Edition Five

Referee CPD Event Featuring Stephen Child

As I come from a coaching background, this really was an intriguing event to attend, as it allowed me to look at football from a referee’s perspective.

This was a refereeing CPD Event where match officials received training to help them with their development and remind them why they fell in love with refereeing.

Steven Child

Who better to do that than Stephen Child (right), who is a Premier League assistant referee that has appeared in international games and the Champions League - the pinnacle of club football.

Steve was supported by Peter Kirkup, who is also a Premier League assistant referee.  You could tell by the carefully planned drills and feedback session that the referees were in for a treat.

As I arrived on site I saw referees from all walks of life, which shows the strong support Northamptonshire has in officiating. This also meant I had to think about my communication and listening skills when engaging in meaningful conversations.

The focus of the whole session was around communication and awareness, starting with an outdoor practical session in which they were split into three groups, each at different stations.

Each station had a different drill which revolved around the theme (communication and awareness). 

One station I found particularly interesting was recreating game situations to get the referees thinking about the language they use when describing the event that has just happened. It was entertaining to watch the simulations and some of the diving on show was worthy of a gold medal!

We went inside to review what we had done and then talked about key words of what constitutes a yellow or a red card challenge, which really helped me to define what the difference was.

Another key thing I learnt was ‘ABC’. When you describe something that has happened, you need to be accurate, brief and concise. This is something that has helped me already and it is already something I can take into everyday life.

We then did a drill about what we have learnt. We had two referees nominated with their backs facing the projector screen. Footage of a foul would be played on the screen, the rest of the group would watch it, and then one person from the room had to describe the situation to the two referees at the front who hadn’t seen the clip. They then had to decide whether it was a yellow or a red card based on how the incident was described. This gave everyone the opportunity to practise being accurate, brief and clear, and see how these conversations work in practise.

I want to say a massive thanks to Luke Scott, who is doing a tremendous job in producing top-quality refereeing talent on a consistent basis.

Also thanks to Wayne Chalmers, who is head of the Northampton Referee Association, for supporting the event and thanks for all the referees who attended. They were all super friendly and really helped me learn a lot in the space of three hours.

Finally, to end this blog post I want to say thanks to Stephen Child for being absolutely lovely. I was in awe of how he manages to be a top-quality linesman. His attention to technical detail is fantastic and he doesn’t let his hearing impairment stop him from doing what he loves.

If you are interested in venturing into an exciting career of refereeing, contact Luke Scott on or 01604 678401