Premier League referee Tom Bramall inspires ambitious match officials

At the end of February, members of the new Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) took advantage of a unique opportunity to attend a technical session delivered by current Premier League referee Tom Bramall.

Tom is one of three out of 19 current Premier League referees who started their referee journey in the Sheffield and Hallamshire region, the other two being Craig Pawson and Darren England. At the session, he discussed goal setting, support network, laws of the game and finished with a question-and-answer session.

Speaking about why he wanted to deliver this session to promising referees, Tom said: "It's great to give something back to inspire those who are looking to follow in my footsteps. 

"Sheffield & Hallamshire has an impressive track record in developing top referees. There's no reason why somebody in this room tonight can't be a Premier League match official. It's important we encourage and support talented referees all the way to the very top."

Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA launched its first CORE programme at the start of the 2022/23 season to deliver specific and relevant training to ambitious, dedicated and talented referees.

Around 25 match officials at various levels were invited to be part of the programme after demonstrating clear potential and an enthusiasm to progress in their refereeing career.

The cohort will benefit from many development opportunities such as practical training and technical sessions delivered by professional referees like Tom.  

Level 5 referee Nick Botten is a SHCFA CORE member and aspires to progress through the refereeing pyramid by making the most of the support on offer.

“The more support I can get as a referee, the better I can be. Hearing from people like Tom talk about his rise through the levels is inspiring. It shows that if you work hard then you can progress through the levels.

“Attending these CORE sessions is also great opportunity to network with other match officials at all levels with similar ambition. We’re all going through the same sort of progress and it’s a nice way to share experiences and advice.”

After the technical session, Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA Referee Development Officer, Aaron Bannister, presented each CORE member with a personalised kit in recognition of their membership.

Throughout the season, our referee department will monitor the development of all match officials through a number of different aspects such as referee bandings, observations, league referee club marks. At the start of each season, referees will be invited into SHCFA CORE.

For more information on SHCFA CORE, please contact Aaron Bannister at

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