Sheffield & Hallamshire FA were delighted to find out that level one referee Michael Naylor has been selected to officiate at the Dallas Cup, the oldest international youth football tournament in the United States.
Michael, who will represent the PGMO (Professional Game Match Officials) alongside Carl Berry and Tim Robinson, is looking forward to following in the footsteps of distinguished referees Martin Atkinson and Mike Riley by refereeing at the tournament.
He said: “From speaking to other colleagues who have been in the past, particularly Sheffield and Hallamshire CFA referee Craig Pawson, it seems that the main differences centre around the cultures of the various teams around the world.
“You could go from refereeing a South American team against a European Team, to refereeing an Asian Team against a North American Team perhaps within the same day; all four teams will require different levels of communication and management techniques.”
Michael will officiate at up to three games per day over the course of the tournament, which runs between April 1 and April 8.
He added: “It will be difficult being away from home for over two weeks, however I feel I will return a better referee than when I leave and I am very grateful for this opportunity.”
Teams entering the tournament range from U13s up to the U19s and it is seen by many professional clubs as a perfect way of aiding player development, with Manchester United’s Tom Cleverly, Sunderland’s Frasier Campbell and Arsenal’s Emmenuel Frimpong being notable alumni.
Michael said: “I understand the final list of teams is yet to be finalised but I believe Manchester United and Everton have already confirmed attendance in the Super Group along with Paris St Germain, Eintracht Frankfurt, Cortiba and Esporte Clube Bahia from Brazil as well as Seleccion Nacional de Mexico Sub 20 – so there is real calibre of teams there.
“Along with the PGMO representation of 3, the FA also sends 12 academy referees over, which again represents a fantastic opportunity for the Academy officials to develop and test their skills as referees.”
We wish Michael the very best of luck.