John Fleming, the Head of Referee Development at the Scottish FA, has expressed his delight at another successful referees’ winter training camp.
Fleming took 37 of the country’s top officials to La Manga in Spain for a four-day training camp consisting of intense physical activity, video analysis and team bonding.
He said: “The aim of this year’s camp was to ask the referees to try and raise their performance levels to an elite level in conjunction with the Scottish FA’s strategy.
“We applied three strands of the strategy to everything we did in La Manga in the shape of acting in a business-like and professional manner, being unified and working as a team, and being open, transparent and trusted to lead.
“I was absolutely delighted with how the referees applied themselves over the course of the week.”
This year Fleming welcomed the category two referees and Morag Pirie, Scotland’s only FIFA women’s referee, to the camp for the first time and explained his thinking behind the move.
He said: “I wanted to let the category two referees know what kind of work goes on at the winter training camp and show them the standards they need to reach if they want to attain category one status in the future.
“We also invited Morag Pirie to the camp.
“Morag is refereeing at the highest level in women’s football and recently attained FIFA status so I felt that it was important for her development to be training alongside the top referees in Scotland in order to enhance her performance levels at the elite level of women’s football.”
In previous years the officials have been based in Marbella for their winter training camp but Fleming opted to take the whistlers to the La Manga Sports Complex in the south of Spain.
La Manga is used by a number of Europe’s top club and international sides, including the Scotland national teams, and Fleming believes that in order for the officials to reach the top level of refereeing, they need to be training at the top facilities.
He said: “The La Manga training complex is a recognised training camp across Europe.
“When we were there, the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk and Rosenborg were making use of the facilities, as were the under-19 teams of Norway and Sweden.
“It was also used by Scotland manager Craig Levein last year so it comes highly recommended.
“To be professional in your approach to refereeing you need to have professional facilities and La Manga ticks the box from that perspective.
“The training pitches here are first class and the have an excellent gymnasium and swimming pool.”
Fleming now wants his experienced referees to continue the good work made in the first half of the season following a successful and productive winter training camp.
“The referees have worked hard this week,” he said.
“They have been put through their paces by our fitness team and there has been a massive improvement in their fitness levels over the last three years which was evident this week.
“There have also been positive discussions about incidents from earlier in the season and the group worked well as a team when asked.
“Overall, the camp was very successful and I am pleased with the progress being made.
“I would like to give special thanks to our sponsors Specsaves for their continued backing as their support has been terrific.”
Monday, 06 February 2012
Thursday, 09 February 2012