Nottinghamshire FA’s Referee’s Development Group members have teamed up with the County’s successful Want 2 Play league, which provides playing opportunities for disabled players.

The Want 2 Play programme was set up to support young disabled players across three age groups 6-10, 11-16 and 16+ with fixtures taking place one a month at various locations around the county. To raise the profile of the league and to provide a higher quality match day experience the league has set up a partnership with the Referee’s Development Group to provide full coverage of games and additional learning opportunities for the referees.

6 referees were selected from the development group Tom Tolond, Ibrahim Arsali, Jacob Shapiro, Simon Kells, Alistair Nelson and Alistair Hill to support the league all of which attended a bespoke training evening hosted at The Nottinghamshire FA by Leanne Woodhead, Football Development Officer and Marc Birkett, Referee Development Officer.

The training evening focussed on the varied situations the referees will encounter in this different format of the game and the growing pathway that is available to them as well as the traditional 11v11 pathways.

3 of the 6 referees took to the field recently to apply their newly found knowledge and with great success as league Secretary Roger Parkes states: "They were fantastic! They did a great job, enjoyed it and made the whole day look and run a bit more professional."

Marc Birkett, Referee Development Officers explains more about the project: "The idea behind the project is not only to enhance the league but also to work closely with a small group of referees and develop their all-round communication skills and technical ability which should naturally transfer into the bigger game. I believe that other formats of the game provide great learning opportunities which will make better referees in the long term and it’s great we can pilot such a project in Nottinghamshire."

For more information about the Want 2 Play league please contact:

Leanne Woodhead
0115 9837406

For more information about getting into refereeing contact:

Marc Birkett
0115 9837415

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