referees and assistants. The One Foundation support has enabled us to cover costs which includes the provision branded referee kit for all our young officials. We are also extremely grateful to a number of experienced referees who have been so supportive of this initiative”.