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Dallas Cup UK

Welcome to the Dallas Cup UK Referees web site, which has been constructed to provide information. If you require more information please contact
George Mccaffery

About the Society

Prior to the FIFA reception on Saturday. From LtoR, Martin Atkinson, Simon Mather, Ryan Johnson, George Mccaffery, Nigel Smith, Trevor Simpson, Andre Mariner, Mike Hickling, Neil Stewart

other English referees who attended were Tony Ward, Colin Creasy, Pete Gregory, Steve Symonds, Arthur Reeves, Jairo Marin and Dean Flanaghan

Taking part in the Dallas Cup is by invitation only and in past years, teams and referees have travelled to Dallas from ninety-eight countries and all six continents.
All overseas match officials are treated as VIPs and the world-renowned tournament is very professionally organised. Therefore it was pleasing when permission was given to George Mccaffery to establish an Academy of 4 Level 4-6 English referees for the Dallas Cup.

The tournament is staged over a 7 day period always ending on Easter Sunday and uses 3 venues, the major one being Lake Highland Stadium (10,000 capacity with a high quality artificial surface) used for the opening ceremony and major matches, including all finals. Many of the world’s premier clubs will compete in the tournament. Many consider the Dallas Cup referee corps to be one of the best for a youth tournament. World Class referees from around the globe, some of which are FIFA referees with past World Cup appointments, take part in the tournament each year, providing the ideal opportunity for the nominated officials to operate with a variety of officials.

The aim of the academy was to provide the opportunity for referee development through very competitive football between international youth teams in North America plus the experience of genuine Texas hospitality. The 4 referees were sponsored and appointed from the RAF (Nigel Smith), RN (Neil Stewart), Manchester County Football Associations (Simon Mather, Ryan Johnson) and they all confirmed that the experience provided an aid to their development whilst also providing stimulus and motivation. To ensure adequate prearation the Academy arrived on the Tuesday before the tournament and left on the Monday after meaning a period of 14 days away from home.

Following the success of the first year George is intending to repeat the academy next year.

Dallas Cup Web

The Football League

The Football League has recognised the development opportunities and Jim Ashworth has selectively appointed first year officials over the last few years, including Graham Barber, Mike Riley, Keith Hill, the Laws brothers, Trevor Parkes, Colin Webster, Phil Dowd and Paul Armstrong. This years representatives were Andre Mariner and Martin Atkinson. Trevor Simpson a National Group Referee Coach (has attended the Dallas Cup for 19 years) acts as the Football League co-ordinator for the 2 appointed league officials and provides on-site support and information.

The establishment of a link between the FL and Academy officials was not planned, but it proved to be very rewarding for all participants, especially the training sessions prior to the tournament. During these sessions Andre and Martin were able to demonstrate the fitness regimes that they were following and worked with each of the Academy referees to improve their personal fitness. Also all 3 gave post match advice to the Academy referees when they were able to watch some of their games.

George expresses deep thanks to Trevor, Andre and Martin for their support, commitment and professionalism.

DALLAS CUP XXV report by George McCaffery

The Dallas Cup XXV has now finished and the appointed referees have returned home following what was a most successful tournament.

4 referees attended the Academy and were Level 4 or aiming for Level 4 promotion, they were Ryan Johnson (Level 4) and Simon Mather (Level 6 Manchester County FA), Nigel Smith (Level 6 Royal Air Force FA) and Neil Stewart (Level 6 Royal Navy FA) and they all completed an average of 15 games, both as referee, assistant and fourth official, over the very active 10-day period. They also attended 3 designated physical training sessions (at 7:30am) on the first non-active days, which were coordinated by Martin Atkinson and Andre Mariner (Level 1 referees) who were appointed to the Dallas Cup by The Football League. This interaction was very beneficial to the candidates and was continued throughout the tournament, along with Trevor Simpson their coach who also attends on behalf of the Football League.

