There are many ways to become a football scout. However, if you just started there is still a long road ahead of you, with a lot of competition and probably some volunteering at first, as most scouts around the world are volunteers. Prepare yourself for an adventure before you are able to make a living out of your passion to be a football scout. But, ofcourse, with hard work and dedication, nothing is impossible, but make sure you are not that money-driven in the beginning and during the journey, follow your passion for the beautiful game.
In this and upcoming blog posts we will take you by the hand to become a (freelance) football scout and we will answer all of your questions. Make sure you make use of the links in our blogs towards more in-depth information. We will share our knowledge, how to do your work as a scout, let you make use,of tools we use and share worldwide opportunities. Hopefully after you have read this and upcoming blog posts you will have the answers to kick start your journey as a football scout and maybe, some day, can make a living wage out of your passion!
Why do you want to become a football scout?
There are many reasons why you want to become a football scout (or in US: soccer scout). The first thing you can do, is to make clear why you want to become a football scout? A reason could be that you like to watch football and think to have a good view on talented football players and are able to judge players current ability and potential very well. Or maybe you know a player who is good enough to play on a higher level and you want to help him or her to get the most out of their careers. It could also be you were not that talented yourself on the pitch, did not get enough support from your environment or didn't had the best attitude or mentality to get everything out of you football career, but still have a good vision on the game. Whatever reason you got to become a football scout, if you want to be a part of the football scouting family, it should be because this beautiful game is your passion.
How to become a football scout?
To become a football scout it is important that you have a lot of (specialized) football knowledge. Knowledge can be seen as information plus experience, skills and attitude. Information can be found everywhere you can watch, read or hear about football: in stadiums, at clubs, academies, on tv, internet, podcasts or even on playgrounds on the streets.
Develop scouting skills like observing the game, improving tactical awareness, analysing players individually and in a team. How to judge behaviour in and off the pitch, improve written communication to make up professional reports. Make sure you build your own database with the information you have found, as you can never hold all information into your mind. Don’t forget to have a lot of patience, it can take some time until you find that one player who you can help. Be aware there is a lot of competition for this one player in your club or agency you are scouting for. There are a lot of factors which makes you are able to help a player or club. Also make sure your life is flexible enough to watch several games a week and mostly in the weekends.
With the right attitude as a scout, we meen that you have an open mind towards information and want to work quietly on the background and be aware you are not the decision maker and only an advisor at a club or agency if a player comes in or not. There will be a lot of rejections, but make sure you overcome them and learn from the feedback, so next time you can convince the decision makers why this particular player is the perfect fit. Make sure you collect and store all information in the right way so you will be able to review it when needed. Feeling a bit overwhelmed now? No worry, you will read more about this all and how to improve your football knowledge more in-depth in later blog posts.
What can you do now to kick start your journey as a (freelance) football scout today?
There are a lot of people and companies who are in need of specialized football knowledge. Football has become an enormous industry with a lot of shareholders. For scouts you first can think of football clubs on amateur, semi-professional and professional level, for youth and senior level, but also football agencies or a football agent in search for the best talents to guide during the career of the player. Or you can work at national football federations to pick the best talents in their country for the national (youth) teams or national development programs.
The most scouts traditionally work at clubs and there a different types of scouts:
- Youth scouts stands on the sideline of youth games, at youth tournaments and academies.
- Senior scouts visits (big) stadiums, but are also scouting at lower league clubs to find a story like Jamie Vardy. They watch players and taking notes, write reports to the decision makers to improve their knowledge about the players.
- Data scouts normally do not watch the games themselves, but are doing maths with statistics of players You can think of goals scored, accuracy in passing and expected assists and they try to scout that one outperforming player. In baseball there was the film Moneyball and in football there was FC Midtjylland and Brentford FC that use data scouting for a several years now.
- Video scouts are providing information due to looking at videos on tv or via various platforms.
- Tactical scouts mainly focus on a team, for example the next opponent of a club.
- Head of scouting or recruitment are seen as the manager of all scouts in a club. They send them towards games, discuss players and help develop the scouts. After the long list is checked, they will discuss the short list with the manager, head coach and other share holders like the financial director. After all agree on a player, they will normally sign him.
But ofcourse, there are more options in this world of football for scouts or people with football knowledge, you can think of:
- Data companies who are gathering information during games and write about players
- Betting companies are always in need for football knowledge to declare their odds.
- Social Media channels like 433 to get to know the next big stars in football.
- Blogs like we as Freelance Football Scout. Want to make blog for us? Feel free to contact us to discuss the opportunities.
- Football games will not have such great databases without their scouts. Think of Football Manager, FIFA and PES which are in need of knowledge from a lot of football scouts around the world to rely on and built up their databases.
- Football analyst for tv, newspapers or internet websites.
Be aware that some of these options are volunteer based and some are paid very well if you are making a deal with for example a commercial company, football agent or agency. Those deals can earn you a good living, but scouting for an amateur club will probably get you no financial benefits at all. Ofcourse it will gather experience and make you a better football scout. The question is, why are you doing it? Helping others? And are you willing to invest in yourself? It all depends on why you want to become a football scout, which knowledge you have, the skills you develop and what you want yourself as a football scout.
Interested in becoming a Freelance Football Scout?
Note again, that most of the scouts do their work as volunteers. Ofcourse volunteering is a good way to improve your knowledge, gather experience and develop your skills and attitude. Our aim at Freelance Football Scout is to improve the knowledge of scouts worldwide, and make sure every scout gets at least a living wage for the work they do.
Without the work of scouts, the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo will not be scouted.