How do young players arrive to the clubs? Sometimes they take advantage of their opportunity, but at the same time the best teams are always working hard to find them.
Nowadays every important football club in the world knows that it’s very important to work with kids that can become a part of a professional team in the future. This is why they have academies and plans for young divisions that include doctors, psychologists, personal trainers and other staff. But, before that there’s something to think about. How do kids actually get into the academies?
On the one hand there are hundreds of kids that dream about playing in big teams. Many times their parents dream that their sons will be professionals. This is why they look for a chance to take part in auditions/test trials for the most important clubs or academies of any city. For example, Cruz Azul, in México, has an important annual recruitment and many players between 16 and 21 go to the test (trial) that includes a physical evaluation. At the same time in many countries the kids say “I’m going to try to get in that club”.
For aspiring young football (soccer) players who dream to play in one of the best teams of their city, region or even broader, the simplest way is to take notes about when the football trials, camps and academies for new players are taken. Nowadays it’s easy to search for that information on the internet. Or, anyway, one call to the club, that usually has a special department for young divisions, will be enough to get this information.
On the other hand of course, in many cities there is not a big team and there are young players that have to travel to big (football) cities. When they can’t, they have other possibilities: to go to a private academy to improve and get some contacts. Academies know that and this is why good marketing is very important to attract new players. Again, today it’s not hard to find academies where players can improve their level of training with a specialist. After that, your coach can be the one who advises you about how to find a club. Maybe he has contacts.
How scouts find new talents?
At the same time, many academies or small clubs have special contracts with big teams. One example: River Plate, from Argentina, had a contract with a company in Perú for taking the test in that country.
But of course, even when some clubs or academies are too famous, like the case of La Masía from Barcelona, the best teams can’t wait doing nothing until the kids come. Consider that maybe some talented guy is lost in the middle of the football jungle and needs to be found. Just one name will be enough: Lionel Messi. Barcelona’s star was rejected in River Plate and the Spanish club decided to take him when it saw how good he was.
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This is why the role of football scouts (recruiters) has become very important in the last years. They are guys that can easily identify the talent and spend many hours a day looking and analysing matches. “I look over more or less 8 matches each week”, once explained José Luis Brotón, a recruiter in Rayo Vallecano, which has one of the best football academies in Spain.
But, of course, time is limited and scouts have to choose where to go looking for talents. And this is why, even when the most common thing is to follow different teams and their matches, sometimes there is a need to do a different research. “Each case is different. We know about some players because a member of the club talks about one, or his family talks about him, or a local newspaper says something about a new star”, some years ago said Pep Boada, coordinating recruiter’s research in Barcelona for many years.
Nowadays, with technology, many recruiters from top teams are looking for new stars on social networks – on football network Fieldoo as well! – and travel to many places around the world to get in touch with young talents. In one way or in another, future football stars arrive to the clubs.