Six Northamptonshire FA affiliated referees and three coaches recently enjoyed a successful trip to Portugal to officiate in the 2018 Iber Cup in Estoril.
A group of Northamptonshire FA affiliated referees officiated a total of 32 games at the Iber Cup in Portugal between Monday 2 and Saturday 7 July, including 16 quarter-finals, four semi-finals and two appointments in the final.
Each year, referees are selected from the NFA CORE (Centre of Refereeing Excellence) group, based on their potential and performances throughout the season.
The Iber Cup, which is one of the largest and most international youth football tournaments in the world, offers a fantastic development opportunity to the selected referees, with real-time coaching available via a communications kit, before video debriefs are delivered in the evenings.
This year, Northamptonshire FA were represented by Gary Biddulph, Business Manager, Luke Scott, Referee Development Officer, coaches Chris Knowles, Ian Rathbone and Rob Evans, and referees Tom Beeton, Seth Galia, Sam Lee, Cameron Smith, Harry Price and Callum Czajkowski.
Speaking after the tournament, Luke Scott said: “We have been attending the Iber Cup in Estoril for four years now, and the development opportunity this tournament provides to the referees selected is second to none.
“We were delighted to have our most successful year in terms of final appointments, and the work now continues into next season and beyond for these referees. We look forward to seeing their improvements after implementing the points identified by the coaching team throughout the week.”
Gary Biddulph added: “After seeing such great success in previous seasons from referees who attended the Iber Cup, I was delighted to accompany a group of six referees, three coaches and our Referee Development Officer to Portugal to see first-hand the work that takes place.
“To witness such dedication, skill and support from the coaching team to our referees leaves me in no doubt that success will follow from this group in the coming season. This was an outstanding effort to develop our best referees in the county.”