Iber Cup 2017

On Monday 26th June six Worcestershire FA match officials and two referee coaches flew to Spain for the 2017 Iber Cup Costa del Sol.

The match officials were as follows:
Vladimir Aleksandrov (Level 7)
Dan Ellis (Level 6)
James Green (Level 6)
Charles Humphrys (Level 5)
Rosie Johns (Level 7)
Macaulay Pimley (Level 6)

They were supported by:
Ollie Williams (Level 3 and referee coach)
Ricky Brookes (Level 4 and referee coach)

Each of the six WFA match officials took over a blog page for one day as part of the trip. Find out exactly what they got up to by clicking here! There are also a selection of photos at the bottom of this page.

The week began with a 5:30am arrival at Birmingham Airport – a departure time showing a sign of things to come! Once at the airport, the group linked up with six referees and two coaches from Birmingham FA and would spend the week together to create an enhanced learning environment. Friendships had already been formed following a training event held at Birmingham FA prior to the tournament, where the officials met each other and participated in practical training as well as an indoor session.

The flight had barely touched down in Malaga and the group were on their way to the beach for an afternoon training session to support acclimatisation. Having worked at medium-high intensity for around 45 minutes, some free time was then taken advantage of by soaking up the sun and the dipping of toes in the water.

Despite the long days – breakfast was regularly attended before 7am – the officials and coaches worked admirably to succeed in delivering the main purpose of the trip – to create better match officials and enhance their performance. Performances on the field of play were followed up with advanced technical debriefs with the coaches. Overall the group were involved in 26 matches over the course of 5 days and, given the difficult conditions they had to work in, handled the circumstances extremely well.

The group were delighted to have representation at the end of tournament appointments and awards following observations throughout the week. Charles Humphrys was appointed to referee the Under 13 final and performed excellently to bring the match to a safe conclusion. Additionally, Dan Ellis was selected as the Best Assistant Referee throughout the tournament. Success for members from Birmingham FA also saw two officials appointed to finals as assistant referee and fourth official.

By the end of the week, and a daunting 3am pick up to get to the airport for the 5:40am flight home, the group of 16 had built up firm friendships and a real sense of achievement as all had made significant progress both on and off the pitch. This was summed up by the inaugural Iber Cup Awards within the group that saw a variety of light-hearted accolades given out by coaches to members of the group. These ranged from ‘Services to Tanning’ to ‘Best Bodyguard’ to ‘Best #ChangeOfPlan’ and ‘The Usain Bolt Award’.

Initial feedback from those in attendance is incredibly positive. One referee stated: “This was the best refereeing/development event I have been on” and another remarked: “The week was an amazing experience and I would say that the people there completely made this trip for me…I would recommend it wholeheartedly.”

Worcestershire FA would also like to thank the RA-FA Youth Council for their support of the trip as part of their Referee Development Fund initiative.

Would you like to become a referee and access future opportunities? Find out how – click here!

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