Each year, referees are selected from the NFA CORE (Centre of Refereeing Excellence) group, based on their potential and performances throughout the season.
The Iber Cup, one of the largest and most international youth football tournaments in the world, offers a development opportunity to the selected referees, with real-time coaching available via a communications kit, before video debriefs are delivered in the evenings.
This year six Northamptonshire FA affiliated referees and three coaches were chosen to attend the tournament in Portugal, held from in the first week of July.
They were business manager Gary Biddulph, referee development officer Luke Scott, coaches Chris Knowles, Ian Rathbone and Rob Evans, and referees Tom Beeton, Seth Galia, Sam Lee, Cameron Smith, Harry Price and Callum Czajkowski.
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The refs took charge of 16 quarter-finals, four semi-finals and two appointments in the final.
Speaking after the tournament, Luke Scott said: “We have been attending the Iber Cup in Estoril for four years now, and the development opportunity this tournament provides to the referees selected is second to none.
“We were delighted to have our most successful year in terms of final appointments, and the work now continues into next season and beyond for these referees.
"We look forward to seeing their improvements after implementing the points identified by the coaching team throughout the week.”
Gary Biddulph added: "After seeing such great success in previous seasons from referees who attended the Iber Cup, I was delighted to accompany a group of six referees, three coaches and our referee development officer to Portugal to see first-hand the work that takes place.
“To witness such dedication, skill and support from the coaching team to our referees leaves me in no doubt that success will follow from this group in the coming season. This was an outstanding effort to develop our best referees in the county."