The Tournaments Abroad Referee Academy

Tournaments Abroad is delighted to announce the start of a new, innovative project for Referee Education that will take place at tournaments starting from next year: the International Referee Academy. Over the last few years one of the main goals of our network has been to help referees develop their skills to the next level, and we have been thrilled in knowing that many officials have achieved great things after attending our events. When last summer we started working on the Referee Academy project our idea was to find a way to strenghten our vocation to referee development, in a way that young officials could benefit from it even more. And this is the idea we came up with. How will the Tournaments Abroad Referee Academy work?

What is the Referee Academy

The Referee Academy will be a summer educational program for young up-and-coming referees that will take place during our international tournaments. The idea is that of a “summer school” to which referees from different countries and background can take part in order to improve their refereeing and social skills.

While referees in the academy will referee like any other officials participating to the selected tournaments, an additional range of activities will be organized for them: from classroom to training sessions, from more detailed de-briefs by coaches and assessors to a daily evaluation of their performance.

It doesn’t aim at replacing any development activity organized by the national or local FAs, rather to build on the work they do every year for their officials. In short, it will be yet another opportunity for promising referees to strive and shine on the international refereeing stage.

Who can Participate

Every year Tournaments Abroad will select 25 referees for its academy. These officials will be evaluated through a detailed selection process consisting of more phases and levels.

Any referee between the ages of 17 (born in 2000) and 23 (born in 1994) will be able to apply. A few places may be offered for people born in 2001 or 1993, provided that their applications are considered to be “exceptional”.

The selection process will start with an application by the referee on our website (we expect to open applications around the end of November) and will continue throughout December with a range of different tests for all applicants. In January we will then hold the final one-to-one interview to select the final 25.

Where and When will it take place?

As mentioned above, the Referee Academy will be a summer project. Referees who apply for the academy will have to be available to attend two different tournaments with Tournaments Abroad in the same summer.

In the first tournament, the more intensive one, which will take place in July, referees will receive coaching throughout the event. At the end of the week they will then receive a “temporary scorecard” with development points on which to work on during the second tournament, which will instead take place in August.

At the end of the second tournament, a final referee scorecard will be published and released, as well as sent to each referee’s own national FA.

The names and dates of the selected tournaments will be announced just before the application process opens.

The Main Features

Referee in the academy will referee matches during the selected tournaments but will also take place to a number of other activities organized by their coaches and the special Tournament Abroad guests.

These people will work in close contact with the selected referees throughout the week, offering them advice and suggestions on how to improve their refereeing, their style, personality and so on.

In every tournament, referees will be able to count on the support of a minimum of three different coaches, all involved in refereeing at national or international level. Guests will instead be famous  referees and instructors who will be specially invited to the tournament in order to provide their feedback to all academy referees.

In short, an opportunity for young referees from all over Europe (and beyond) to work with the best of the best.

The names of all coaches and guests will be released starting in early December. To have an idea of the calibre of people we are talking about, just take a look to the guests who have taken place to our tournaments in previous years in the page below.

Can I apply for the academy if I have already applied for another tournament?

Yes, you can.

Should you then be selected and  academy activities clash with any of the other tournaments you have applied for, you’ll be asked to choose which one you prefer. If they don’t clash, you can choose whether to attend both or just one.

When will I hear back if my application is successful?

The final selection will be announced in January. Of all applicants though, just some of them will be pre-selected to take part to the tests that will lead to the selection. If you don’t hear back from us by mid-December you should regard your application as unsuccessful.

How much will the academy cost to me?

Referees will be asked to fund their own travel costs to the two tournaments. Nothing else as accommodation and activities will be offered free of charge.

What if I need to pull out?

During the application process you’ll be able to pull out at anytime, should you intend to do so. However, if you are ultimately selected to be part of the academy and then pull out, you’ll incur in penalties that may consist in the exclusion from future tournaments for quite some time.

