At the completion of each season, the Coaching and Development Manager constructs a team of referee coaches and identifies any referees that they believe are future representative referees.
The squad is announced at the presentation evening at the completion of the season. The group assembles in late October for testing and briefing about what being in the Development Squad is all about. The squad is primarily funded by the District Club, Panthers and works closely with the District club to ensure all facets of rugby league in the region are performing.
One key aspect of this group, is providing the opportunity for referees from Penrith to progress to the Junior Representative Competition. Many of the current NRL Officials progressed through a similar program during their time in this squad. The group not only provides referees directly to the Junior Representative Competition, but also provides officials to Development Squad games organised by the District Club and referees for touring teams visiting the district. The group builds the capacity of its members by enabling them to seek coaching and identify areas for improvement. Whilst some members of the squad are already in the Junior Representative Referees Squad, the remainder have been flagged as potential members, thus the Development Squad acts as a resource building group so that the Junior League Competition has quality officials all year round.
The development program works at not only creating great officials but even better people. The focus areas for this group are:
- Self Assessment
- Goal Setting
- Personal and Career planning and development
- Community and Charity involvement
- Mentoring of new referees