If you’re interested in becoming a football scout, you may want to learn about the qualifications and badges that can help you acquire the necessary skills.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about becoming a successful scout.
What is a football scout?
Football scouts are individuals employed by clubs to attend matches and gather information about players or teams. Their role is to observe and assess players or teams and provide feedback to the coaches and/or manager. Scouts watch prospective signings, future opponents, or players who are out on loan at another team. They look for qualities in players that cannot be seen through statistical analysis, such as personality, and summarize matches to save the manager or coaches time. A scout may attend a match with the aim of spotting a player who has the ability to play at a higher level, or to evaluate a specific player who the club is considering signing. Additionally, scouts may assess a team’s playing style and identify potential weaknesses that can be exploited in future matches.
How do I become a football scout?
Becoming a football scout typically requires completing talent identification qualifications. The Football Association offers five levels of courses in talent identification, which are required to advance in the footballing hierarchy. In addition to obtaining these qualifications, it’s beneficial to establish a network of contacts within the sport. Obtaining coaching badges and other relevant qualifications can also enhance your prospects as a scout.
What qualifications do I need to be a football scout?
Please note that the following information is not exhaustive and is based on the process of becoming a football coach through the English Football Association. The courses and pathways required may vary depending on the national association through which you seek qualifications.
The FA Talent ID Pathway consists of five levels of qualification, ranging from Level 1 to Level 5. Typically, in order to advance to higher levels, you will need to complete the qualifications sequentially. Here is a brief outline of what each course entails:
- The first level in the FA Talent identification Pathway is the FA Level 1 in talent identification in football. This course is delivered online in six parts and provides an introduction to the fundamental principles of talent identification. During the course, you will learn about the role and responsibilities of a scout, as well as how to develop a comprehensive understanding of a player’s abilities and potential at any age. Each module can be completed at your own pace and will typically take between 10 and 30 minutes to finish.
- To advance to the next level in the FA Talent identification Pathway, you will need to complete the three-day FA Level 2 in talent identification course. This course builds upon the principles introduced in Level 1 and is designed for scouts who are working or aspiring to work in the professional game. In addition to expanding on the essential concepts of talent identification, you’ll also gain knowledge on analyzing and reporting on performance and potential on the field. This course covers topics such as match reporting, relationship building, and skill analysis. Completion of this course is a prerequisite for progressing to Level 3.
- The FA Level 3 in advanced principles of talent identification in football is a comprehensive course that spans over ten months and is taught through six two-day modules. This course is exclusively designed for individuals working in a full-time scout or talent identification role at a professional club, particularly those who have a role in driving department standards. The course is structured to provide a deeper understanding and mastery of the skills, knowledge, and techniques needed for effective player recruitment in the professional game. It covers advanced scouting strategies, recruitment decision-making processes, and department management. The course is delivered in six modules, each spanning two days and separated by intervals that allow you to apply the knowledge you’ve learned in practice.
- The FA Level 4 in talent management, strategy, and leadership in football is a specialized course designed for individuals working in senior scouting or head of recruitment positions within a professional football environment. This course spans over 14 months and comprises 19 days of learning. The program is structured to provide advanced skills and knowledge required to effectively manage a scouting team and lead a talent identification department in an elite level setting. The course is focused on developing essential skills such as strategic planning, leadership, and talent management. It is aimed at individuals who are already established in their roles and are looking to enhance their capabilities and take their career to the next level.
- The FA Level 5 for technical directors is the pinnacle of the FA Talent ID Pathway and is designed for individuals at the highest level of the football industry. This course is intended for technical directors or those who have been identified as having the potential to take on similar positions. The course spans over 20 months and is taught over a period of 25 days. Upon completion of the course, individuals will possess the skills and knowledge required to lead a team as a technical director. This program is designed to provide advanced insights into the strategic and operational aspects of football management, including areas such as talent identification, player development, and team building. The FA Level 5 is a highly prestigious qualification and is only open to a select number of individuals who are already established in their careers and have significant experience in football management.
In addition to the FA Talent ID Pathway, obtaining other football qualifications and coaching badges can also be beneficial for aspiring scouts. These additional qualifications can help to enhance a scout’s knowledge and make them more employable. There are a variety of courses available that cover subjects such as coaching, sports science, and player development. These courses can be taken at different levels, ranging from beginner to advanced, and can be tailored to the specific needs and interests of the individual. Obtaining additional qualifications and coaching badges can also demonstrate a commitment to professional development and a desire to continuously improve in the field of football scouting.
What skills do I need to be a football scout?
To become a successful football scout, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the game and strong observation skills. Obtaining coaching qualifications can be particularly useful in developing a deep understanding of the sport. Additionally, an ability to analyze football games and identify players’ strengths and weaknesses is critical. Effective communication skills are also essential to convey information accurately and efficiently to coaches and managers. Patience, flexibility, and open-mindedness are also valuable traits for a scout, as the job often entails unsociable hours, extensive travel, and waiting around. Overall, a combination of technical knowledge, analytical skills, effective communication, and personal qualities can help individuals become successful football scouts.
What hours do football scouts work?
Attending football matches is a significant part of a scout’s role, which often involves working during evenings and weekends. While there may be opportunities to watch academy matches during the daytime on weekdays, this is not typical. Therefore, scouts can expect to work non-standard hours and have a flexible schedule. Additionally, the job often requires extensive travel to attend games, which can further extend working hours. Overall, being a football scout can require significant commitment and flexibility to accommodate the demands and schedule of the job.
What jobs can I do as a qualified football scout?
Qualifications in talent identification can open up a range of opportunities for individuals interested in football scouting. Depending on the level of qualification, scouts can work at amateur, semi-professional, or professional levels of the game. Higher qualifications can also lead to more senior positions such as chief scout or technical director. Additionally, completing any level of the FA Talent ID Pathway can enhance an individual’s employ-ability in related fields such as coaching or analyst work. Overall, obtaining qualifications in talent identification can provide individuals with the skills, knowledge, and credentials needed to pursue a rewarding career in football scouting at various levels of the game.
Will being a qualified football coach help to be a better scout?
Obtaining coaching qualifications can be a valuable asset for football scouts as it can help enhance their understanding of the game. A deeper understanding of the game can provide scouts with a better ability to assess player abilities and potential, analyze team performance, and identify key threats. Coaching qualifications can provide scouts with a technical knowledge of the sport, including tactics, strategies, and training methods. This knowledge can help scouts to more effectively evaluate players and teams, and to communicate their assessments to coaches and managers. Overall, coaching qualifications can be an essential tool for football scouts looking to enhance their skills and knowledge and to become more effective in their roles.
What is a football scout’s salary?
At the highest levels of football scouting, there is the potential for significant financial rewards. However, only a small number of clubs can offer salaries at this level. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a football scout in the UK ranges between £20,000 and £30,000 per year. While this salary may vary depending on the level of the game and the specific requirements of the role, it is important to note that football scouting is not typically a high-paying profession at the entry level. However, with experience and qualifications, scouts may have the opportunity to advance to more senior positions with higher salaries.