The Referees of the Academy

Level 1 Referees
Artin Afshari
CANADA
Artin Afshari, 20, Level X Referee from Calgary, Canada.
Andrew Bailey
ENGLAND
Andrew Bailey, 22, Level 5 Referee from Winchester, England.
Bryan Bijnens
BELGIUM
Bryan Bijnens, 21, Division 2 AR, from Neeroeteren, Belgium.
Euan Birch
SCOTLAND
Euan Ross Birch, 22, Category 3 Referee from Glasgow, Scotland.
Kieran Chell
ENGLAND
Kieran Chell, 18, Level 5 Referee from Lancashire, England.
Mitch Das
BELGIUM
Mitch Das, 23, Division 3 Referee from Bree, Belgium.
Daniel Dorgelo
NETHERLANDS
Daniel Dorgelo, 23, Class 4 Referee from Emmen, Netherlands.
Luis Esmoris
SPAIN
Luis Esmoris Ruiz de Alegria, 18, "Regional Preferente" Referee, from Oviedo, Spain.
Gian Feller
SWITZERLAND
Gian Feller, 18, 4 Liga Talent Referee from Bern, Switzerland.
Carlos Fernandez Buergo
SPAIN
Carlos Fernandez Buergo, 22, Segunda B Referee, from Oviedo, Spain.
Mauritz Grendin
SWEDEN
Mauritz Grendin, 22, Division 4 Referee from Umea, Sweden.
Gabriel Henry
FRANCE
Gabriel Henry, 18, JAF Referee from Paris, France.
Felix Hoffmann
GERMANY
Felix Hoffmann, 19, Bezirksliga Referee from Bad Wörishofen, Germany.
Sander Braten Johannesen
NORWAY
Sander Braten Johannesen, 23, Division 3 Referee from Bergen, Norway.
Bartosz Kasinski
POLAND
Bartosz Kasinski, 21, Level 3 Referee from Katowice, Poland.
Claes Knutsson
SWEDEN
Claes Knutsson, 21, Division 4 Referee from Karlstad, Sweden.
Robert Lauri
ESTONIA
Robert Lauri, 22, Level 2 Referee from Viimsi, Estonia.
Szymon Michniewicz
POLAND
Szymon Michniewicz, 21, Level 3 Referee from Lodz, Poland.
Viktor Paulinen
FINLAND
Victor Paulinen, 19, Division 4 Referee from Helsinki, Finland.
Marvin Schories
GERMANY
Marvin Schories, 18, Bezirksliga Referee from Hamburg, Germany.
Level 2 Referees
Clement Auclair
FRANCE
Clement Auclair, 18, Regional Referee from Bordeaux, France.
Oscar Avilés Hernández
SPAIN
Oscar Aviles Hernandez, 21, Regional Referee from Seville, Spain.
James Byng
ENGLAND
James Byng, 18, Level 5 Referee from Portsmouth, England.
Seth Galia
GIBRALTAR
Seth Galia, 17, Level 2 Referee from Gibraltar.
Wojciech Gryczka
POLAND
Wojciech Gryczka, 19, Level 7 Referee from Kwidzyn, Poland.
David Herzig
GERMANY
David Herzig, 24, Level X Referee from Furth, Germany.
Steven Hoefkens
BELGIUM
Steven Hoefkens, 20, Division 4 Referee from Antwerp, Belgium.
Jason Hon
HONG KONG
Jason Hon, 21, Level 6 Referee, from Hong Kong.
Antoine Jaquet
FRANCE
Antoine Jaquet, 18, Regional Youth Referee from Bordeaux, France.
Kuba Karczevski
POLAND
Kuba Karczevski, 17, Level 7 Referee from Gdansk, Poland.
Kieran Kennedy
SCOTLAND
Kieran Kennedy, 20, Category 6 Referee from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Gabriel Longoni
AUSTRIA
Gabriel Longoni, 22, Level X Referee from Vienna, Austria.
Pierre Lebot
FRANCE
Pierre Lebot, 23, Level X Referee from Angers, France.
Jeremy Muller
Luxembourg
Jeremy Muller, 22, Division 2 Referee from Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
Kristian Michel
SLOVAKIA
Kristian Michel,22, Level 3 Referee from Stropkov, Slovakia.
Givi Todua
ENGLAND
Givi Todua, 22, Level 4 Referee from Sunderland, England.
Zacharias Vaisbord
GERMANY
Zacharias Vaisbord, 17, Division 7 Referee from Erfurt, Germany.
Florian Vokuhl
GERMANY
Florian Vokuhl, 21, Level X Referee from Trier, Germany.
Adam Warner
ENGLAND
Adam Warner, 20, Level 5 Referee from Worcester, England.

The Academy Staff

Leadership
Daniele Curcio
Academy Director - ITALY
Patrick Neuwirth
Academy Coordinator - AUSTRIA
Niclas Erdmann
Technical Advisor - GERMANY
Coaches L1
Andy Himsworth
ENGLAND - COACH

Andy Himsworth is a referee coach from the English County FA of North Riding. With over 20 years of experience in refereeing, Andy has been active as a referee all the way up to the professional leagues in England. He's a qualified referee observer and tutor, and he's especially dedicated to delivering courses to new referees and helping younger referees in their development to, hopefully, reach the top levels of the game. With the creation of the new FA CORE development courses, Andy has been appointed as a coach for the North-East of England. He's participated in the past to both the Ibercup and Paris World Cup as a referee observer.

