The footballing summer was dominated by the Euros and in a complete cut and paste from two years ago when I stated that ‘England predictably failed to make it out of the group stages and Germany proved that the group is greater than the sum of the individuals‘ still applies fully, just delete Germany and insert Wales or Portugal! The officiating was generally very good and it was encouraging to see an England team in the final even if they were the team overseeing the match. Mark Clattenburg has had an outstanding end to his season and he was very well supported by his teams, specifically in the FA Cup Final where WO1 Andy Halliday was one of his assistants; this was an exceptional achievement and our congratulations go to Andy (again!) for this wonderful appointment. Other notable achievements were Sgt Craig Davenport (Dobson’s Trophy) Cpl Si Thorburn (Le Breton Trophy) and Sgt Chris Hastings (Army Cup Final referee). SSgt Dec Ford was the 4th official for the FA Trophy Semi Final Second Leg and Cpl Robbie Dabbs was an Assistant Referee for the FA Sunday Cup.
This is my fifth season as your Chairman and I am always encouraged by the level of commitment that is shown by all officials, observers (more of that later) tutors and mentors; you all ensure that Army Football referees are very well thought of inside and outside of military circles.
We have a fantastic group of regional committees working on your behalf; please use their knowledge and expertise where necessary to ensure that you are aware of all activities some of which include:
3 Aug 16 - Academy Dates
5-8 Sep 16 – Aldershot
10-13 Oct 16 – Catterick
23-26 Jan 17 – Aldershot
13-16 Mar 17 – Stafford
26 Apr 17 - Army Cup Final
27 Apr 17 - RAFA event
Updates: The following are of note:
Laws of the Game: This season will see the biggest change to the Laws of the Game with 96 changes/amendments being introduced; officials of all levels are required to keep up to date with these alterations because it is guaranteed that some but not all players/administrators/club
secretaries will not and you will be asked about some decisions. There is an opportunity to get some tuition at the academy meeting on Wed 03 Aug in Aldershot. Do not get caught out!
Tutors: The FA are in the process of amending the structure of the tutors family, those who are currently qualified should have been contacted by the FA confirming their status.
Observers: There has been a shift in emphasis at the FA in that the term ‘assessor’ was deemed to be too intrusive with the perception that being assessed was a mechanism to find fault. With immediate effect, those qualified will be referred to as Observers with reports concentrating on development. Those already qualified will remain eligible to observe promotion candidates so long as they are in date and attend the re-licensing day scheduled for 13 Sep 16 with the opportunity for new observers to attend the training on 16 Nov 16.
Equipment: Referees equipment can be purchased through a number of outlets, A&H provide a comprehensive package, details are on their website. Army officials can secure a discount using the promotion code 12ARMY15%.
Availability and Activity: This is a very important aspect and requires effort from all concerned. Appointments Secretaries attempt to fill all games in a timely manner; this is made much more difficult by late withdrawals, the apparent lack of availability and an ongoing shortage of active referees. If you are unavailable for a period, then pass these details on to the relevant personnel to avoid unnecessary re-appointments. I ask the following:
- Ensure that you inform personnel of dates when you are away and not available accepting that you won’t get games on all the dates you are free.
- Accept any appointment at the earliest opportunity.
- On accepting an appointment, please put it into your diary, clear through your line manager and fulfil it.
- Be prepared to do your fair share of Assistant Referee duties, regardless of your level.
- If you have problems getting released and you genuinely cannot resolve it at unit level let me know. I have many ways of helping you but only if I know there is an issue.
- If you have to withdraw, make sure it is in extremis and that you let people know at the earliest opportunity, if it is less than 48 hours prior to a game, then phone the relevant persons.
Men’s Army Appointments (Declan Ford), Women’s Army Appointments (Declan O’Shea) and Divisional Appointments are probably the most demanding roles that we have and are covered by some of the most devoted and enthusiastic people I have encountered and my thanks to them cannot be more sincere. Please ensure that you play your part in making their job as easy as possible.
Promotion: The promotion year runs 01 Mar – 28 Feb the following year, all 2015/16 candidates have been informed whether they have were successful and congratulations if you were promoted last season. For those with aspirations this season, I would encourage you to take charge of your own destiny; ensure you know the criteria and when all needs to be completed by. This is especially applicable if you have applied for a ‘double jump’. Good luck to all in their aspirations.
Finally: You are very fortunate to be supported by some highly committed, totally dedicated and vastly experienced committee members (both centrally and Divisionally) who act on your behalf to ensure that you are able to fulfil your potential, ensure that you play your part in making their role as easy as possible.
Enjoy your season.