It is the dream of every young, aspiring footballer to make it to the top in his or her chosen career and it’s important to know exactly what professional football scouts are looking for.
Almost every established club in the world with good structures usually employs football scouts, either on a part-time or full-time basis to help search for talents that can potentially take over the baton when the older ones leave the stage.
Football scouts attend football matches on the behalf of clubs to collect intelligence. Primarily, there are two types of scouts: player scouts and tactical scouts. Player scouts or physical scouts evaluate the talent of footballers with a view to signing them on a professional contract for their employers.
As such, these football scouts go around the globe to fulfil their mandate, where they organize football trials to carefully pick the kind of talents they need.
So as a young, budding footballer, there are certain traits these scouts search for beyond the raw talents you have. In as much the raw talents and natural abilities a young footballer has play a huge role, they are not enough to get him or her that platform to develop. It is an open secret that most football scouts hate nothing more than unfulfilled talent.
So what other attributes are these football scouts looking for beyond raw talents and natural ability.
1. TECHNICAL ABILITY
Technical abilities are the skills and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks, in this case, football. Having these skills doesn’t mean you need to be performing fancy flicks and tricks like Neymar.
Rather, the scouts will assess you on your physical attributes, your dribbling, tackling, shooting, heading, passing and first touch will be assessed in the context of the game.
So, as a young footballer, you will need to demonstrate a good first touch and ease on the ball regardless of your position. If you lose the balls too much, your chances of being picked fade away.
Basically, having all the skills but you don’t know how to use them will not in any way give you that space. It will count for nothing if these skills are not used positively on the field.
Take for example, Cristiano Ronaldo is a talented player but he worked his ass off to get to the level he is now. Talent didn’t just take him to the top but using his talents well.
2. TACTICAL ABILITY
This refers to your tactical awareness to read the game well and identify the spaces that can be exploited during the game. We can call this ‘football IQ’ where the football scouts will be watching every move you make with and without the ball. A lot of scouts spend more time looking at players without the ball than with it.
Playesr like Andres Iniesta, Xavi are regarded as one of the most intelligent players because of their abilities to read a game well and orchestrate proceedings on the field of play.
3. PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES
In modern football, size and appearance are not as important as they used to be but the player must demonstrate an element of strength, balance and poise on and off the ball.
Football is a physical game and it is very important the players have the stamina to complete a game.
Let’s take for example, N’Golo Kante who has a small body but is a workhorse. The Chelsea man has so much stamina despite his small frame.
A lot of scouts will simply want to make sure that your physique and other physical attributes don’t put you at a disadvantage.
A player’s ability to take a knock and still stay on your feet while keeping up with the pace of the game is a major plus for the scouts.
very human being on earth has his/her form of temperament and footballers are not exempted. A player’s attitude plays a huge role in being signed up by a club.
You might be the most gifted player on the pitch, but if your temperament is letting you down, a scout will be looking elsewhere. It is okay to be nervous during trials, but the football scouts will look out for your confidence as well as your decision-making while under pressure or nervous.
Every player can get angry during a competitive match from time to time, but the moment that anger starts to affect your game (and the games of your teammates) is the moment a scout will disregard you.
A football scout will be looking for evidence of a balanced temperament that makes the very best of your potential. Most scouts will ask the coach about the temperament of a player off the pitch before pursuing their interest — so work on yours.
This will always be an important trait a football scout will look for in a young player. Having pace is an added advantage over those who are not fast.
Pace will help you get past the opposition with ease and help teammates fashion out goal-scoring opportunities or even
Scouts are looking for potential. So work hard, listen to your coaches and do your best for the team. If you’re good enough, and you have the right attitude, it shouldn’t be too long before a scout comes calling.
Meanwhile, foreign football scouts in Nigeria are on the search for new talents and you can make yourself available for such opportunities at very short notice. Follow these steps below to improve your chances of getting scouted.
1: Find someone or an agency who can help you get trials.
This is very important as there are several football agencies but you need to do lots of research to be able to choose the best football agencies who will always protect your interests.
2: Get your talents assessed by competent coaches
Honesty is key in everything we do on earth and as such you must be open to honest and positive criticism from the right quarters. It is important you work on the negatives and improve on the positives
If the experts or coaches say you need to improve your skills and recommend an academy for you, do just that. It is better to take one right step at a time, than to run very fast to nowhere. Decide you wouldn’t waste your time chasing shadows in 2021!
3: Personal promotion
If you don’t promote yourself, no one will. So the ball is in your court to promote yourself to the world. Thankfully, the social media is a useful tool you can exploit to your advantage. compile video clips of your recent best performances.
However, if you need help on getting video clips of yourself in training sessions, matches etc, drop your comment in the section below and we will take it up from there.
As part of self-promotion, we can organize press conference where top journalists are invited for a media chat and we can get them to write about you in Sports newspapers and online sports magazines and blogs.
4: Register your status as amateur or professional player
This is a follow up of the previous step where you need to get registered with the relevant sports bodies in Nigeria especially with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). If you have not officially registered your status as either an amateur or professional player, we can help you do that with NFF. And you get an official license as a player.
Also, you can get listed on Transfermarkt where clubs and agents can easily see your present status. Also if you need help getting listed on the website, drop your comments. This is a site where people go to find, and discuss, information about soccer players.
6: Get your travel documents ready
Go and obtain your International Passport and get ready to move at the shortest notice. You need to get your NFF introduction Letter and Player’s license ready. Opportunity can arise anytime and you just need to be ready for such moves. Don’t dull yourself on this.