David Waller
ENGLAND - COACH

I first qualified as a referee in 1984 aged 14. Having gained Class One status in 1998 I was promoted onto The Southern League. Whilst on The Contributory Leagues I was fortunate to act as 4th Official on The Premier League and Football League. Having retired as an active referee in 2010 I started assessing on The Wessex League. Since 2013 I have been a Contributory League Observer. I am now also an FA CORE Performance Coach. I have previously worked as an Observer on The Paris World Cup and Iber Cups in Portugal and Spain.

George Cain
ENGLAND - COACH

George Cain hails from Liverpool and is one of England's most well-known referee coaches. After qualifying as a referee in 1977, George was promoted to the National List in 1984. That same year he acted as 4th official in a European Cup (now Champions League) game at Anfield Stadium. George was active as a First Division (now Premier League) referee to then move onto the Football League, on which he officiated between 1993 and 2004. Highlights of his career are certainly the League Cup semi-final second leg between Aston Villa and Arsenal in 1996, the 1996 FA Vase final at Wembley and the 2003 Women's Cup Final. After retiring as an active referee, George became a referee coach and observer, and he still performs such duties on the English Football League. He also recently took a course to become a physiotherapist, and he performs as such for professional club Tranmere Rovers.

Alfonso Vicente Moral
SPAIN - COACH

34 years old, the last 16 as referee. I was promoted to the Second Division B in Spain 8 seasons ago, where I've been as main referee in six consecutive final promotion matches to the Liga 123 (Second Division). Also, I've acted as fourth official during the last eight seasons on Liga Santander (First Spanish Division) and Liga 123. I've participated as referee in previous editions of the Estoril's Iber Cup, Paris World Vup and Brondby Cup. As coach, I've been helping local and regional referees in Spain for 8 years.

Adrian Bacarisa
GIBRALTAR - COACH

Adrian Bacarisa has been involved in refereeing for over thirty years. Apart from refereeing in Gibraltar’s Premier League for over twenty years he also qualified as a referee observer and coach. He attended to The FA’s International Course for Referee Instructors in 2001. During his active refereeing career he has also refereed abroad in Spain, The Channel Islands and Wales where he refereed the semi- professional national teams of Wales and Scotland and acted as 4th Official for the England v Scotland semi-professional match. On retiring from active refereeing in 2013 he took over the role of Senior Referee Manager with the Gibraltar Football Association. He is responsible for the coordination of all refereeing matters in Gibraltar and takes the lead in the education and development of referees. He has attended a number of FIFA/UEFA RAP courses over the past few years. Has attended to Iber Cup Estoril on two previous occasions as a Referee Observer.

Developers L1
Sten Klaasen
ESTONIA - AR DEVELOPER
Attending: Paris World Games

Sten Klaasen is a young FIFA assistant referee from Estonia, who is quickly climbing the ladder in both domestic and international competitions. He started refereeing in 1999 and he regularly features on the Estonian Premier League, which he reached as an AR in 2001; furthermore he has recently become the 1st assistant of Estonia's most important referee Kristo Tohver. Together with him, he's been appointed to a number of international games over the last few years, including games in the Champions League, Europa League and a World Cup Qualifier. In 2015 he attended the Euro U-17 as AR. He's very passionate about referee education and regularly works with youngsters in his home nation teaching them AR technique, something he will be doing also in our academy.

Gregor Rojko
SLOVENIA - AR DEVELOPER
Attending: Paris World Games

Gregor Rojko is an assistant referee in the Premier League of Slovenia. He was a FIFA assistant referee from 2008 to 2016, when he unfortunately lost his badge due to a serious knee injury from which he's currently recovering. During his time as a FIFA assistant referee, he's worked on a number of games (around 50) in both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League assisting Slovenia's top referees Damir Skomina, Matej Jug and Slavko Vincic. As a FIFA AR he's also been involved in other memorable international competitions such as the Euro U19s in 2011 or the 2015 FIFA World Cup U17s in Chile where, together with Matej Jug, he was appointed to the important quarter final between Brasil and Nigeria.

