A contingent of 46 Maltese officials from the refereeing sector â€“ 34 match officials and 12 technical staff / referee observers â€“ arrived on Monday afternoon in the Hungarian town of Telki (about 20km from Budapest) for their pre-season training camp/seminar.
The venue chosen for this year is the Globall Football Park & Sporthotel â€“ a hotel specifically-designed for football owned by the Hungarian Football Federation.
This is the 2nd consecutive year that the Malta FA Refereeing Department in collaboration with the Malta Football Refereesâ€™ Association is organising this annual event away from Maltese shores, after last yearâ€™s fruitful experience in Sliven, Bulgaria. The group is being led by MFA Director of Refereeing, Adrian D. Casha, and MFRA Vice-President, Alexander Arena.
As an introduction to this five-day programme, Director of Refereeing Adrian D. Casha made reference to what we started last year themed â€˜Growthâ€™, followed by a short feature on this yearâ€™s theme â€˜The Will to Excelâ€™ during which various key points were brought up namely passion, commitment, results, mental toughness, discipline and what it takes to be number 1. He said that throughout this last year, a number of positive changes in the refereeing sector have been recorded, most outstanding being the number of international appointments for our referees and the high standard noticeable in all referee categories â€“ this is the result of being goal-oriented, highly ambitious and the hard work put in. He took the opportunity to mention more international appointments just received, and referee exchanges in the very near future.
Adrian D. Casha welcomed all participants and FIFA Instructor Steve Bennett who, same as a year ago, has been invited as the main lecturer to conduct this experience to our referees, assistant referees and technical staff, using the latest teaching aids used at FIFA courses for top international match officials. Foreign and local lecturers, and the renowned Hungarian international referee Viktor Kassai will be also addressing participants.
Adrian D. Casha ended his welcome speech by conveying best wishes from MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo, MFA CEO Bjorn Vassallo, and MFRA President Lawrence Sammut, for another successful experience.
As a start to the training camp/seminar, after a brief introduction of welcome and the programme in store, Steve Bennett conducted Video Tests and Laws of the Game Test.
Yesterday morning started with a practical training session for all officials and technical staff, specifically for the referees and the assistant referees working in teams. This session â€“ one of two in the programme â€“ included the participation of referee observers in the running of the different exercises involved; the intention also being that back in Malta, they would be applied for all categories of referees.
The main sessions in the conference room â€“ on subjects such as Severity of Offence, Handball, Positioning, Amendments to the Laws of the Game 2013/2014, Tactical Fouls, Use of Advantage, Management of Match Incidents â€“ mainly focus on group work through computer-orientated programmes which are proving to be invaluable as they generate discussions in the way the exercises are tackled, and make participants aware of situations and learn in a very practical way.
In his lecture on Teamwork and Cooperation, Director of Refereeing Adrian D. Casha touched on key aspects: trust and support; the refereesâ€™ preparation before the match, during and after the end of it; duties and responsibilities; concentration; eye contact; communication and consultation. The lecture was supported by a number of match incident clips for discussion.
MFA Referees Fitness Coach Ronald Zammit is conducting daily physical training sessions in the adjacent hotelâ€™s training pitches and carrying out body composition tests on each match official.