The UCL is visited by the Norweigan FA's Referee Workforce
This weekend the United Counties League plays host to Norwegian FA's Refereeing CORE (Centre of Referee Excellence), in partnership with Northamptonshire FA. Tomorrow will see 3 games fully officiated by a team of Norwegian officials, with all 3 games comprising of Referee and Assistant Referees from the programme.
This exchange programme has been organised between Northamptonshire County Football Association and NorCORE thanks to Northamptonshire FA Tutor and CORE coach, James Campbell.
We took 5 minutes out of James' busy schedule to discuss how the Exchange Programme occurred, how it is going to work, what's the purpose of it and what will the officials be doing during their time here.
"I have been visiting Norway for the past 15 years to officiate on there highlight tournament, The Norway Cup. Over these 15 year's I have managed to build up strong relationships with the Norweigan FA's Referee Workforce, as well as local organisation's. Traditionally, NorCORE have always completed Referee Exchange Programme's internationally, however for this year's event, they wanted to visit somewhere new, and thanks to my long term ambitions to develop a link between Northamptonshire and Norway, I was able to finalise this between The FA, Northamptonshire FA and the Norwegian FA.
We have managed to secure 12 officials for a 6 day exchange. Of these 12, they have brought 6 male and 6 female officials, who will have the chance to officiate on games over here based on their refereeing level back in Norway. Along with the UCL, we have managed to secure games for them on the East Midlands Women's Regional Football League, Northampton Town Academy fixtures and Northamptonshire Senior Youth League, giving the officials the chance to see a wide variety of local football here in Northamptonshire during their stay. Along with officiating on those fixtures, we will also be leading extensive training to them using The FA CORE values, to give them a further insight into the English FA's refereeing framework and structure.
These experiences will be hugely beneficial for their personal and professional development, as well as giving them the opportunity to experience a completely new footballing culture to what they are used to. The environment they will be exposed to will see them develop their refereeing and life skills in this short space of time.
A massive thank you must go to the United Counties League and the clubs for allowing us the opportunity to allow 9 officials the chance to referee Step 6 football and develop their skills."
The fixtures that NorCORE will be involved in on the United Counties League are:
Rushden & Higham FC v Blackstones
Thrapston Town v Pinchbeck United
Bugbrooke St Michaels v Potton United
Thank you to those 6 clubs who have agreed to allow this opportunity to take part this weekend.