Detelin Baialtzaliev
BULGARIA - DEVELOPER
Attending: Paris World Games

Detelin Baialtzaliev is an ex-FIFA assistant referee (1994-2000) from Bulgaria. During his time as an active referee, he officiated more than 155 games as an AR in the Bulgarian Premier League (1989-2005) as well as many fixtures in international competitions. After he retired as an active referee, he was quickly appointed as the main instructor and manager of football referees in Bulgaria, a role he performed until 2015. As Bulgaria's National Referee Manager he was also invited as an instructor to many UEFA RAP courses, as an assistant coach to the UEFA CORE program and as the main instructor on LOTG at Euro U17s in Bulgaria in 2015. He is still active as a refere observer and instructor.

IAN BLANCHARD
ENGLAND - DEVELOPER
Attending: Paris World Games

Ian Blanchard started refereeing in 1988 in his home city of Hull, in England. After quickly gaining promotion through the local and regional leagues, he was appointed to the National List of Assistant Referees. In 1992 he was promoted to the newly formed English Premier League on which he officiated until he retired in 2000, at age 45. During his time at the top level, Ian appeared at Wembley Stadium on five occasions, for the FA Vase and FA Trophy finals, as well as three play-off finals. He also was appointed to five games in the Champions League and UEFA Cup. In 2001 he joined the FA as a Regional Referee Manager for the North-West of England and was subsequently appointed as England's National Referee Manager in 2005. In this role he had responsibility over referee development in all of England. After stepping down from this position in 2016, he's started his own referee development scheme, working with a number of regional FAs in both England and other countries.

RICHARD STOREY
NORTHERN IRELAND - DEVELOPER
Attending: Norway Cup

Richard Storey qualified as a referee in 2002, quickly climbing the ranks in domestic competitions until being appointed as a FIFA assistant referee in 2011. Domestically, he's an assistant referee n the Northern Irish Premier League, which he joined in 2005 and has been an assistant referee also on the Irish Cup finals in 2012 and 2014 and the Irish League Cup final in 2013. On international duty, he's officiated in a number of games in both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, mostly assisting Northern Ireland's top referee Arnold Hunter. He was the assistant referee on the Euro U17s final in 2013 in Slovakia. He has also been appointed to a few Euro Cup qualifiers such as Norway v Malta, Bosnia Herzegovina v Andorra and Ukraine v Luxembourg. Back home, he's very active in referee development.

DEVELOPER NR. 6 WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY
Observers L1
Jozef Marko
SLOVAKIA
Attending: Paris World Games

Jozef Marko is a UEFA Referee Observer and is the longest serving member of the UEFA Referee Committee. When he retired from the committee in 2014, due to age limits, he had served for more than 22 years on the governing body of European refereeing, nobody has ever served that long. He has worked as a referee observer in 4 editions of the European Championship and is still active on the Champions League and Europa League, he's also heavily involved in the development of young, up-and-coming referees in his home state of Slovakia.

Uno Tutk
ESTONIA
Attending: Paris World Games

Uno Tutk is a former FIFA assistant referee (until 2004) and is the current National Referee Manager for the FA of Estonia where he oversees all refereeing, from the Premier League to the lower divisions. He is also one of the most considered UEFA referee observer, and regularly works for the UEFA referee committee observing referees, especially the up-and-coming FIFA officials, in the Champions League and Europa League. On behalf of the committee he's also acted as one of the main observers during the recent edition of Euro U-17 and is also heavily involved in UEFA's own refereeing development scheme CORE, as a coach.

Djamel Haimoudi
ALGERIA
Attending: Paris World Games

Djamel Haimoudi is by all means one of the most famous African referees ever. Hailing from Algeria, he was a FIFA referee from 2004 to 2014 and has taken charge of some games in the most important competitions in Africa, such as the CAF Champions League, the Pan-Arab Games and the African Nations Cup in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In the 2013 edition he was the referee of the final. Selected for the World Cup of 2014, he most notably refereed the 3rd place final between Brazil and the Netherlands. An observer for the Paris World Cup for the last two years, he will back for the 3rd edition of the tournament.

Adrian Casha
MALTA
Attending: Paris World Games

Adrian Casha is a UEFA Referee observer active in the Champions League and Europa League, and UEFA Core coach. A former FIFA Referee from 2003 to 2007, he was Malta's Director of Refereeing from 2011 to 2016.

