A YOUNG referee has been selected for the trip to a lifetime to officiate in a prestigious youth tournament in America later this month.

Matthew Carney, who often runs the line in the Southern and Western Leagues, has been invited to take part in the under-19 Dallas Cup, in which the likes of David Beckham and Wayne Rooney have competed.

The 25 year-old told Packet Sport: "I took up refereeing four years ago because I wasn't playing regularly for my village team Constantine and I was injured quite often, finding myself hobbling around and strapping myself up all the time.

"I started to referee some youth games and I began to enjoy it more than playing. To go to Dallas is an amazing opportunity and hopefully I can keep working my way up."

Matthew, a gardener at Trebah, is currently a level 4 referee, which allows him to run the line in the Southern League and referee at all levels beneath that, including the South-Western Pensinula League, Combination and Trelawny Leagues.

He is one of six that will attend the Dallas Cup, which attracts top teams from almost 100 different countries and will be held from March 25 until April 1.

The six referees will be accompanied by three Football League officials, who will assess and work with them throughout the competition. Carney will also wear comms kits during matches, so he can be directed as he referees.

The keen martial artist added: "I enjoy refereeing and 95 per cent of the time it's a positive experience, with 22 handshakes at the end of the game.

"There'll always be some games which can be a bit difficult, when players will ask if I've forgotten my glasses or whatever, but overall it's something which I love doing."