Referee Academy

The Liverpool County FA Referees’ Academy Development Group was launched in September 2000 to ensure that new and young referees in the county are provided with guidance and support to further their refereeing careers and set the foundations for anybody wanting to progress in their refereeing and who are keen to progress to the next level of referee.

The group were initially split evenly between the academies based at Everton and Liverpool Football clubs in Halewood and Kirkby and the County FA work in conjunction with both of our two Premiership clubs offering in-service training with theory and fitness/practical sessions. Quality Referees, Coaches, Mentors, Assessors and FA Instructors from all over the County FA and surrounding areas provide relevant and up to date training for the group.

Both Academy locations have a County FA appointed Director, with Gordon Johnson fulfilling the role at Everton FC and Paul Healey at Liverpool FC, respectively.

The success of the scheme is already bearing fruits for the County and National FA with current evidence of Academy graduates operating at the higher echelons of Football being:-

Peter Bankes promoted to Football League Referee in 2014, Jake Collin and Ian Hussin on the Premier League Assistant Referees Panel, Matt Parry , Matthew Corlett and Helen Byrne (Our first level 3 female referee from the County) on the National list of Assistant Referees (Football League) together with Aaron Jackson and Benjamin Speedie operating on the Contributory leagues System at level 3.

Behind all of the above are an eager group of Level 4, Level 5, Level 6 and level 7 officials still operating within the Academy structure, all keen to learn and progress to the National Leagues system.

The aim of the Liverpool County FA Referee Academy is to assist in the development, training and coaching of referees who have the potential to progress to senior referee status. It is designed to deliver specific and relevant training to young, ambitious, dedicated and talented referees.

Consequently since 2000 as the number of young referees in the county has grown so has the Academy programme, with Academy Development hubs also based at the Mossley Hill Sports & Social Club under the direction of Andy Pownall. Warrington Referees Association, under the direction of Roy Naylor and also with two feeder leagues at the Craven Minor league (Southport) under the direction of Chris Baumber and the St Helens & Rainhill District Junior League under the direction of John Doyle. Each of these four structures monitoring young referees and feeding them into the two academies based at our two premiership Football Clubs.

Who can be part of the Academy?

A specialist group of officials from level 7 to level 4 who are keen, enthusiastic and dedicated; they exhibit the desire to progress to the next level.

These officials attend a specified number of meetings a year which are specifically aimed at improving not only their fitness levels but also include specific technical sessions with key note speakers in attendance.

What are the benefits of joining?

• Coaching to support your development
• Physical training sessions under the guidance of senior officials
• Technical classroom-based training sessions conducted to enhance knowledge and skills
• Appointments to selected Liverpool County FA cup ties
• Appointments to Academy matches at Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs.
• Opportunity to develop towards the North West Development Group, part of the National Referee development programme, that aims to progress officials to level 3 and beyond

For more information on future Academy training events please contact the Referees Department Office on 0151 523 4488 or email the Referee’s Development Manager on