North Riding FA was proud to see a trio of county-affiliated referees spend an eight-night stint in France last week officiating at the 2019 Paris World Games.
Following seven months of preparation, Vladimir Mollov, Tommy Brown and Macauley Gibson, alongside Referee Coach, Andy Himsworth, flew out to the French capital on July 6, kicking off a stay that saw them have the opportunity to interact with other referees from around the world and develop their own skills.
The trio worked with colleagues from Holland, Spain and Serbia, amongst many others, to referee matches underneath the iconic Eiffel Tower. Andy also even had to step into the line of duty on occasion due to an injury to one of the appointed officials.
In total, Vladimir, Tommy and Macauley officiated over 50 50-minute games, with over 2,500 minutes of refereeing being completed between them throughout the week.
Due to their impressive performances, Macauley and Vladimir were selected to referee in the latter stages of the tournament. Macauley was confirmed as assistant referee for the U15 boys final, whilst Vladimir oversaw the U16 boys final as referee and was praised for his high standard of performance and personal development throughout the week.
Macauley, 19, highlighted his participation in the semi-finals and final as a memorable moment during the trip and in his fledgling refereeing career. He also drew attention to the considerable amount of learning he has done whilst over in Paris.
He said: “My highlight of the tournament was probably refereeing the U15s final as an assistant referee and also refereeing the U15s semi-final.
“I’ve really enjoyed the experience of learning from different people around the world, experiencing how different teams operate and learning from different observers from different parts of the world. What I learned most from this week was how to communicate my body language in a more effective way than I have been before.”
Tommy, 17, also echoed those sentiments following the final match of the tournament.
“I’ve had the best time learning lots of things off all the observers that I will take into my game back in the UK. We’ve met a lot of different people from many different countries and backgrounds. It’s been a great experience and I would recommend it to anybody,” he said.
Elsewhere, following his experience throughout the games, Vladimir, 36, has urged fellow referees in North Riding to consider the trip.
He said: “We’ve had a great experience and met a lot of different people from all around the world; referees and players. I have really enjoyed it. I think I will be a better referee after this experience. I would definitely recommend it to everybody. If you’ve got the chance, just do it, it’s incredible. I really enjoyed it. I would like to say to North Riding County FA, merci beaucoup!”
Meanwhile, Referee Coach, Andy, who has spent the last few months preparing the three for the tournament, praised Tommy, Macauley and Vladimir for their professionalism and willingness to learn whilst over in France.
He said: “It’s been my privilege this week to bring three top guys away on behalf of the North Riding County Football Association to the beautiful city of Paris. They’ve all participated in the Paris World Games working as referees, assistants, fourth officials and have learned massively from experienced observers from all over the world, as well as some coaching input and some peer reflection from each other when they have been refereeing games.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from them. It’s been an absolute privilege. These guys have listened and learned and took on board everything that I have said on and off the pitch. They’ve been an absolute pleasure. They haven’t let themselves down for a second on this trip. Well done guys, and I am looking forward to next year.”
Congratulations to Tommy, Vladimir and Macauley for a fantastic tournament and for also being brilliant ambassadors for North Riding County FA over in Paris.
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