TO BE ANNOUNCED
Observer Nr. 5 will be announced shortly
Coaches L2
Donald MacKinnon
SCOTLAND - COACH

With over 40 years of refereeing experience, Donald "Donnie" MacKinnon is certainly one of Scotland's leading voices in referee development. An extensive CV in both refereeing and coaching, he is a qualified Scotland FA referee instructor, a role he performs with great passion, especially when it comes to offering advice to younger referees, in his task to develop the professional referees of the future. He is a member of the SFA National Referee Development Group as well as the Lead referee observer for America's biggest youth football tournament - the Schwan's USA Cup of Minnesota. At age 71, he is still an active referee as well as one of Tournaments Abroad's most experienced referee observers, having attended a number of TA's tournaments in the past.

George Cain
ENGLAND - COACH

George Cain hails from Liverpool and is one of England's most well-known referee coaches. After qualifying as a referee in 1977, George was promoted to the National List in 1984. That same year he acted as 4th official in a European Cup (now Champions League) game at Anfield Stadium. George was active as a First Division (now Premier League) referee to then move onto the Football League, on which he officiated between 1993 and 2004. Highlights of his career are certainly the League Cup semi-final second leg between Aston Villa and Arsenal in 1996, the 1996 FA Vase final at Wembley and the 2003 Women's Cup Final. After retiring as an active referee, George became a referee coach and observer, and he still performs such duties on the English Football League. He also recently took a course to become a physiotherapist, and he performs as such for professional club Tranmere Rovers.

Craig Napier
SCOTLAND - COACH

Craig Napier qualified as a referee in 2006 and, since his first game, has been appointed to more than 1137 other fixtures. As ony 27 years of age, he's already been promoted to the National List of referees for the Scottish Football Association. He's since taken charge of 49 Scottish Football League games as the main referee, as well as 8 games in the Scottish Premier League as 4th official. On behalf of the Scottish FA he's also acted in 12 international games, including U17s Scotland vs. Romania, U16s Scotland vs. Netherlands (as Referee) and U19s Scotland vs. Germany (as Fourth Official). An experienced referee also when it comes to international tournaments, he's attended events in the USA, Portugal, France, Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

Steve Brand
ENGLAND - COACH

Steve Brand comes from Liverpool, England. A referee for the past 30 years, he has officiated as an Assistant Referee on the English Premier League for 15 years, one of the longest spells in the history of the competition. Following his retirement from the Premier League, Steve has kept working in referee development first as a referee instructor, then as a senior referee observer for the last 6 years. He currently works full time for professional club Tranmere Rovers as ambassador and tutor.

Alfonso Vicente Moral
SPAIN - COACH

34 years old, the last 16 as referee. I was promoted to the Second Division B in Spain 8 seasons ago, where I've been as main referee in six consecutive final promotion matches to the Liga 123 (Second Division). Also, I've acted as fourth official during the last eight seasons on Liga Santander (First Spanish Division) and Liga 123. I've participated as referee in previous editions of the Estoril's Iber Cup, Paris World Vup and Brondby Cup. As coach, I've been helping local and regional referees in Spain for 8 years.

Art Mitchell
USA-COACH

Arthur "Art" Mitchell is a referee, assessor, and instructor from California – Cal South, in the United States. He is a one of many experienced instructors in Cal South--particularly in the areas of Beach Soccer and Futsal. He is also a qualified USSF instructor and observer, and acts in such capacity in many different competitions throughout the USA. He very much enjoys working on developing younger referees to the next level. Over the years, he has covered a number of different roles in refereeing at many levels. He is a referee leader for the San Diego County Referee Association (his hometown) and still is the referee assignor for some of the Cal South and San Diego County’s most important leagues and tournaments. He is still an active referee for USSF in futsal and beach soccer, where he officiates at regional and national level. For Tournaments Abroad he's been a referee observer at the Ibercup in Portugal.

DID YOU KNOW?

The 3 best referees from the Academy will be rewarded with a place on the following year’s elite tournaments in the Netherlands and Czech Republic.

Represented Countries

40 REFEREES, 18 COUNTRIES

Apply for the 2018 edition of the TA Referee Academy

The TA Referee Academy 2nd edition will take place in the summer of 2018. Referees for the 2nd edition will be selected as follows:

Level 1

- The 4 best Level 1 referees from 1st edition will be invited back.

- The 5 best Level 2 referees from the 1st edition will be invited to Level 1.

- The 5 best referees from the 2017 Pre-Academy will be invited to Level 1.

-  The 6 best new applicants will then be invited.

Level 2

-  10 more referees from the 2017 Pre-Academy will be invited to Level 2.

- 10 more new applicants will then be invited.