The boys on their first early morning training session.

Also during the 3 day acclimatisation phase they were able to visit local areas of interest from the Kenedy Museum in downtown Dallas to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

A visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards, does anyone recognise the guy with the 'horn cap' on?

There were a total of 180 referees at the tournament, including 40 internationals of which 8 were FIFA (2 of which were on the retired list).

In the round robin phase the candidates were involved throughout the whole day but their participation was limited after the quarterfinals, as progression after the early rounds is dependant on recommendation from the assessor panel. Following their good performances in those early rounds it was most rewarding to have one of the candidates recognised by their appointment to a Final in the stadium. To all their credit they were all involved in either the quarter/semi finals and the highlight was the selection of Simon as the fourth official on the U14 final.

The home stay families all reported that they were impressed by the behaviour and attitude of the candidates; as a direct result through the contacts of the families the opportunity to attend a professional basketball and baseball game was provided. Everyone enjoyed this cultural opportunity to witness very different sports in their very impressive arenas. They also attended a special combined Easter lunch with the homestay families at the Winstanley Household, where it must be said the 'pool table' took a severe battering during our stay. It is difficult to express the thanks for the kindness shown by the very hospitable people who each took 2 unknown people into their homes for 2 weeks and gave them complete access and support. They really are the ultimate volunteers.

The tournament staffs were also impressed by the candidate’s attitude, cooperation and commitment and they were actively involved, both during on and off field activities that are shown on the itinerary below:

Tues Arrived and met families
Wed Training session and tour of downtown Dallas including Kennedy Museum
Thurs Training session and tour of Fort Worth and stockyards
Fri Training session and Registration
Sat Local games and welcome Reception
Sun Referee briefing, games and opening ceremony
Mon Games
Tues Games
Wed Games
Thurs Games – quarter finals and basketball game
Fri Games
Sat Games and baseball game
Sun Easter lunch – Finals and farewell party
Mon Return

Each candidate has been asked to present an individual report to their association, however the common views expressed by the candidates are listed below:

The early training sessions and interaction with the FL officials was interesting, beneficial and rewarding.

The local games organised before the tournament helped in the acclimatisation and provided a positive insight into what will be required of them, however due to the temperature and humidity it should be limited to only one game.

The cultural visits on the first days worked towards their team building whilst also creating an interest in unfamiliar subjects.

The aims of developing lining technique and communication (non verbal) were achieved and should prove to be advantageous for next season.

They were all extremely grateful to their associations for the opportunity to attend the tournament and overall the experience of both the competition and social interaction were considered to be positive and stimulating.


Past participants have included Real Madrid, Spain; AJAX Amsterdam, Netherlands; Atletico Paranaense, Brazil; CF Monterrey, Mexico; Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany; Boca Juniors, Argentina; Manchester United, England; AC Milan, Italy; Tigres, Mexico; Sao Paulo FC, Brazil; Bayer Leverkusen, Germany; Nacional, Uruguay; Moscow Dynamo, Russia; Blackburn Rovers, England; UNAM Pumas, Mexico; San Lorenzo, Argentina; Celtic, Scotland; Argentinos Juniors, Argentina; Nottingham Forest, England; River Plate, Argentina; FF Malmo, Sweden; Vasco de Gama, Brazil; Hamburg SV, Germany; Universidad Catolica, Chile; Tottenham Hotspur, England; CD Guadalajara, Mexico; LD Alajuelense, Costa Rica; Santos FC, Brasil; Jomo Cosmos, South Africa; Lyngby FC, Denmark; Leicester City, England; Club America, Mexico; Deportivo Saprissa, Costa Rica; West Ham United, England; Sporting Cristal, Peru; Everton FC, England; and many more.
Future Dates

Dallas Cup XXVI March 20-27, 2005

Dallas Cup XXVII April 1-8, 2006

Dallas Cup XXVIII April 1-8, 2007

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