Whether it’s scoring a winning Cup Final goal, or hoisting the World Cup over your head, you’re not alone in dreaming of a career as a football pro. You’ll need hours of practice, a very strong physique, and a thick skin to cope with constant rejection. Still think the Premiership is for you?
Getting Your Name Out There
Whether you’re attending football trials, talent days or joining an academy, most clubs have a vast network of contacts and leads that help them scout out the best young footballers in any given area.
Even if there isn’t a visible presence, you’ll almost certainly find that scouts are operating at matches all over the country, and even getting involved with community projects and school programmes.
In all but the most rural locations, if you’re good, you’re going to get head hunted.
Dealing With Rejection
The Premiership league is one of the most saturated in sport when it comes to potential new players. Every club has an academy, and over 9,000 young boys are vying for the coveted positions that the Schools Of Excellence offer the most gifted players. More than 90% of recruits will receive the devastating news that they just aren’t good enough for a career at the top of the game.
Before you even think about walking the long road to football fame, you absolutely must harden yourself to constant rejection. It can’t be said enough: There are a lot of young potential stars out there, and very few places to be filled.
You’ll never be rewarded for trying out, and dealing with the reality that you aren’t quite good enough can be a very hard (and often life defining) pill to swallow.
What Are The Talent Scouts Looking For?
It may come as surprise to some, but most scouts aren’t looking for raw talent. You’re going to need it, and in spades, but the people in the know are looking for something else too. Character.
Scouts who have their eye on a special player will often want to get to know them (and their family) before making any important decisions, and a talent scout rarely cares about the football games they are watching. Putting the ball in the back of the net matters very little to someone with a very special set of criteria in mind.
Scouts are more interested in a player’s position on the pitch, and whether they’re prepared to give 200%. Not just for themselves, but for their teammates too.
Where Do I Go From Here?
If you think you’ve got what it takes to succeed, you’ve got to give yourself the best possible chance of being spotted. You’ll need to quickly rise to the top of your school and local teams, then rapidly move on to a county or district club.
At the very least, you’ll need to represent your school at a county level. You stand a far greater chance of being noticed if you’re playing away from your home town regularly. It’s also imperative to make sure you’re not stagnating at a local club that can’t challenge your progress.
A career in football is going to require a Herculean effort and a mountain of skill, but every year, the fortunate few go on to greatness.
Written by Harry Price
Harry Price is a successful entrepreneur and bachelor. He spends his free time playing competitive poker and football. He also has a passion for volunteering with his local homeless shelter.
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