Sussex-based referee Will Briers has won the Joel Richards Young Volunteer of the Year award. The award was instigated by The Referees' Association (RA), in memory of West Bromwich-based referee and local RA-FA Youth Council member, Joel Richards, who tragically died in the terrorist attack in Tunisia, in June 2015.
Will won the award as a key figure at the Brighton RA, this season he has supported as a guest speaker, assisted in supporting a practical session as well as being the delegate to the County RA.
In addition, Will has been the Recruitment & Retention Officer for Brighton RA and has overseen the Society achieving the highest membership numbers (121) in many years, some of this success has been down to his willingness at getting young referees to attend.
He is also the Vice Chairman of the Sussex RA-FA Youth Council which has seen him fully involved in developing referees starting their careers to those operating at grassroots and County League level.
As an active referee himself, Will has been officiating youth, Senior County and Women’s football, and is keen to promote national initiatives with recent examples being the rainbow laces campaign and playing in the Football.v.Homophobia match run by the County FA.
Overall this has been a highly successful season for Will personally enjoying his first season at Level 4, being selected to referee the Southern Combination Football League Peter Bentley Cup Final as well as being selected as Assistant Referee for the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Final played at the Amex Stadium.
His coach Phil Wilks said: "I am delighted to nominate Will for this award, where he has shown throughout the year his mentality of Service before Self."
Upon receiving the award, Will said: “I’m humbled to have won this award and really did not expect it and I would like to thank those that nominated me.
“I’m so happy to have helped develop referees further who are starting their careers and look forward to continue promoting national initiatives.
“I’d also like to thank those who have helped me achieve this and supported me throughout my refereeing career to date. It is great to receive this recognition and I am already looking forward to working hard again next season!”
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