Lancashire FA today launched a Referee Training Fund, with the backing of former England international David James, who is supporting the initiative financially.
The fund will cover the costs for 10 candidates (5 males & 5 females) who live within the Lancashire FA boundaries to attend an FA Referee Course delivered by Lancashire FA, the first step on the pathway to becoming a qualified referee.
The timing of the fund is to celebrate 150 years of the FA Cup and 50 years of the Women’s FA Cup, both taking place over the weekend. We are very proud that Lancashire FA is being represented at each of the finals by two of our registered match officials; Emily Carney was appointed as an Assistant Referee for the Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final and Paul Tierney will be Video Assistant Referee at the Emirates FA Cup Final.
David James, a committed supporter of referees, is keen to see more people get into refereeing, and commented:
‘I am pleased to be able to make a small difference, alongside the great work already being done in Lancashire and across all regions in England, to encourage people to consider taking up refereeing. Hopefully my support will make the FA Referee Course accessible to those who may otherwise not have the means to sign up. I look forward to meeting the candidates once they are selected and following their refereeing journey!’
Simon Gerrard, Lancashire FA CEO, added:
‘Referees are a hugely important part of our game and as part of the National Game Strategy, we deliver courses, mentoring and ongoing professional development, within a successful and growing refereeing family. With David’s additional support, we will hopefully inspire even more men and women to consider the FA Referee Course and provide them with the key skills and knowledge they will need to be able to referee grassroots football matches in Lancashire safely and effectively.’
Lancashire FA is currently in the process of planning its FA Referee Courses to be delivered prior to and throughout Season 2022/23. Candidates interested in enrolling onto an FA Referee Course delivered by Lancashire FA are requested to complete the Expression of Interest Form
. If successful, candidates will be contacted directly via email with upcoming dates of the courses along with all the booking information and pre-course requisites.
Lancashire FA will dedicate 10 places on its first course of the 2022/23 campaign, to the 10 individuals who are randomly selected to be part of the Referee Training Fund initiative supported by David James. Should you wish to be in with a chance of being gifted a place, you must submit your expression of interest by Wednesday 15th June 2022.
Shaun Taylor, Lancashire FA Referee Development Officer, said:
‘We are very grateful for David’s kind gesture to support 10 individuals from Lancashire to achieve their FA Referee qualification and start them on their journeys in grassroots football. Across Lancashire we have an extremely dedicated and loyal referee workforce, whose service to the game doesn’t go un-noticed and who enable football to take place on a weekly basis throughout the season. Everyone at Lancashire FA is committed to continue supporting the recruitment, retention and progression of referees across the County, in order to have a positive impact at all levels of the game.’
Level 3 Referee & FIFA Assistant Referee Emily Carney added:
‘It’s fantastic to hear that ex-professional footballer, David James, is supporting 10 people from Lancashire to become an FA qualified referee, as a celebration of the number of years both the men’s and women’s FA Cup competitions have been in existence. I qualified as a Referee in the 2013/14 Season and now, less than ten years later, I am a Level 3 Referee and on the FIFA List of Assistant Referees. I have been supported throughout my career so far and been provided guidance and development opportunities by Lancashire FA, The FA and many other refereeing colleagues, helping me achieve my own personal goals within the game. I would definitely encourage anyone to become a referee as it can provide you with some great opportunities and can enhance key life skills such as confidence and communication. I am honoured to have been appointed as Assistant Referee to the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday and am looking forward to this special occasion.’