A Talent and Mentor formation seminar, under the auspices of the UEFA Convention, was organised by the Associazione Italiana Arbitri (AIA – the Italian Referees Association) technical sector in Coverciano’s ‘Casa Italia’ last weekend.
The Malta FA, through the Refereeing Centre, was represented by Stephen Mallia, the head of unit COREMALTA and responsible for the Talents & Mentors programme, and Darryl Agius, a referee who forms part the Talents & Mentors programme in Malta, along with 107 up-and-coming referees and their 27 mentors from 19 regions of Italy.
This was a very intensive and highly formative seminar directed by Alfredo Trentalange, officer in charge of AIA technical sector, along with other members of the technical staff and with the important contribution of UEFA and FIFA instructor Francesco Bianchi from Switzerland.
Participants were also addressed by AIA president Marcello Nicchi, National Committee member Maurizio Gialluisi, and enriched by interesting talks from top Serie A referees Giancarlo Calvarese, Marco Di Bello and Luca Pairetto who shared some of their experiences with the young referees.
Stephen Mallia was also invited to address the participants.
In this seminar, various challenging subjects were put forward for discussion, including the technical level, ethical issues vis-a-vis the role of the referee in the football community, the society in general and the Association, and the difference between refereeing matches to actually following the steps needed to become a referee.
The programme also included an athletic session in the gym, and another in the Coverciano training grounds where the participants experienced the ‘FIFA 11+ protocol’ for the prevention of injuries.