Winter Training Camp – 2014

The SFA’s annual Winter Training Camp took place between 12th – 16th January 2014. Category 3SAR (Development) – Sean Carr has provided an insight into what was involved…..


Sean Carr


La Manga 2014 Referee Winter Camp

For the past four years the top referee’s in Scotland have been going away for a few days every winter to review the season so far and prepare for the physical and mental challenges which lie ahead. The one big difference for this year was that the specialist assistant referees and the development group were also invited.

The location this year was La Manga, Spain where we would be sharing the resort with the Borussia Dortmund  team as well as the German and Barcelona youth teams.

Day 1

An early start with a 6.30am departure from Glasgow Airport which saw a lot of tired but excited faces prepare for our flight and short bus journey to get to our destination.

Upon arrival we were grouped into team of six who we would be living with during our stay and after a quick unpack it was off to the football fields for a light recovery session to help with any sore aches from our games the previous day.

In the evening John Fleming officially opened the training camp and we were promptly given a laws of the game test and a video test where we were shown clips of an incident and had to decide on whether a foul had been committed and what action if any should be taken.

Day 2

Another early start with breakfast at 7am then it was off to the fields where the Category 1 referees undertook the dynamic yoyo test and the Specialist Assistant Referees performed the ARIET and CODA tests.

After this was finished it was a quick 10min in the cold outdoor pool to aide with the body’s recovery, lunch and then back to the fields where we were tested on practical scenarios to test our concentration and awareness. We were given the chance also to view or technique and decision making instantly as our session was being recorded.

To finish off the evening we were given 14 video clips focusing on team work between referee and assistants which we were to review in our groups and feedback to the hall later on.

Day 3

With the now regular 7am start for breakfast we were once again down to the football parks early where the assistant referees broke off to do some more practical work before reuniting with the referees for a physically demanding training session.

Again before lunch it was a quick visit to the pool and to finish off the day with more video clip analysis.

Day 4

Our final day began with a visit from John McQuade and Graeme Jones who took our body fat measurements, breakfast and then to the hotel function room to review all our findings on the video clips we had been analysing over the previous days before heading back to the fields for another practical session to help aid in goal line decision making. We broke for lunch and resumed with a lighter final session before John Closed the training camp that evening

The next day we were on our way home, it had been a tough but very rewarding experience which helped develop bonds between all who went. Also it helped improve fitness, teamwork and communication in game scenarios.

The less said about the karaoke on the last night the better……!!!

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