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FFSA Referee travels to England on Exchange Development Trip
Football Federation SA Match Official, Rick Schneider, recounts his recent Exchange Development Trip to England.
Schneider, a PlayStation 4 National Premier League SA Referee who is also on the Hyundai A-League's 2016-17 Fourth Official's Panel, traveled to the United Kingdom at the end of 2016 as part of an Exchange Development trip between Football Federation Australia and the Football Association's Professional Games Match Official's Limited (PGMOL) Group.
The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to officiate a Premier League 2 game between Middlesbrough and Fulham.
"This game was very quick," said Rick.
"With highly skilled players who played a very structured game - a number of the Fulham players had senior experience."
Rick's second game was in the Lancashire FA Senior Cup between Fleetwood Town and Wigan Athletic.
"This game had a good mix of senior and reserves players and was very fast and physical."
Another highlight of his trip was the opportunity to mix with the Select Group (English Premier League Officials) of Referees at their fortnightly training camp at St George's Park - England's national football facility.
Aside also having the opportunity to attend workshops, classes and physical training sessions with the Select Group, as well as Championships, League 1 & 2 and Conference Referees, Rick had the chance to be exposed to goal-line techology sessions as well as attending a range of fixtures.
Southampton vs Liverpool, Arsenal vs Bournemouth, Leicester vs Middlesbrough, Fulham vs Reading, Barnsley vs Nottingham Forest would have no doubt been a great experience for Schneider, but it was his sixth game which was most memorable.
"Bournemouth and Liverpool," said Rick.
"The game where it was 1-3 with 14 minutes to play and it ended 4-3. That was amazing."
The FFA's touring party to England featured Rick's A-League's colleagues Alex King and Ben Abraham and also FFA Elite Referees Coach Eugene Brazzale.
"Through this trip I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced and high profile referees and ex-referees in the world," said Rick.
"My key learnings from this trip centre around aspects of match management and also seeing a number of great examples of referees showing empathy towards players which will benefit my game here."
"It couldn't have been possible without the PGMO and the FFA, along with the FFA's support of my refereeing development.
"Also the support from the FFSA and the Refereeing Department over the years has helped me get to a position where I have been selected for many great opportunities, locally, nationally and as evident with this trip, internationally, and I would like to thank all for this great opportunity.
"It was an amazing experience that I will draw on and remember for the rest of my life."