Local referee Lisa Benn - who works at Bexhill college - has been selected to be part of the 2015 Dallas Cup Youth Football Tournament in the USA.
She flew out on Sunday.
The Dallas Cup tournament is staged over a seven day period ending on Easter Sunday and uses two multi field venues and the Cotton Bowl (80,000 capacity) is used for the opening ceremony and major matches, including all finals.
Many of the world’s premier clubs wil be there including Coritiba FC & Corinthians (Brazil), Everton (England), Valencia CF (Spain), CF Monterrey (Mexico), Tigres UANL (Mexico), CA River Plate (Argentina).
Ian Blanchard, Senior National Game Referee Manager at the Football Association said: “Many consider the Dallas Cup referee corps to be one of the best for a youth tournament. World Class referees, some of which are FIFA referees with past World Cup appointments, take part in the tournament, providing the opportunity for these referees to operate with a variety of officials. The FA are fully committed to providing improvement opportunities for referees who are involved in the National Referee Development Programme.”
Lisa said: “I was very excited when I was first told that I had been selected by the FA to attend the Dallas Cup. It will give me the opportunity to develop skills that will be of benefit throughout my career, especially the ability to officiate teams that do not speak English whilst considering the different cultures. Plus the whole experience of travelling to Texas will create great opportunities for me.”
The group is being led by George McCaffery, a FA referee coach, who commented: “The Football Association has identified this development opportunity and funds a place for eight candidates who are chosen from each of the Regional Referee Development Groups. They go through a thorough selection process, culminating in officiating at a Premier League Youth Tournament in October, to ensure we select the best eight candidates. The experience of staying with a local Texan family means that we not only develop the referee but the person as well.”
Paul Saunders, the Sussex County Referee Development Officer, said: “To be one of only eight referees to be selected by the Football Association to attend this prestigious tournament is a great achievement. Lisa has been a referee for 10 years and has been part of the County Referee Development Programme. Her selection is a reflection of the hard work and commitment she has shown in the support of local football. We wish her every success.”