As special guests of Sunderland AFC, our DFA Referees Academy were invited along as part of a Development Evening with their appointed coaches to watch the Sunderland v Newcastle United Premier League Reserves fixture played at the Stadium of Light.
The referees certainly experienced the “big time” by being allowed a look around behind the scenes prior to kick-off and to walk onto the field of play for their own pre-match inspection. They also met up with the match officials in the shape of referee Glen Hart (Darlington), Assistant Referees Ian Patton (Stockton) and Dean Chapman (Sedgefield) and Fourth Official Marc Edwards (Gateshead ) before the game.
Sunderland AFC also provided the Academy team with full and private use of the Stadium Sports Bar both before the game, at half-time and after the game to work with their coaches and note down points to discuss with the match officials afterwards. Once the Match Assessor Russell Tiffin, himself one of the appointed coaches working with the Academy, had completed his de-brief, the match officials were then brave enough to come along and listen to the feedback on their performance from the young referees!
All in all, a tremendous evening was had for all of the referees within the Academy set-up.
DFA Referees Academy take over Stadium of Light.