FOUR LINCOLNSHIRE FA-AFFILIATED REFEREES OFFICIATED AT THE 2019 IBER CUP IN PORTUGAL EARLIER THIS MONTH
Taking place between 1-6 July, the 2019 Iber Cup was held in Estoril on the outskirts of Lisbon, with teams from across the globe competing in what is widely regarded as one of the most high-profile youth football tournaments in the world.
This was the sixth year that Lincolnshire FA has sent a team of referees to the tournament, alongside coach Rob Atkin and Referee Development Officer, Michael Brader.
Following a rigorous selection process, James Cliffe, Leon Westerman, Ethan Nundy and Jayke Brophy were chosen to represent Lincolnshire FA and faced a busy week which saw them commencing games at 8.30am every morning and officiating in over 20 matches each in just six days.
The majority of the fixtures were held either in the shadows of the Sporting Lisbon Stadium on the University Campus or at the stunning Jamor Country Park where the National Stadium is based - the setting for the famous Lisbon Lions of Celtic to first claim European Cup glory for Britain in 1967.
The aim of the trip is to expose the referees to new cultures and the challenges that brings, with teams from such far-flung places as Uzbeckistan, Brazil and several from the USA. The standard of football was very high and the games were played at a frenetic pace in high temperatures.
Alongside coaching from Lincolnshire FA leads, the four referees were also watched by such luminaries as FIFA Observer Josef Marko from Slovenia.
When asked to reflect on the week, Leon Westerman from Grimsby said: “This tournament has allowed me to grow as a referee but also as a person. I feel that I have learnt loads in the past week, for instance dealing with different language barriers and using different methods of body language to get my message across. This will allow me to go into the new season feeling more confident and better prepared on how to deal with scenarios in my games.”
Michael Brader added: “The trip challenges these young referees in a way they could not experience at home and gives the coaches a chance to work at close quarters, instilling good practice into their games and watching them show tangible development as the week progressed.”
To learn more about refereeing with Lincolnshire FA, please contact Michael on Michael.Brader@LincolnshireFA.com
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