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TFC Academy Players Put Down The Ball, Pick Up A Whistle

By OSA News, 01/28/16, 8:30AM EST


Toronto FC and the Ontario Soccer Association recently kicked off a Match Officials Education Partnership.

TFC has often been a strong supporter of the OSA Advanced Referee Training Program and so hosting an Entry Level Clinic match officials event at KIA Training Ground for members of TFC's Academy was a natural next step. 

The facility is excellent both for classroom and practical sessions and TFC staff were helpful in ensuring the instructors had everything they needed. 

Laurent Guyot, Toronto FC Academy Director, spoke about the benefits of having their U-14 to U-19 academy members become certified match officials. 

“The benefits and importance of our Toronto FC Academy athletes becoming certified referees is multifaceted. Becoming a referee will further enhance our athletes understanding of the rules and their ability to analyze the game," Guyot said. "The experience which our athletes will gain while refereeing games will help them develop into assertive, confident individuals. And with the empathy our athletes will develop for the role of being a referee, so too will come respect for the official, and help create a link between our athletes and officials."

Tony Camacho, a National instructor who helped lead the event, commented on the work of the Academy kids. 

"Participants were well behaved in both classroom and practical, the level of knowledge on the FIFA Laws Of The Game from the participants was a pleasant surprise," Camacho said. "As an Instructor I really enjoyed this experience, it gave the sense that this was a national camp for Match Officials with the professionalism and behavior of the participants."

Nicky Pearson OSA Manager, Match Officials expressed her gratitude to the work of Mairin Scannell, Toronto FC's Academy Operations Coordinator and her understanding of the importance of Match Officials

“Mairin has consistently respected our programs, and understands the important of a player interpreting the Laws Of The Game as per FIFA standards. Initiatives such as this will hopefully lead to more players respecting match officials, and understanding why a certain call is made at a certain time," Pearson said. "My hope is that the trickle-down effects are that a player thinks twice before challenging a match officials call, and also they have the opportunity to give back to the TFC Academy by officiating their younger age group games. I look forward to this being an annual event."

Since the completion of the course, a number of these young new match officials have been assigned as Assistant Referees to TFC Exhibition Games and have been reported to have done an outstanding job


Instructors: Tony Camacho & Patty Peebles
Special Guests: CSA Manager, Referee Development Isaac Raymond
CONCACAF Assessor: Amato DeLuca
OSA Representative: Nicky Pearson, Manager Match Officials Development
TFC Representative: Mairin Scannell, Academy Operations Coordinator