BELPER referee Tim Walker is jetting off on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
The 21-year-old has been identified by the Derbyshire County Football Association as a star of the future and has been appointed as one of only eight referees from across the country to represent The Football Association at the prestigious 2011 Dallas Cup International youth tournament which hosts teams from under-14 through to under-18 level.
Competing teams at this year’s annual event will be Arsenal, Barcelona, SC Corinthians (Brazil), Eintracht Frankfurt, Tigres (Mexico), Club Bolivar (Bolivia) and the Japan Under-18 national team.
Tim flies out to Dallas on April 11 and will be there for three weeks with the tournament starting on April 16.
He said: “You are only allowed to be chosen once for this tournament so it really is a once in a lifetime trip for me.”
Tim was chosen as the top candidate to represent the Derbyshire, Notts and Lincolnshire area.
Whilst in the States, he will be staying with an American family but he will also have the challenge of having to develop the many skills required to officiate teams which do not speak English whilst considering the different cultures and attitudes of players and officials.
Despite his young age, Tim is now in his eighth season of officiating and has already climbed to level four. Walker regularly handles games involving Heanor Town and Holbrook Sports as well as Derby County Under-18s fixtures. He has also run the line in the Evostik Premier Division.