Following on from the successful delivery of the very first PFA/FA/PGMOL Player to Referee Pathway course for PFA members in December 2019, the FA Referee Department, in partnership with our colleagues at the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), will be delivering another programme over two and a half days at Warwick University exclusively for PFA members.
The course will commence on Monday 22nd November and last until Wednesday 24th November, with meals and accommodation offered to attendees.
The course has been designed to expose and engage students with the technical, analytical, and practical elements of refereeing, whilst giving you a formal qualification at the end of the programme. If players decide to utilise their qualifications, then the FA Referee Department and PGMOL have agreed to provide further support, tuition, coaching and development to the individual.
Josh Crofts, a former Port Vale apprentice, capitalised on an invitation to join the Player to Referee pathway course and is now refereeing EFL academy fixtures across the country. Speaking to the PFA earlier this month, Josh explained how the qualification has provided a route back into the industry alongside his full-time job: ” The pathway involves various courses, starting with a two-day intensive qualification course at Loughborough University, where we were taught the basics of refereeing, got to try refereeing first-hand and learned more about the laws of game, and it got me hooked. By the end of the first course, I was ready to referee grassroots games, but I also attended some training days at Warwick University to further my development so I could learn how to referee higher level matches.
Once qualifying, members are supported by a variety of refereeing professionals. Crofts added: “Richard Jobson from the PFA, Daniel Meeson and Adam Kenton from The FA, Chris Foy from PGMOL and former ref Dave Horlick are all within my support network, so if I have anything to discuss, I can always pick up the phone and speak to those guys – they’re always there. They check in with me, come and watch me for support and give me development notes to review how games have gone. They’re hoping programmes like this can get more players interested in becoming referees because it’s a great way for ex-players who want to stay in football, especially those who drop out of the game early.”
The Professional Footballers Association and LFE are fully committed to supporting current and former apprentices, on and off the pitch, and hope that this relationship offers an additional pathway for all members.