Foreign internship San Pedro del Pinitar

From 31/10/2018 till 04/11/2018 we organised a 5-day internship in partnership with Voetbal Vlaanderen for 20 referees of the Development Grourp of Voetbal Vlaanderen.

The Pinatar Arena is a renowned training center and internship location where many European top clubs have their winter internships. All facilities are present to organise intensive trainings as well as professional internships (7 football pitches in top condition, a fitness center, a swimming pool, training equipment...).

What to expect from our internships ?

1. Laws of the game

Every day starts with an interactive Q&A about Laws of the game. 10 questions about the rules of the game. The score of each participant is saved and discussed afterwards. The knowledge of LOTG is of primary importance for a top referee. 

2. Technical sessions

a. Handball situations are closely evaluated with clear criterias and UEFA clips:

  • Natural/ unnatural position of the arm
  • Motion of the hand towards the ball
  • Distance of the disposed ball
  • Player capable of  / tries to prevent the ball touching his hand 
  • Widen the body 
  • Taking risks
  • Penalties: 
    YELLOW CARD for stopping high-potential attack / attempt to score / unsuccessful attempt to avoid a goal.
    RED CARD for DOGSO or refusing a goal 

b. Experienced referees of the network show general or own situations and discuss them in group :

  • What are the key moments of the game on the images for the referee
  • How many key moments in certain games
  • Game management of the referee

c. Tv images with stages and situations from UEFA Core:

  • The building-up of the game
  • The own personality in a particular situation 
  • Game control
  • Safe refereeing
  • Logic decision making 

During these sessions, we usually work in groups. One 'speaker' gives the opinion of the group. Afterwards, the group can discuss some situations. This is the best way to make sure everyone learns something. 


3. Physical trainings

a. Active recovery + speed sessions


  • Light running
  • Warming up
  • Game, velocity included

b. Integrated practical exercises + high intensity for ARs / strength for REFs


  • ARs: Practising viewing angle and focus points + concentration during high intensity efforts
  • REFs: Power sessions and creating situations for ARs


  • Light running
  • Warming up

ARs: Mobility + concentration : square with offside situations
REFs: Power + core stability

  • High intensity exercise: throwing in decisions + recognising out of sight colours 

c. Integrated practical exercises + high intensity for REFs / strength for ARs


  • REFs: Decision making with anticipating in running lines inbetween obstacles + concentration during high intensity effort
  • ARs: Power sessions and creating situations for REFs


  • Light running
  • Warming up

REFs: Mobility + concentration : T-drill with corner decisions (body language and viewing corner)
ARs: Power + core stability

  • High intensity exercises: penalty decisions + recognition out of sight colours 
  • Light running

d. Active recovery


Recovery from training day 


  • Medium intensity run
  • Integrated exercise: concentration, viewing corner and cognition (recognition circle)

e. Integrated practical exercises + speed end/high intensity for REFs and ARs


High intensity stimulus and decision making while tired


  • Light running
  • Warming up
  • Sprints with agility and jumps
  • Suicide run
  • Integrated exercises with penalty decisions + diagonal running line and corner/goal kick in teamwork incorporated in a speed end exercise 

f. Active recovery


Recovery and teambuilding


  • Warming up
  • Footvolley game


4. Medical follow-up

  • Follow-up of existing injuries
  • Follow-up injury prevention program
  • First aid on new injuries
  • Power program during trainings
  • Monitoring injuries, ailments, care

To give you a clearer picture of our internships, you can check the daily schedule.

We would also like to share some  figures of our internship.

Finally, we add impressions of some participants :

ARNE DE BEUCKELAER (20 years old) - referee in 2nd Amateurs

I really enjoyed the winter internship in San Pedro del Pinatar. It has been a great opportunity to learn more about refereeing. During the technical sessions for example, we learned how to keep control of the game which is not always an easy matter for a young referee. The physical aspect was combined with game decision making. Colleagues recreated situations and we were asked to make a decision.

To be able to take part in a 5-day internship and being mentored by several experts in professional football is one of the most beautiful experiences an ambitious referee can imagine.

"The physical aspect was combined with game decision making."

MAARTEN TOEBACK (26 years old) - referee in first division Amateurs

The intership was a unique experience for us referees on amateur level. Many thanks to our sponsors: Expo-line, Voetbal Vlaanderen, Patrick and ING who made this unique project “Referee College” possible. The internship gave us the chance to get an exceptional inside look in the life of a professional. Everything had been planned to the letter. From the laundry to the meals, trainings, technical sessions, activities, entertainment, etc. It was great. 

The internship has the huge added value that during 5 days, we were surrounded with a lot of experienced people. The coaching was provided by Frank, Kris, Stephanie, Thibaud, Wesli, Raf and Christel. These people are a great team, with a unique and wide range of experience. They offered a lot of learning moments. The things that will help me as a referee and give me new perspectives are: a better idea of The Law of the Games, game control, game analysis, building up of authority, decision selling, evaluation of hand touching situations, criteria analysis of hand touching situations, expectations of moving to professional football, training approach, decision making in trainings, what to eat before a training, etc. However, this list is not enough to describe the entirety of experiences I lived. 

The internship was heavy. We had to work hard on theoretical, physical and personal level. But we were able to do it in a unique setting with a great team of various but very close people. I can't wait to put my new perspectives into practice. Lots of gratitude to everyone who made this amazing internship possible!

 “An intership that confronted us with the life of professionals .”

SIMON BOURDEAUDHUI (22 years old) - referee in D3

In Spain, for 5 days, we lived the life of a professional. The standard was two trainings and technical sessions a day. We gained years of experience in a few days only. On top of that, the internship was a real teambuilding. We got stronger as one group. It was an uncomparable experience and time flew.

We gained years of experience in a few days only.

TOM GLAZEMAEKERS (30 years old) - assistent referee 1st division Amateurs

For the first time in the existance of the Development Group, young talented amateur referees and referee assistants of Flanders, we got the chance to attend an intership in Pinatar in Spain.

It was a unique chance for 20 participants (Referee College) to get in-depth knowledge of the rules of the football game. Thanks to the different tips and tricks in various technical and physical sessions and the coaching of experienced people of both Voetbal Vlaanderen and Expo-Line, we got the occasion to take our skills to a higher level.

That is why, to me, this intership was a great opportunity to develop my skills as a referee assistant. 

“ It’s not always easy , but it’s always worth it!