David Elleray Backs FA Carlsberg Referee Awards

President of the Referees' Association, David Elleray, has backed the newly formed FA Carlsberg Referee Awards to help increase the recognition of mat

Elleray, who started refereeing at the age of 13 and was the last amateur Premier League referee, is keen to highlight the importance of the role, as well as the work that goes on behind the scenes.

"The formation of The FA Carlsberg Referee Awards is a major step forward and will make people appreciate refereeing at a regional and national level, and demonstrate how much good work is going on in developing referees in this country," he said.

"It can be a lonely job, so it is important that referees are supported and given guidance from an early age. The Awards will help us retain those currently involved and persuade outsiders to become involved," David added.

With the recent success of current referee Howard Webb, who oversaw both the Champions League and World Cup final in 2010, overall active refereeing numbers have jumped from 22,500 in 2008 to 28,500 by the end of 2012.

Webb, whom Elleray describes as "a great role model" with many wanting to "emulate what he has achieved and perform at the highest level", will be on the judging panel for the Awards.

Elleray continued: "Referees don't want recognition or to be superstars. They aren't in it for the money, but refereeing does give you an opportunity to be involved in the greatest game in the world at the highest level.

"People say how did I put up with the abuse from both the players and the crowds and my simple response is that I rather enjoyed being in the centre circle when Beckham scored from his own half at Selhurst Park and being on the edge of the penalty area when Giggs scored that wonder goal in The FA Cup against Arsenal."

The six Award categories are:
 - Outstanding contribution to refereeing
 - Referee Award (18-25 years) for outstanding performance and contribution
 - Women Referee Award for outstanding performance and contribution
 - Outstanding contribution to refereeing from a local partner league involved within the NRDP
 - Outstanding contribution to refereeing within a referee development setting (must be over 18 years of age)
 - Outstanding contribution to refereeing from volunteers (mentors, tutors, coaches and assessors)

Please click here to nominate. The closing date for nominations is Friday 8th February 2013. The Awards will culminate in a presentation event at England v Scotland on August 14th 2013.

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