Teenagers take up the whistle

FOUR teenagers have taken up refereeing in Guernsey this season

The new officials, all aged under 16, have already started doing league games at under-14 level and below and have generally made a good impression with coaches and players with their performances. They are being mentored and supported by qualified and experienced referees.

‘I’ve been really pleased with the way the lads have taken to their new roles,’ said GFA director James Falla, one of the referee mentors. ‘They’ve shown enthusiasm, knowledge and good people skills – I hope they continue to enjoy themselves in the middle.’

The four – Etienne Le Vallee, Oscar Leadbeater, Hugh Brown and Seb Vance ­– all play league football too. They completed a course earlier this season which was the first organised by the Guernsey Football Association in a new partnership with Specsavers to support referee development.

Etienne Le Vallee, a player with Vale Rec, is the oldest of the four new recruits.

‘It looked really fun and enjoyable and I have really enjoyed the games since I started,’ he said.

‘It’s a good challenge to take responsibility for the pitch and it’s a good life skill to gain. I know that possibly every decision I make won’t please both teams, but you’ve just got to deal with that.

‘The training course was really enjoyable. With only four of us on the course we had some good fun and at times it felt almost like a one-to-one course.

‘I am really enjoying refereeing so far, so much so that I’m looking at how and when I can go to a higher level. I’ll look forward to doing senior games as I get older – I’m sure refereeing players older than you will be another big step up.’

Specsavers also sponsors referees with the Scottish FA and backs match officials in other sports, including rugby union, rugby league and cricket.

‘The association is delighted with the support of Specsavers, such a prominent brand within Guernsey, which will enable the GFA to be able to give something back to our current officials in terms of their ongoing development, and also to look at ways of encouraging more people to get involved and train as a referee,’ said GFA director Phil Sykes.

  • The GFA intends to hold another training course early in 2018 and is looking for teenagers and adults interested in taking up the whistle. For more information contact Geoff Ogier on Geoff.Ogier@guernseyfa.com or call 01481 200443

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