Seminar for match officials, mentors and referee observers

As part of the Talent and Mentor Programme 2011-2013 launched late last year, a seminar was organised by the Malta FA’s Referees’ Committee on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th January 2012, at the Centenary Hall of the Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali.

The opening address was made by the Director of Refereeing Adrian D. Casha, who later introduced the conductor of this seminar, UEFA Instructor and CORE (Centre of Refereeing Excellence) Coach, Mr Jørn West Larsen from Denmark.

Part One of the Talent & Mentor Seminar, carried out on Friday evening, consisted of a session for mentors only, who were addressed on various topics regarding mentoring philosophy and technique, motivation of talents, match observation and evaluation, and leadership qualities. Mr Larsen touched on how the mentors’ years of refereeing experience is to be used “in the understanding of referees”; and on the honesty factor between the mentors and the talents under their guidance.

The first session on Saturday morning was reserved for an Instructional Meeting to Match Officials and Referee Observers, on particular topics such as proactive man-management, mass confrontation by players and handball situations. Mr Larsen’s talk was supported by dvd clips from recent European matches.

Part Two of the Talent & Mentor Seminar brought together the talents and mentors, who were addressed on topics such as mentor philosophy, talent profile, and the UEFA CORE Programme. During this session, Elite Referee Kevin Azzopardi and FIFA Assistant Referees Chris Francalanza and Mitchell Scerri – who was the first local refereeing team to attend a CORE Course and achieve the CORE Diploma in April 2011 – gave their own experiences while attending the course at UEFA House of European Football in Nyon, under the mentoring of Mr Jørn West Larsen himself.

The last part of the morning’s programme was dedicated to instructions to mentors before their observation of the Division Two match Santa Venera Lightnings vs Kirkop United played that same afternoon at the Centenary Stadium, officiated by Match Officials forming part of the Talent Programme.

After the match observation, Part Three of the seminar for talents and mentors was the evaluation of the match and role play – oral evaluation by mentors on the match officials’ performance (also with the help of a dvd of the match), during which a general discussion took place between all mentors and referees forming part of the Talent and Mentor Programme.

The conclusion by Mr Larsen centred not only on the evaluation process of a match and the general mentoring exercise; but above all on the ability of a mentor who should be ready to help motivate a referee feel, be part and ready for this “learning experience.”

The Talent and Mentor Programme 2011-2013 which was launched on 18th November 2011, is under the direction of Mr Victor Mintoff, Referees Development Officer.

The Referee Talents are classified in four levels: Elite (ARCIOLA Andre’, FARRUGIA CANN Trustan, TONNA Glenn, ZAMMIT Fyodor), Category 1 (FARRUGIA Philip, SAMMUT Andrew James), Category 2 (PORTELLI Luke, UTULU Jude Amin) and Category 3 (BUHAGIAR Keith, DE GABRIELE Matthew, MANGION Etienne, SCIBERRAS Roderick).

The Assistant Referee Talents are classified in two levels: Elite (SCERRI Mitchell, VELLA Roberto), and National (BONNICI Alan, CARUANA Redeemer, SAMMUT Jean-Pierre, VELLA Joseph).

The following former referees or assistant referees are the appointed mentors to the different categories of Referee and Assistant Referee Talents: Gaetano De Gabriele (Elite), Saviour Darmanin (Category 1), Alexander Arena (Category 2), Alexander Spiteri (Category 3) and Philip Agius (Assistant Referees).