How is Football Scout course in Manchester look like?
How is the football scout course in Manchester look like? What characterizes it? How best football clubs are scouting? How Manchester United's people are doing that? If you are interested in how this course look like from the technical side and my opinion, then this article is for you.
THE PFSA - THE PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL SCOUT ASSOCIATION
I participated The PFSA course in July 2016. I spent two intensive days with among others Manchester United Head Scout - Gerry Lucka and Head of Manchester United Football Academy - Dean Whitehouse. Each day consisted 8 hours of classes. Every 1-2 hour were short breaks, including one longer for dinner.
WHERE WAS THIS COURSE PLACED?
The Football Scout Course was held in Manchester, one of the largest cities in England. What is the most interesting about it is something different. The courses was placed at the Hotel Football which is owned by Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Phillip Neville, and Gary Neville.
As hotel name says. The whole design of the hotel, every detail is related to football. Even tiles in the toilet are shaped like football balls. Everything with class and without superfluity.
What else makes Hotel Football stand out? Certainly the location. Our classes took place in the room, from which was visible the stadium of Manchesteru United - Old Trafford.
WHAT EVERY STUDENT RECEIVED?
Each of the students received the materials, special The PFSA ID, and the ID that allows the instructors to immediately recognize each participant's name. On the course we also received souvenirs and other things such as pens, pencils, etc.
FOOTBALL SCOUT COURSE. DAY 1
On those day classes was doing Dean Whitehouse - Head of Manchester United Football Academy. Honestly? I appreciated it very much. His style of teaching was brilliant. Almost all the time it was discussion, curiosities and engaging students. It wasn't boring class but very interesting discussion with very informed colleague. He was always able to choose proper arguments and explained every doubt and detail. Always found the point.
I liked very much record of Manchester United Academy from few years ago. It was football video of one United's young player. Each of us had to evaluate this player's skill in a special scout form. After watching the video we exchanged opinions with one another about this player. They were very diverse. Some claimed that the boy has the potential and can make a career. Others claimed that he had made some simple mistakes and that he should avoid them at this age. They did not cross him out, but told that he need a lot of work to make up some of his weaknesses.
Who was this young football player?
FOOTBALL SCOUT COURSE. DAY 2
Second day of course we had classes with Head Scout of Manchester United - Gerry Luczka. He is a man with Ukrainian roots. His style of teaching was less likely. It was less discussion, less opinion exchanges and less student's engaging. Usually thanks to exchanging opinion and discussion is much easier to understend new knowledge. It's the best way to make everybody thinkink and consider changing mind or opinions. This is why we can look at something from different perspective.
Maybe I'm too strict. I'm not saying I did not like it. Just the style of teaching by the first teacher was excellent. Probably if not outstanding previous day, then my evaluation of Gerry would be better.
That day we learned more technical stuff. About how to get in touch with a player or his parent. How it looks from the legal side and what to look out for. Approaching to juveniles may be badly received. Especially in the UK, people are sensitive to pedophilia. It is better not to give anyone unnecessarily the excuse for misinterpreting facts.
This is 2 day we learned what roles football scout can do:
1) Scout observer - head-hunter
2) Tactical scout - scout who is looking for advantages and disadvantages of opponents
We also learned about legal regulations of transfers in England and scouting network structure in best Premier League's clubs.
At the end we had test. Only those who correctly completed the test were admitted to the Football Scout Association of England - The Professional Football Scout Association.