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Young Truro referee set to step out at Wembley

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Congratulations to referee and forum contributor Sam Rabey. Good to see you progress. Cornish football can only benifit.

Young Truro referee set to step out at Wembley

Thisiscornwall.co.uk ©

WHILE many young footballers dream of walking out at Wembley as a player, a talented referee from Truro will be realising his own ambitions when he graces the hallowed turf this weekend.

Sam Rabey is one of several emerging officials in the country nominated by their respective county Football Associations to take charge of the English Schools' finals, which take place at the home of football on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Truro College student is part of an elite group of young referees in Cornwall.

But it's Rabey who will be flying the flag for the Duchy when he takes charge of one of several finals that take place in the glamorous surroundings of the 90,000 capacity stadium on Saturday.

The teenager will warm up 24 hours earlier at Watford FC's Academy, which is hosting the semi-finals of the schools' competitions, which will include teams from Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire.

His appearance at Wembley will be a far cry from the playing fields of Cornwall.

Rabey, who is also a talented musician, was the man the middle for both the Falmouth & Helston League and the Mining League last season.

But, with plenty of time on his side, there is little doubt at the Cornwall FA that Rabey can go on and officiate at a much higher level.

"Sam is developing nicely as a referee," said Ray Brown, referees' development officer for the Cornwall FA.

"He has come a long way in such a short space of time. He has been part of the Cornwall FA's young referees' group for three years.

"We have an excellent group of young referees and it was a really difficult decision when we were asked to nominate somebody.

"But everybody is delighted for Sam and we're really proud that he'll be representing us at Wembley. It's a wonderful achievement and I'm sure he will be flying the flag for Cornwall with pride."

Rabey will officiate in one of the English Schools' Football Association (ESFA) third-place play-offs or finals which begin at 12.30pm.

Then, at 3pm, Rabey will watch from the stands as England take on France in an U18 schools' invitation international, refereed by former Premier League official Steve Bennett.

"We are very hopeful that Sam will blossom in to a very good referee," said Brown.

"He's committed, hard-working and always learning. With that in mind he will do very well for himself."

Rabey will be joined by several other young referees from Cornwall when they head to Denmark next month for a football festival, with teams from 26 countries involved.

Then, it will be back to the bread and butter of local football for the beginning of the season in August.

"Sam will continue to referee in the Mining League and the Falmouth & Helston League. The next step up will be the Combination League and then obviously Peninsula League football.

"Who knows what he could achieve beyond that."

And Rabey, a national diploma performance student, hopes his appearance at Wembley will be the first of many highlights in his football career.

"I am really excited about going to Wembley," said Rabey. "I have only been refereeing for three years but one day I would love to referee in the Football League."

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Yes it is serious and shows the commitment Sam has made to refereeing over the past two years. I believe one game he rode on his bike down Penzance way from Truro only to find the game was cancelled. This is just reward for the efforts that he has put in this year and last.

I think he got a train with his bike down to Penzance :D

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