Roberts ready to officiate at prestigious Iber Cup

Ref George Roberts . Pic Richard Ponter 152507a
Ref George Roberts . Pic Richard Ponter 152507a

A young Scarborough referee is preparing to jet off to officiate at one of the most prestigious club tournaments, the Iber Cup.

George Roberts, 18, heads to Portugal on Monday to take charge of a handful of games at the tournament that will see junior sides from under-nines to under-16s do battle.

Some of Europe’s biggest clubs will be taking part, including Juventus, Athletico Madrid, Benfica, Manchester City and Liverpool, and Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg will be also be officiating at the tournament.

Roberts was selected as one of four North Riding County FA officials to head over to take up the whistle at the tournament, and he can’t wait to get going.

Roberts said: “It’s a great honour to be selected to go, I’m the youngest of the referees in the North Riding to go so I am proud of that.

“There will be assessors from FIFA, the Premier League and the Football League there, so the pressure will be on.

“I am ambitious and want to referee at the highest level possible, so this is a great opportunity for me at such a young age.”

Roberts, whose favourite ref is Michael Oliver, also expects to hear if he will officiate in next season’s FA Cup preliminary rounds, FA Youth Cup and FA Vase while he is away on duty in Portugal.

He added: “The County FA have put me forward for promotion and I appreciate that.

“I have had a lot of support from friends and family, Steve Rowntree and Andy Wood at the Scarborough Referee’s Association and from Ross Joyce and a few others at the North Riding, so I have to thank them.

“That would be a great opportunity for me, hopefully it will come off.

“I started refereeing when a local under-nines team were short or a ref and I have enjoyed it since, now I want to go all the way with it.”