The UEFA Centre of Referee Excellence (CORE) educates young promising referees & assistants from across Europe and recently Premier League referee Keith Kennedy from Lisburn attended a 10 day Introductory Course with colleagues Stephen Donaldson & Paul Robinson.
Following the Introductory Course Keith receives six months mentoring from an experienced UEFA Referee Coach, and then returns for an 8 day Consolidation course scheduled for late October.
During the programme the match officials took part in a game in France, and Keith’s team officiated in Grenoble at the 20,000 capacity Stade de Alpes with the home team defeating Sete 2-1.
Following the match there was an intensive analysis of the game involving his CORE Referee Coach Peter Jones (England) and Adam Watts CORE Assistant Referee Coach.
During the Introductory Course there were six key technical presentations, practical exercise sessions on the field of play for referees & assistants, daily fitness training, medical checks, weight & body fat screening, post-match analysis, visit to a Spa, and a fitness assessment.
Also present was Lisburn’s former World Cup referee Alan Snoddy in his capacity as a UEFA Senior Core coach with responsibility for referee trio’s from Belarus and Luxembourg.
Alan has been involved in this UEFA education programme since its inception in 2009, working closely with referee trio’s from many European countries.
At the conclusion of the course all the officials have to set three main objectives which they strive to achieve in the next six months and they keep in monthly contact with their Coach who monitors and encourages their progress.
Keith stated, “This was an incredible experience and we all received expert coaching from the very experienced referee, assistant referee, and fitness coaches which will help us all develop into better match officials.
“We know we have an intensive six months ahead but we all know we must make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”