Development Group

"Excellence in partnership" - The Development Group

For the latest report from the Development Group, see the documents at the bottom of this page

The group was started as a joint venture between Surrey FA and the Referee’s Association which led to the birth of the Surrey Development Group in January 2003. Its founders were Vic Skilton and David Crick.

Since the inaugural meeting in January 2003, every group member has achieved development in their performance and the group has produced great success and facilitated the progress of officials of the calibre of Football League referees Carl Berry, Lee Collins and Darren Sheldrake, Charles Breakspear and assistants Michael Webb, Craig Hicks & Nigel Lugg.

Season 2014-15 saw David Hutchinson return to take the Development Group forward. The aims of the Development Group are to encourage and motivate an invited group of referees from within Surrey with the potential to reach the highest levels of refereeing.

The Development Group consists of Level 4, 5, 6 & 7 referees identified by the Surrey County FA, aged 30 or below, who referee on Saturdays and midweek. They must have the aspirations to obtain promotion to higher levels. Potential candidates are interviewed. Such is the success of the group that many of the Level 3 referees – who have ‘moved upwards’ and have FA coaches – still attend group meetings.

We encourage the newly promoted Level 3`s from the group to continue to attend meetings as they have huge amounts of current experience to offer their peers.

After recent interviews, new members include the likes of Chris Williams, Chris Noble and Shawn Barclay. This now gives us a total of 15 referees each with their individual coach.

The conduct of the referee members is closely scrutinised. Referees who are selected for membership of the Development Group are expected to:

• be a member of the Referee’s Association
• show commitment to the group by attending the Development Group events
• communicate regularly and efficiently with their coach/mentor and the Development Group Co-ordinator
• manage administration effectively and answer correspondence quickly
• keep Referee's Secretaries (League, FA and County FA) informed of their open and closed dates
• conduct themselves in a professional manner on and off the field (eg. dress, attitude, good manners, restraint)
• stay fit and healthy by living an appropriate lifestyle
• set goals and monitor their performance using self evaluation
• maintain the highest levels of commitment to achieve their goals

The group us designed to be a progressive group and fluidity is expected so membership changes on a regular basis, hopefully through promotion but since the group has started, over 35 members have resigned or left the group as they were unable to meet the criteria shown above.

Five Development Group meetings take place every season alongside regular training sessions, as well as visits to matches to watch and evaluate the performances of other officials. The main focus for this current season is to concentrate and focus on we do as match officials on the field of play.

Are you looking for inspiration? Why not read the news report involving 5 Surrey FA referees that took part in the Dana Cup, the worlds 3rd largest football competition involving over 1,000 teams and 250 referees - click here for the full article.