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Kiwi refs get rare European chance

A trio of New Zealand referees have become just the third group from outside Europe to attend the annual UEFA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) course in Nyon, Switzerland.

Nick Waldron. www.photosport.co.nz

August 10, 2012

AUCKALND – A trio of New Zealand referees have become just the third group from outside Europe to attend the annual UEFA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) course in Nyon, Switzerland.

Joined by referee coach Neil Fox at UEFA’s headquarters, the kiwi trio of officials Nick Waldron, Chris Wolken and Gareth Sheehan will be put through their paces at an eight day workshop that includes fitness testing, match simulations, video analysis and lectures.

The trio will also get the opportunity to referee in local matches in the Swiss and nearby French competitions and all four officials will return to Nyon in March for the second section of the course.

Waldron, Wolken and Sheehan are all part of the current panel of ASB Premiership officials while has also refereed at O-League level for the past two seasons after first being involved as a fourth official in 2010. Fox is also active at ASB Prmeirship level as an assessor.

The invitation to the UEFA course was extended by former English referee and current UEFA CORE director David Elleray and builds upon other international relationships forged by New Zealand Football with the England’s Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and the Dallas Cup.

NZF Referee Development Officer Ken Wallace said such global experience was an important part of the New Zealand Football referee development pathway and would help the trio step closer to obtaining a place on FIFA’s list of international referees.

“Exposing our top and promising match officials to the best referee education, tapping into the knowledge and experience of some of the biggest football organisations in the world and getting a taste of matches in different countries will only build on the work that is happening at home,” said Wallace.

“It lifts these referees to a new level, they bring that back to New Zealand helping to lift the standard of the game as a whole.”

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