As a fairly new UEFA soccer scout license holder, I’ve already seen firsthand the immense talent that exists within youth football, both in the United States, but also over in the United Kingdom. However, it’s important to understand that scouting at a youth academy level isn’t just about identifying the overall best players. It’s about finding young soccer players and goalkeepers who have the full potential to develop into future professionals.
It’s important at this age to find players with character, solid work ethic and the ability and willingness to learn and improve. These are all key indicators of future success. Academy soccer scouts aren’t just assessing a players current ability but also their potential for growth both on and off the soccer field.
One of the biggest challenges scouting at a youth academy level is to always look beyond the basic ideas of what a soccer player should be. There is no one that we can consider to be the perfect prototype for a soccer player, and so, it’s more than essential to have a very open mind, always look beyond, embrace diversity, and look for those unique qualities that could make a player in the future stand out.
It’s important to view the whole package that comes with each young soccer player, do they arrive on time, attentive during the warm up. session Do they take well the instructions given during the game, are they a good teammate, etc
I’ve noticed that some scouts just follow some of the best clubs, those clubs that constantly win by big margins. It’s not realistic.
all soccer scouts, have a significant responsibilities to identify and then help develop talented young players who can continue and make a significant mark on the game. By focusing on young players overall potential, we know we won’t overlook those players that might not be the most talented on their team and in their age group but have that solid drive, the convinced desire and potential to succeed in the game.
All young soccer players have huge potential to develop with the right attitude, guidance and most of all determination. The key element for me is seeing that potential and convincing those who do not have that mindset.
It is however all easier said than done!