kent fa u18 referee

U18 Kent referee shines at St George's Park

Thomas, a 17-year-old Level 5 referee, tells us about his experience as a match official at the recent Premier League U14 International Tournament.

Thomas wrote his account of the day:

“From Friday, April 12th, to Sunday, April 14th, I had the opportunity to referee the Premier League U14 International Tournament at St George’s Park in Derbyshire. 

“The event involved academy sides from clubs including Manchester City, Chelsea, and West Ham, as well as international sides, such as Sporting Club Anderlecht (Belgium), Sporting Club De Portugal (Portugal), and Borussia Dortmund (Germany). 

“As match officials, our tournament began on Friday with a brief from the Premier League and the FA before the appointments were released for the afternoon. My first appointment was as assistant referee for Sporting Club Portugal Vs Brighton & Hove Albion. It was a great introduction to what the tournament had to offer, with fast-paced football being played and the players expecting an advantage after every foul (it was crucial to stay switched on!) 

“16 match officials were selected from across the country and provided with food, accommodation, and expert coaching. Multiple FA coaches were in attendance, including current Football League referee Ed Duckworth and former top-flight referee Phil Crossley, to provide support and fine-tune our performances. We all had the opportunity to officiate as Assistant Referee, Referee and Fourth Official. Each day ended with a coaching debrief to discuss the day’s appointments and develop our refereeing. 

“Following the group stages on the opening two days, the competition moved into the semi-final stage on Sunday. I led a team of four officials for Manchester City vs Aston Villa in the semi-final. The game ended 2-1 to City with only one caution (an unusual occurrence for me!).

“A great weekend was brought to a close with the tournament final, Manchester City vs. Chelsea, which ended in a Manchester City victory. After spending the entire weekend with each other (on the pitch, off the pitch, and in the hotel swimming pool), we’d all grown closer, so the match official group stayed to watch the final and support our colleagues. This was followed by my five-hour drive back to Kent (with no small thanks to M25 traffic!).”

Thank you for sharing your day with us, Thomas, and we look forward to following your journey.

If you are interested in becoming a referee, contact the team on

kent fa u18 referee