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How to get scouted for football – our top tips

If you’re passionate about football and want to make a career of it, catching a scout’s eye is your route into the sport. But how to get scouted for football? You’ll need to impress a scout with your performance and ability in the field – but it’s also about being in the right place at the right time. Start playing regularly in a local club or weekend league. This helps you learn the basics but also means there’s a chance a scout can attend to watch you play. Football scouts regularly attend lower league games, as well as schools to find potential talent. Usually you’ll be invited to a football trial, where you’ll be to play against other potential players with the hope of obtaining a professional contract. To boost your chances of being scouted, follow these top tips.

Work hard! Start early!

How old do you have to be to get scouted for football? The answer is, the earlier the better. Most football players are scouted in their early teens (or earlier). Join a club at a young age (or sign up your kids) to be instantly ahead of the competition. Once a club member, take advantage of the training and advice given.

Be Yourself

Be yourself during training sessions and games. Don’t put on an act to impress – scouts quickly see through that.

Remember – there’s no “I” in “Team”.

No one enjoys playing football with selfish arrogant players who hog the ball to steal the limelight. Scouts want football players who are able to fit into existing teams. Show them you can by encouraging your teammates throughout the game. Show up on time for training sessions. Coaches can’t create game strategies when squad members don’t turn up or are late. Scouts definitely talk to team coaches about the attitude of prospective players!

Off the field, tactics are important too

Professional football clubs have images to project and team members are part of that image both on and off the field. Show the scout you can communicate respectfully with everyone whether it’s teammates, coaches, helpers, or supporters. Guard any social media profiles carefully as scouts will check them out. Don’t post anything you may regret in the future.

What do football scouts look for in a player?

Technical Abilities

Good team and personal skills are vital but without technical ability, you’ll never reach your football potential. Scouts want to see that you can manipulate the ball with finesse, kicking, dribbling, passing, and shooting with precise control and total confidence.

Tactical understanding and awareness

Scouts also look for tactical understanding, knowing what your team is doing and why. Show you can “read” a game, predicting how a phase is going to play out and responding with the correct decision. To develop good tactical understanding, play regularly, work hard in training, and listen to your coach. It’s also good to read up on tactics or watch match replays. Scouts look for youngsters who are keen to learn and able to respond to constructive criticism.

Physical attributes

To play sport at a professional level you have to be fit and, in football, this encompasses not just strength but also stamina, balance, agility, pace, and jumping ability. Demonstrating these abilities as well as maintaining your health and fitness, are sure ways to impress football scouts.


There are four main football positions – goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders, and forwards. Within these, you have strikers, centre forwards, wingers, central and wide midfielders, centre backs, outside backs, and sweepers as well as the goalkeeper. Many professionals are known for their skill in one or two positions – especially goalkeepers, who rarely play in any other position. In the beginning, however, you’ll be expected to cover several positions until you find where your talent lies. Showing a willingness to adapt your skills and tactics is always a positive in the eyes of a scout.

On-field behaviour

Scouts also assess on-field behaviour. Communicate well with teammates in a clear and polite manner, offer praise when play goes well, and refrain from making negative comments when things don’t go to plan. Scouts also observe your interaction with coaches and the team’s support network.

Having a “winner” outlook

To succeed in any sport you need a “hunger” to win. Show this by being eager to learn and practice so you can help your team achieve victory.

What do football scouts look for in a striker?

Strikers finish play and score goals. Scouts look for an attacking instinct combined with ball intelligence, confidence, and a strong team spirit.

What do football scouts look for in a midfielder?

Midfielders must be strong and able to combine both defence and forward play. Scouts look for stamina and ball control along with planning, marking, and passing skills.

What do football scouts look for in a winger?

Wingers are fast, nimble, and exciting to watch. To impress a scout, work on pace, agility, close ball control, and speedy decision making.

What do football scouts look for in a defender?

A defender’s role is to stop a goal being scored by anticipating an opponent’s play and having strong marking and tackling abilities. You also need stamina and pace.

What do football scouts look for in a goalkeeper?

Being a goalkeeper demands a certain mindset. Make a mistake and your opponent scores. Demonstrate superb concentration levels and mental toughness along with good reflexes, aerial ability, communication skills, positioning, fast decision making, and, of course, shot-stopping.

How new technologies are changing the way football scouts work today

Football performance analysis

In modern football, clubs have teams of player analysts. During training sessions and matches, they analyse three main areas – physical attributes, mental strength, and technical abilities. This is usually done using a range of fitness trackers, video replay, and observation.

Let Playermaker improve your chances of getting scouted

Playermaker is an innovative tool for football performance analysis. It attaches discreetly to football shoes and uses accelerometers and gyroscopes  to measure foot-to-ball interactions 1000 times per second throughout training sessions or games to track your physical and technical performance Monitor, track, and analyse the results on the Playermaker app.

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