Referee writing in a notebook

Referee Academy

Developing your skills

The Army FA Referees' Committee has introduced a Development Academy aimed at junior football officials who have demonstrated the potential to progress to a higher level of officiating within the Football Association.

The aspiration is to provide a programme that will nurture and develop skills, enhancing both the military and sporting careers of individuals. Ultimately it is hoped that personnel will be promoted to the National List of football officials; this Academy will provide the necessary tuition, support and guidance.

The Academy is operated by SSgt Declan Ford, who is also a Football League and Conference official. It started as the "boom" period of a healthy number of Army officials involved at the top end of the game (FA Premier League, Football League and Conference) deteriorated with many Army officials coming to an end of their time as a soldier continuing their officiating and benefiting civilian counties in the process.

All those involved within the Academy are 30 years or younger and meetings/development days are held regularly throughout the year.

Soldiers interested in learning more about the Academy are asked to contact SSgt Ford at