Football scouting is seen as one of the most important aspects of football. Hence, every football team must have a well-thought-out scouting process to ensure they have the best possible chance at success.
This post explains how scouting began in football, what it entails, and what you need if you would like to improve as a coach!
Historical Overview of Football Scouts
Football scouts were originally professional football players hired by college or professional teams to discover talent. As football grew in popularity, the need for scouts to evaluate players grew.
In 1895, William “Pudge” Heffelfinger was hired as a scout to find players for his team. As time went on, professional leagues grew, and so did the number of scouts. In 1979, Howard Wilkinson worked on the first football scout software to help track players.
The idea was ground-breaking since it used a database to track prospective players and later became the foundation of modern-day football scouting. Today’s teams have many scouts whose job is to find talent for their team.
What is Football Scouting?
Football Scouting is a technique used to evaluate the fundamental skills of a player like vision, speed, reaction, acceleration, and strength. The current technological developments make it even easier to track the pre-recorded movements of footballers as they run and play on the pitch.
Therefore, it’s essential for you as a coach —and a prospecting scout— to keep tabs on your players’ performance throughout the season to better their talent.
Top Features Sought By Football Scouts
The Football Association maintains strict guidelines on scouting players according to age, position, and ability. As a football scout, you have to know the minimum qualities you expect from a football player. These features include:
A player’s ball skills heavily depend on their position. For instance, wingers—whether right or left— need to have exceptional dribbling skills to beat defenders. A midfielder needs to be cautious and keen to read the game, while defenders need to master class ball control and the ability to win aerial balls.
A player may have skills. But a combo of good ball skills and leadership on the pitch always wins. As a player, you have to encourage your teammates and lead from the front because a keen scout may be out there looking for that strong character.
It’s common to make a mistake and concede an early goal. The mentality you display after such a setback tends to impress scouts. Scouts appreciate players that don’t back down even after committing a mistake.
It’s common for football scouts to place tall and well-built players on top of the list. Height becomes essential for aerial balls, while a good physique helps maintain an injury-free record. That doesn’t rule out the slim or short players who can showcase exceptional talent.
Best Football Scout Software to Use today
Recently, a top football club used a mobile app to undertake an international talent search. A living proof that technology rocks! Some of the leading football scouting software today include:
- FeedConstruct – This is a widely used software, perfect for live data scout and performance analysis. Wyscout uploads video clips from more than 2,000 games played every week across all competitions. Its advanced statistics features ensure that scouts identify upcoming talents based on their strengths and weaknesses.
- Scoutpad companion – The system always keeps your data secure other than providing automated scouting reports and data on profiles. Its vast database offers tons of data to build your database.
- Skouted – It’s a social network connecting players, coaches, and scouts. Players can share video clips with scouts or use the messaging hub to chat safely with other players or scouts.
You can become a football scout and travel to your favorite club ground to learn more about their scouting process. Or, you can watch their games and try to forecast how the team managers will scout for talented players.