Day 7 started with a presentation led by UEFA futsal referee Marc Birkett.  He talked about how he became a referee and showed how the development pyramid for futsal referees differs slightly from the pathway for football.

He talked about key topics that he is constantly questioned about.  These were, the ball back to the goalkeeper, blocking/holding/pushing, recognising challenges and denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.  He discussed that futsal referees have to make one decision approximately every two second, compared with one decision every six seconds in the Premier League.

Marc was a superb speaker and very honest about decision he has made in games he has refereed and what needs to change in the future.  What could have been a very dull and boring subject turned out to be a highly entertaining presentation.  Huge thank you to Marc for his expertise and passion for the game.

In the afternoon, we were visited again by Mike Skubala, the England futsal manager, who talked about their upcoming friendlies in Georgia.  He showed us how the team are preparing for the matches, the travel arrangements and information we were asked not to discuss outside of the room.  Mike shared with us information, in his usual honest and forthright manner, that to say it was an eye opener would be the understatement of the year.  I could listen to this guy all day long, amazing to hear him speak.  We then had the pleasure of watching the England Senior squad training, again a real privilege and honour.  Good luck to England when the play Georgia away on the 4th and 5th of April.

Before I left I had a quick look in the Hilton Hotel and found the trophy cabinets with the recent England younger squads successes in.  The image below shows, from left to right, the U20 World Cup, the U17 World Cup and the U19 European Championship trophies:

With one day left to go on the course, I will be extremely sad to see the end of what has undoubtably been one of the highlights of my coaching education.  See you all in April for the last one!

Chris

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