LOCAL football referee James Scerri has been selected for a major tournament in America over the Easter week.
The Stafford official has been chosen to represent the Football Association at the 2013 Dallas Cup International Youth Football Tournament.
The Dallas Cup event is being staged over a seven day period ending on Easter Sunday (March 31)with 180 teams participating.
They include the world’s premier clubs Tigres (Mexico), Eintracht Frankfurt, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Cameroon national U19s and Boca Juniors (Argentina).
The FA has identified this development opportunity and funds a place for eight candidates who are chosen from each of the Regional Referee Development groups.
Ian Blanchard, Senior National Game
referee manager at the FA said: “Many consider the Dallas Cup referee corps to be one of the best for a youth tournament.
“World Class referees, some of whom are FIFA referees with past World Cup appointments, take part in the tournament, providing the opportunity for these referees to operate with a variety of officials.
“The FA is fully committed to providing improvement opportunities for referees who are involved in the National Referee Development Programme.’
“At first I felt proud that I had been chosen to represent the development group, Staffs FA and The FA,” said Scerri.
“Following the interview, I felt proud that fellow referees think I am the best person to represent them and I think I shouted out aloud!
“That soon turned to excitement at the
prospect of travelling to the US, but now I am starting to get nervous thinking about the challenges ahead and living up to the expectation of others.”
George McCaffery, a referee coach and group leader said ‘This is a great opportunity for referees to experience the challenges associated with International football whilst also developing their own personality.”
Meanwhile, Peter Heafield, the Staffordshire County FA referee development manager said: “To be one of only eight referees to be selected by the FA to attend this prestigious tournament is a great achievement for James, who has been a referee for only seven years and has been part of the County Referee Development Programme. His selection is a reflection of the hard work and commitment he has shown in the support of local football.”