RefPal was there to power up the 5th edition of the Referee Abroad Academy in San Sebastian, Spain, at the Donosti Cup in July 2023.
9 referees & 3 assistants of an advanced level were selected or sent by UEFA FA-s for a week of referee coaching and training. The matches were observed by UEFA & FIFA level observers Manuel López Fernández (ESP), Lucilio Baptista (POR), Jan Seidel (GER) & RefPals Sten Klaasen (EST). The Academy was led by Niclas Erdmann (GER) and Kristian Bakkelo (NED).
As all matches were filmed then debriefs always involved video coaching. Selected incidents reached RefPal for group evaluation & discussion through the innovative RefPal seminar module.
An Academy referee team of 4 lead by 21 year old Robin Kuloaro (who is a RefPal user through Finland) took charge of the B16 final in the Reale Arena, home to Real Sociedad FC. The week though is not only about refereeing, but also to meet new friends and to saviour nice memories from the lovely city of San Sebastian.
The Academy unites the vision of educating and preparing the next generation of international referees to excel in their careers. Many former participants are now working in the Top League in their FA or already at FIFA level.
The focus is always on video learning, comparative analysis and self-reflecting - that is the way you progress ;)