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Latest news from the Essex FA

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A total of 63 local grassroots referees were informed they had been promoted up a level recently, with four candidates being rewarded with a ‘double jump’ by the Essex FA for their exceptional progress.

Scores of Essex match officials have successfully met the required criteria to move up after completing their assessments this year and Essex FA Referee Development Officer James Lisher congratulated them on their achievements.

“It takes dedication and focus to achieve promotion, so well done to everyone,” he said.

“We’ve successfully covered more than 300 games at grassroots level and achieved an impressive pass rate of 82 per cent for promotions at Level 7 to 6, up seven per cent on last season, as well as a rate of 75 per cent for Level 6 to 5, up by six per cent.

“Obviously this couldn’t have been achieved without the support of our assessor co-ordinators Terry Ripo, Adrian Amey, Paul Hever and Mark Goddard.”

Adam Humphreys (Havering), Craig Barnett (Basildon), Joseph Wrigley (Braintree) and Lee Markwick (Thurrock) were the referees who were elevated through two levels.

Wrigley said: “It was difficult listening to assessors rightly criticising your naivety or lack of experience, but it all developed the parts of my game which needed work. I played the game for a long time so I knew what I liked in a referee and tried to instil that in myself.

“I’ve applied for promotion to the next level now so I want to stay in a challenging league as well as gather experiences of leagues I am not yet qualified to officiate as a referee in. I also want to help other referees because I’ve been really fortunate so far and have met some fantastic people in the short time I have been involved who have given me support above and beyond the call of duty. To thank them all would be an essay!”

Basildon’s Neil Lawson covers games all over Essex and East London and claimed the recent good news was a welcome boost.

He said: “A lot of referees were putting status updates on Facebook and Twitter about their promotions, so there was quite a buzz around when we discovered the news.

“Most of our games had been called off due to the weather, so this was a good way of cheering us all up!

“I always try to do everything to the best of my ability. Going for promotion and being part of the Essex FA Referees Academy provide me with everything I need to develop.

“I’d like to thank James at the county FA as well as my mentor, Dave Bloxham, and all the assessors for their constructive feedback over the season.”

Thurrock’s Markwick added: “My reaction was joy and relief - I’d been waiting to see if my season’s efforts had been worth it!

“It was tough receiving open and honest feedback regarding my performance. You think you are performing one way but, under scrutiny, blind spots get highlighted which you didn’t realise were there.

“But I feel I have the ability to talk to players and be approachable. Taking on the advice and feedback from your assessments is vital.”

Damien Buhagiar from Southend was also delighted, adding: “I found out the news while I was in Latvia on a stag weekend, so it put me in a very good mood for those couple of days!

“I don’t want refereeing to just be a hobby - I want to work my way into the Football League and I’m willing to work hard and learn to get there.”

The ‘refereeing season’ runs from March 1 every year until the end of February the following year, rather than a conventional football playing season. Therefore, any games covered from March 1 this year count towards the 2013/14 season, which ends on February 28, 2014 for referees.

So, when clubs are playing ‘meaningless’ end-of-season games with nothing to play for, often referees are trying hard for a good start to their promotion season.

“Between them the co-ordinators have appointed and reviewed hundreds of matches, which has been extremely challenging, but worthwhile,” added Lisher.

“I’d like to thank them all on behalf of the county FA, along with all our active assessors. We have an impressive amount of excellent match officials moving through the system and I’m sure that, with the right support and opportunity, we have an exciting future ahead for refereeing in this county.”

Level 6-5: Richard Baker (Colchester); Craig Barnett (Basildon); Robert Bradley (Thurrock); Damien Buhagiar (Southend); Thomas Bullard (Chelmsford); David Byrne (Colchester); Robert Claussen (Rochford); Gary Duffy (Uttlesford); Joseph Earll (Harlow); Gordon Farrington (Brentwood); Adekunle Fawunmi (Barking & Dagenham); Joseph Gray (Barking & Dagenham); Kevin Hayhow (Braintree); Adam Humphreys (Havering); Kevin Lamb (Thurrock); Neil Lawson (Basildon); Richard Longden (Basildon); Lee Markwick (Thurrock); Jack Morris (Basildon); Susan Newton (Braintree); Roger Nutbrown (Basildon); Eugene Okonkwo (Chelmsford); James Parks (Colchester); Mark Pond (Havering); Michael Scott (Thurrock); Adam Storey (Havering); Maison Urwin (Colchester); Stefan Vacean (Colchester); Kevin Wootton (Harlow); Joseph Wrigley (Braintree).

Level 7-6: Anthony Abbs (Basildon); Ian Angus-Felton (Castle Point); Alan Ball (Uttlesford); Craig Barnett (Basildon); Ian Bartram (Uttlesford); James Beal (Maldon); James Campbell-Skelly (Southend); Sam Clarke (Basildon); Sam Cullen (Thurrock); Robert Eve (Castle Point); Samuel Everitt (Thurrock); Lewis Farthing (Colchester); David Feline (Colchester); Kevin Fisher (Braintree); Emma Gregory (Havering); Danny Harrington (Southend); Alex Haynes (Basildon); Ashley Howard (Colchester); Elliot Horne (Rochford); Adam Humphreys (Havering); Ian Kilden (Tendring); Stephen Lester (Southend); Stuart McMillan (Basildon); Lee Markwick (Thurrock); Steven Marr (Southend); Justin Miller (Uttlesford); Alexander Mullett (Havering); Josh O’Sullivan (Havering); Jamie Scanes (Barking & Dagenham); Graham Scott (Chelmsford); Max Thompson (Thurrock); Thomas Whay (Harlow); Sam Wigington (Thurrock); Dean Williams (Southend); Richard Wilsher (Barking & Dagenham); Steven Wilson (Havering); Joseph Wrigley (Braintree).

If you’d like to become a referee, call James on (01245) 393097 or E-Mail james.lisher@essexfa.com. Further information on refereeing can also be found on www.essexfa.com.

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