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How to Become A World Class Football Scout

Being a coach or an ex-pro player doesn't automatically give you the edge to make it as a professional football scout. After all, every fan out there could easily spot a good player in pitch. Does that make them scouts?

I’ve received several inquiries from football fans from all over the world that are passionate about football scouting. I have always replied everyone with the aim of helping them to understand the requirements of being a football scout. To give everyone a personal answer has always been what I wanted to do; but I think sharing here what it takes to move on in life as a scout will just be it. Although, if you still have a peculiar situation or further questions, feel fee to ask.

What is football scouting?
Scouting is the business of spotting a good talent before anyone else could see it. It is like the job of mining...selecting real diamond from among several fine glass-stones or differentiating real gold among several plated ornaments.

You require a special "eagle eye" to spot another Lionel Messi among several kids playing on the streets. For instance, several years ago, I was the first to discover Nwankwo Kanu among several talented kids in Owerri. Then he was so fragile, not looking like he could make it as an athlete. I was the first person that said, this guy uses "more of his head than his legs" and that he will go places with his special skills.

True to my recommendation, Kanu went on to be the most decorated African football player...won African player of the year award twice, won Olympic gold medal and UEFA champions league trophy, several years after my recommendation.

Spotting a talent is one thing, but to actually see the player progress in the same fashion as you had predicted is a good feeling. You could ask any football scout in this business and they will give you the same answer. To compare Kanu with all those guys with outstanding skills in Owerri then: Ekenna Nnado, MC, Lefty, Mobi Oparaku...Then you understand the idea of scouting.

All players can have talent, but their talent might only be suited for the lower leagues. To witness all these different players during my learning process as a scout made me understand and realize what was required to play at the different levels in football.

SWOT Analysis of A Player's Talents
As a Scout you must learn how to do SWOT analysis of any good talent you see. What are the player's Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat. Some players can have the Strength of outstanding ball skills, but a very bad attitude off the pitch, that might be a great threat to his or her career.

Understanding What football Scouts look for in a player
 This is the million-dollar question, which has got many different answers. The first thing I look for is the player’s basic skills. How is his handling of the ball when receiving? Does he want the ball and how is his understanding of the game when you consider his movement?

Special skills is another interesting factor which could be if the player has got two good feet’s or has got quick feet. Other abilities you pay attention to is his level of passing in general – is he comfortable on the ball, under pressure and does he hit the ball with power and precision when needed? Different skill set is required for different position as a defender, defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder and Striker.

For me, you better judge a player in a match situation, especially when his team is under constant attack and in severe pressure, you immediately know the kind of player you have on your hand.

It`s so many factors that springs to mind. I reckon I could write a book about the topic. Basic skills is however the essence when judging a players potential the first time.Different opinions in the game though.

Understanding the level in Other leagues
 Nearly all football players in Nigeria have got an English team they follow extra closely and dream to play for in the future. However, the standards in Nigerian leagues and the way football is being played in europe are largely different. Most European le@×÷êThe skill set required in English league are even different from other European leagues.

To understand the level in other leagues is therefore essential in order to make the right recommendations to clubs. If one doesn’t take these aspects into consideration one will pay the price for the lack of judgment skills.

What is Required to Become A Football Scout

1. Scouting Talent is Required
If you ask me it is precisely talent this line of work is all about. Sure you can learn from others about scouting, gut feeling and all that, but to be the best you will have to be born to have the talent required to do so. But the question that h:aunt every scout in the start is:

You know you got the talent, but how to make clubs and influential people in the game be aware of such talent and ready to work with your recommendations could be your breakthrough challenge.

Apart from talent, unwavering passion to continue when almost everyone else

2. Spoting Talents Regularly is Required
They say practise make perfect. Regular spotting of talented players make you even more proficient in the act. With regular practise you may develop that needed eagles eyes required in this business.

I do weekly talent assessment program for players in West Aftica, and I have seen different opinion in the selection process by the coaches and othet scouts I work with. It is beautiful, such deverse opinion help view a player from every angle

Another thing is this, going to watch a club's selection process gives you the idea how to fill their specifications... and of course, the kind of players you can recommend to them.

3. Recommendation of Players to Clubs is Requiired:
Recommendation of players to clubs is what actually make you a professional Scout and differentiate you from just a passion fan.

It may be frustrating initially when clubs refuse to recognize your Scouting talent by waving your recommendations aside.

As one will learn in this industry is that people judge players in a different way that you do. To some extend that is the beauty of the game, but it could be a problem when you face people in the game that doesn’t trust your opinions as a scout

What then when you face clubs who fail to see the same potential in a player as you do? Clubs picking players based on their CV is a common thing...Clubs prefer established pro-players or players that have played for their national team.

Clubs prefer to appoint their ex-players as their scouts; clubs prefer to hear Agents recommendations than that of a freelance scout. What are you going to do.

Don't Worry, your portfolio of top recommendations is something that will be after all. Especially when a player you once recommended makes progress in the career as you predicted. The club is bond to understand your qualities as a scout and it will increase your opportunity of having a say in future transfers.

So the essence is to believe in your own abilities. When you make a recommendation to a club then make all the necessary research and explain exactly why this player can perform greatly for them. Even if they don`t sign the player you will start building yourself an reputation of spotting a talent before anyone else sees it.

4. Mentorship Gives You A Head Start
You face a lot of hardship if you decide to take off on your own as a scout, just because you feel you have the talent. It is hardwork to go all on your own. A mentor can give you the needed head start...introduce you to clubs and let you be in influencial circle where major decisions are made about players transfer.

I was mentored by Paul Okoye, an international scout and businessman with lots of connection in the football circle both in Africa and Europe... He had on his portfolio them, Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Abedi Pele. He also worked to some extent with my younger brother, Chiedo Chukwueke. That's how I met him.... And he eagerly took me along his business meetings.

5. "Masterclass Talent Exhibition" Score High in Africa
GreenHunters Sports International in partnership with Amiyno Football Management started MTE in 2016, and in just two years it has become the biggest thing in Africa.

We bring together all our recommended talents and get scouts as well as Agents from abroad come to Nigeria to make selections for themselves...

The interactive session with these international scouts ans agents during games, give our scouts in training wealth of experiences.

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