The Ontario Soccer Association recently sent three Provincial Upgrading Match Officials to the Canada Soccer Provincial Upgrading Program in Montreal.
Adam Kanji (PHSA), Filip Dujic (TSA) and Joey Filipic (ECSA) took part in the course that was held at the Quebec Soccer Association Complex.
Match officials were put through physical testing. After a lengthy warm up they were required to complete two tests: the CODA (AR speed and agility test) and the 7-7-7 (Referee speed and agility test). Dujic posted the fastest times in both. They then attempted the new FIFA High Intensity test, which will be introduced for 2017. These sessions really opened the eyes of the match officials to the kind of training that needs to be done and the fitness demands needed at the provincial level.
After lunch it was back to the classroom to analyze the huge topic of match control. It became clear that understanding all of this information would make a referee extremely well equipped to officiate at the provincial level.
“It was very fascinating to analyze a team’s formation and see how that would affect your positioning," Filipic said. "It became clear that you have to go into the match with an expectation and this expectation is created by thorough preperation. You have to enter the game with the expectation that things will happen a certain way and you have to be prepared to deal with these events in an appropriate fashion.”
On Sunday the practical sessions changed from fitness based to focusing more on technical skills. The classroom session was joined by three FIFA AR’s from Quebec. Suzanne Morisset, Marie Josee Charbonneau, and Marie-Han Gagnon Chretien assisted in watching the technical skills of the referees and provided feedback. They took the time to point out small details, which can certainly make a huge difference at the higher levels.
All three officials that represented Ontario said that the sessions were really eye opening.
“I began to realize that being a provincial referee takes a commitment level beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before. And although it may seem daunting, I left the weekend feeling very motivated and inspired to achieve the goal I set out to do in October,” Filipic said.