A NEW initiative to boost referee numbers in Central Wales has been launched.

Central Wales has been beset by dwindling numbers of referees for years with the new initiative geared toward the next generation and led by Football Association of Wales (FAW) grassroots impact coach of the year Paul Inns.

The ‘Respect the Ref’ project will be adopted in the Mid and North Powys Junior League this season with the aims of promoting respect for the official.

Inns said: “I would love to be able to create an environment whereby youngsters, upon turning 16, feel comfortable enough to want to consider taking up refereeing in the junior league. 

“The aim has to be to create more socially aware players and hopefully increase the number of referee’s which can only be a good thing.”