The next generation of match officials gathered at St. George's Park to attend The FA's annual conference for newly promoted Level 3 referees.
The conference provides an opportunity to formally recognise the achievements of those recently promoted, as well as offer development and training to ensure they are prepared for the future demands of refereeing at the next levels.
Following an exam on the Laws of the Game, the referees attended presentations about positioning and analysed key match incidents with David Elleray, FA Referees’ Committee Chairman, and Neale Barry, Head of Senior Referee Development at The FA.
Neale Barry said: “The referees in attendance have been promoted into semi professional football for the first time, which in itself brings a far greater level of expectation than they have previously experienced.
“The aim of the day is to explain what is expected of them in terms of a professional attitude and approach, with regards to areas such as administration, commitment, availability, social media responsibilities and general media exposure.”
For Simon Essex, promotion to Level 3 is not completely new. After being promoted from Level 4 in 2006, he was then placed back two years later.
Now reinstated at Level 3, Simon is looking forward to beginning the new season - and particularly rebuilding the relationship he had with clubs.
He said: “I found the experience of being back at Level 4 from 3 useful. It made me focus and think about football in different ways. This past year I’ve relaxed in my approach and the hard work has paid off, I played to my strengths.”
Richard Aspinall, from Lancashire, found the day to be invaluable. Having played Supply League football he is most looking forward to officiating at a higher level.
He said: “Going into a new season the goal is to keep standards high, cover all bases, and settle as a confident Level 3 referee, I will take it one game at a time.”
Newly promoted Oxford referee Sian Piret is looking forward to the challenging step up to Level 3.
“Today has been useful in helping give a flavour of the increased expectation of the next level as well as offer some practical help and increased awareness of what is expected of us in terms of professionalism on and off the field.”
Once the new Level 3s have completed the pre-season fitness test they will be refereeing Step 3-5 football matches, as well as running the line in the Conference North and South.
A full list of all promoted referees can be seen below:
Richard Abson, Michael Ainsworth, Aji Ajibola, Richard Aspinall, Glenn Barter, Stephen Bates, James Bell, Daniel Berry, Oliver Bickle, Rick Bloy, Christopher Bodell, Daniel Bonneywell, Mark Brown, Wayne Cartmel, Mark Chalkley, Stuart Cheek, Robert Cockle, Helen Conley, Peter Conn, Jason Connolly, Daniel Cook, Richard Corp, Jonathan Creswick, Leigh Crowhurst, Hallam Cutmore, Oliver Davies, Craig Dean, Adam Dean, Mike Desborough, Leigh Doughty, Lee Dyson, Christopher Ellis, Simon Essex, Yousef Gargani, Matt Giblin, Simon Gudger, Ashley Guest, Craig Hainsworth, Thomas Hancock, Philip Hardisty, Richard Hart, Jonathan Hollier, Christopher Hope, Kevin Howick, Daniel Jacecko, Aaron Jackson, Abbas Khan, Christopher Kidd, Peter Killip, Matthew Lee, Louis Marks, John Mathews, Lucy May, Ernie Moore, Richard Morris, Neil Munday, Gary Nowak, Andrew Parker, Thomas Parsons, Sian Piret, Simon Porter, Guy Poynter, Ali Ramezankhani, Tom Ratheram, Gregory Read, Aaron, Reed, Garreth Rhodes, Lee, Roberts, Steve Rudd, Darren Russell, David Sallis, Michael Scriven, Kevin Seckington, Simon Shaw, David Smart, Chris Smith, Matthew Smith, Dele Sotimirin, Peter Sporne, Jan Suchecki, David Sullivan, Michael L. Taylor, Daniel Tracey, Martin Veater, Gareth Viccars, John Walton, Rebecca Welch, Kevin Welsh, James Whittaker Jnr, James Whittington, Christopher Williams, Andrew Williams, Savvas Yianni.
A group of newly promoted officials gathered at St. George's Park for their annual conference