The UEFA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) course is intended for young promising referees who aspire to be listed on the international refereeing list; this takes place during a number of courses each year in Nyon, Switzerland.
CORE 36 Consolidation Course between the 12th and 19th October, was represented once again by Maltese officials, namely Elite Referee Matthew De Gabriele and Elite Assistant Referees Dusan Petrovic and Theodore Zammit who were invited to this second part of the course as a follow-up to their first experience in attending CORE 36 Introductory Course that took place way back last May.
CORE Consolidation Course is an extension to the Introductory Course where officials from different countries are invited, and their progress between the two courses is measured by a number of criteria that, based on their achievements, will eventually result in awarding them either a Diploma of Refereeing or a Certificate of Attendance. During the months between the Introductory and Consolidation Course, the Maltese officials had to keep consistent contact with their referee and assistant referee coaches, namely Radan Miryanov from Bulgaria and Leif Lindberg from Sweden respectively, in order to keep them updated on the progress being done during their matches. Also, during these months, their fitness was also being monitored by specialist physical trainers Werner Helsen and Lluís Cortés Cava, who from their end gave feedback on training that needs to be done and also how to progress in this aspect.
During this week in Nyon, the trio of Maltese officials had to undergo a number of tests that mainly involved: the physical test being the Yo-Yo test; Body Fat % evaluation test; Co-ordination, Flexibility, Stability and Mobilisation test; and integrated practical exercises during the training sessions that involved teamwork and decision-making between the match officials trio from each country.
The Maltese officials, also as part of the final assessment, were given the opportunity to officiate a match in France in the city of Besancon, valid from the French National 3 League, between Racing Besancon and Sochaux II, with the final result being 0-2. One has to remark that it was quite an intensive match, played in front of 1,800 spectators, that involved a lot of young players performing at a high tempo and a very good level of football. After the match, the match officials were asked to make a self-analysis of their performance, as expected at this level, and during the consecutive days match analysis was performed by senior lecturers and referee coaches who were guiding all the referee trios from all the different countries being Malta, Sweden, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Wales, Andorra and CAF (African representatives from Egypt, Kenya and Mauritius).
The senior lecturers for this course were David Elleray and Kyros Vassaras who shared their vast experience and gave indispensable advice and guidelines to referees for their future refereeing career.
On the last day of the course, the Graduation Ceremony took place at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon where David Elleray, as CORE Senior Course Leader, presented each Maltese official with a Diploma in Refereeing.
This surely was a great achievement for the Maltese trio that wraps up the hard work and dedication during the last five months covering from the Introductory to the Consolidation course.