Thanks to technological innovation and ever-changing attitudes, football scouting is arguably more accessible than ever before. Whether you're an experienced professional or a budding scout (if you're the latter, check out our article on how to get started in football data & analytics), there are tons of resources available to you, both online and in person. If you're looking to expand your skill set and further your scouting career, look no further — we've compiled a useful list of resources designed to help you improve, develop, and perform to the best of your ability. Let's get started.
The Professional Football Scouts Association (PFSA) are the UK and Overseas leading providers of talent identification in football training. They work with both new and more experienced football scouts, and represent the largest professional scouting network in the UK.
By conceptualising and executing new and exciting ways of highlighting footballing talent, the PFSA continue to pioneer scouting in the UK. One of the key elements of their work is the provision of an extensive portfolio of engaging football scouting courses, which include a mixture of online learning and practical tuition. These training programmes are CPD accredited and exclusively endorsed by InStat, one of the world's leading video analysis platforms.
A number of entry-level courses are available, including Opposition Analysis in Football, Talent Identification in Football and Technical Scouting in Football. After these courses have been completed, scouts can move on to more advanced training. And the PFSA also produces some useful audio content available to the public, with BBC Radio Lincolnshire's discussion with PFSA tutor Kevin Braybrook offering some further insight into how to get into football scouting.
If all this PFSA content sounds appealing, you'll be pleased to learn that through Jobs In Football, you can access an exclusive discount to the Professional Football Scouts Assocation's industry-leading resources. Our Football Education Hub is the largest online collection of education resources dedicated to football, a membership program intended to make football education accessible and affordable for all. Become a member of the Hub, and you'll get a 20% discount off all PFSA courses. And you can make savings with a bunch of other providers as well — more on that shortly.
Looking to join a community of coaches that can help you take your career to the next level? Look no further. MBP advertise themselves as a collaborative platform for personal and professional growth, offering programs in a variety of areas including High Performance, Youth Development and Scouting and Game Analysis. They offer online learning that can be done remotely from anywhere in the world; however, if you're up for a bit of an adventure, you can also visit their school in Barcelona. MBP's programs focus on where students want to get to — top courses include Expert in Youth Football, Master in High Performance Football, and Scouting and Game Analysis Specialist.
With former students working at Ajax, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and many other clubs, it's clear that the coaching school's methodology gets results. A number of discounts are available on the MBP website, and you'll be pleased to know that thanks to our partnership with the coaching school, we're offering members of our Football Education Hub an exclusive deal: up to €300 off selected MBP courses. With a wide array of top quality online and in-person learning available, we hope you'll take advantage of this amazing opportunity to expand your knowledge.
Soccer Hub is a leading provider in online football education. They have a number of simply structured course packages which intertwine various useful skills. These include their Soccer Coach Package, their Soccer Analyst Package, and their Soccer Scout Package, which will likely be of most interest to readers of this article.
Within the latter course bundle, you'll practise a variety of techniques and exercises designed to boost your ability to spot, nurture and develop talent. In modules like 'How to Build a Soccer Scouting Process' and 'Scouting and Recruitment of Top Performance Athletes', students can learn the tricks of the trade and equip themselves for a rewarding career within football scouting. Considering the substantial amount of course content available, Soccer Hub's resources are very reasonably priced. And what's more, you can get your hands on a 20% discount off all Soccer Hub courses when you join the Football Education Hub.
Developed by The FA to give support to enthusiastic football professionals, The Boot Room provides an ever-growing database of sessions, guides, articles and interviews for coaches, scouts and football lovers of all levels. Structured around the playing and coaching philosophy of England teams, the site gives you access to an online community of over 30,000 football lovers to share ideas, approaches and thoughts with. There is a huge library of totally free content available on the site, from inventive coaching drills, to in-depth articles on topics such as pressing and possession, to focused conversations with a variety of experienced FA coaches.
On top of The Boot Room's free content, the site also provides access to various paid professional courses including The UEFA C License course and The FA's Introduction to Coaching Football course. If you're looking to take your scouting skills and football acumen to the next level, The Boot Room is packed with resources to help you get there.
Created by professional football scout Ged Searson, S4 Scouting is an organisation that provides regular fully interactive scouting courses and workshops. Endorsed by a number of FA, Premier League and Football League managers and coaches, their workshops are designed for anyone with an interest in football scouting, whether they're currently working at a club or as a scout/analyst, or if they're at a more amateur level. Staff members from clubs including Arsenal, West Ham United, Manchester United, Manchester City and Rangers have attended their courses, which tend to be structured as two-day fully interactive workshops. With courses on 'Recruitment and Player Scouting' and 'Tactical Scouting and Analysis' available at different levels, scouts can jump in at the right setting for them. Currently, their Recruitment and Player Scouting Level 1 and 2 courses are available for a discounted price of £99. Check out their website for more details.
Soccer Profile markets itself as the world's leading online measuring resource, focused on charting and helping with the long term development of a player’s technical & physical ability. Co-founded by experienced EFL manager Garry Monk and his brother Stuart, the tool is based around measuring and supporting players' individual development using in-depth analytics and tracking systems.
While it was created for coaches, and allows users to create training sessions or use sessions from their online library, Soccer Profile can also be a really useful resource for football scouts. By allowing users to track players' progress over time and compare different footballers' skills, potential, strengths and weakness, this digital tool makes scouting easier and more efficient. For £5.50 per month or £60 per year, this represents one of the most affordable resources on the market. You can find out more about Soccer Profile in this video.
Created in 2004, Wyscout is the world's most used technology for scouting, match and performance analysis. They provide a variety of tools for clubs and individuals, bringing together videos, data and information on a huge variety of players, competitions and games. A digital platform accessible via desktops, tablets or mobiles, Wyscout helps analyse teams, discover new talents and promote players.
Probably Wyscout's greatest asset is their huge video library. They upload more than 2000 new football matches every week, spanning over 250 competitions, from the top 5 European leagues to the highest quality youth tournaments. Their analysts also segment each match into shorter, more digestible video clips. These video resources are backed up by an extensive library of data.
Different types of membership are available for different people, depending on whether you're a club-employed scout, a player agency employee, an independent scout or something totally different. Pricing varies depending on the package you choose, but it's fair to say it's not the cheapest resource on the market. The good thing is, you can access a completely free trial before buying a membership, and if you don't think it's for you, you don't have to stay on board. You can check out Wyscout here.
Why Not Take The Plunge?
As we've explored in this article, as the scouting profession continues to develop and progress, so do the resources available to those within the industry. Whether you've only just started out, or if you're a well-hardened professional just looking to get ahead of the game in a particular area of specialism, there should be something useful in the resources we've touched on today. And if you want a little more guidance on talent spotting and how to hone your scouting skills, we've got loads more content that can help you out. Our interview with FA Resourcing and Talent Manager Mannie Neville could be the perfect place to start.
Fred Garratt-Stanley is a freelance writer and long-suffering Norwich City fan with experience reporting on football for a number of titles. He also has a background in music and culture journalism, with bylines in NME, The Quietus, Resident Advisor and more. Currently, he's working as a content writer for a variety of online health and fitness publications.