The Garforth Junior Football League took the bold step of appointing three junior officials to the U11 semi finals last weekend with an average age of only 14 which may make them the youngest set of officials ever appointed to any semi final in the UK.
This is part of a continuing referee development plan that the Garforth League is running with the aim of staffing every game from u11 upwards over the coming seasons. Currently this is not possible simply due to lack of referees so the League are aiming to develop and support new referees with the help of the League’s own referee mentors.
The three officials, Joshua Brayshaw, Matthew Hemmins & Rob Cornforth, all qualified as referees last Summer and between than have staffed more than 70 games for the League this season. One of the League’s referee mentors, Norman Arnison, was on the sidelines for both matches for some last minute words of advice and to be there to support the lads – not that they needed it since all three did a fantastic job!
Feedback from the U11 Horsforth Manager, Keiron Ryan, definitely supports this:
“Can I thank you for the 3 officials you provided for Sunday’s under 11 semi at Rothwell Town. I understand that all 3 officials were recently qualified. They certainly showed no lack of experience and did a great job in very difficult windy conditions. The game ran smoothly and without any contentious issues which occasionally crop up especially in semi finals/finals. I think all 3 were a credit to the Garforth League.”
Each summer the Garforth League intends to run a referee course to continue to add to their referee panel and the 2014 course will be on the 30th & 31st August at Tingley Athletic FC. Unlikely the courses run by WRCFA for the specific GJFL referee courses the League offers a cash incentive for referees who qualify, join the GJFL referee panel and then do a specific number of League appointed games within the following season. Places are limited and it will be first paid first served so if you are interested in becoming a referee and joining the GJFL please contact Dawn on firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP