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Has anyone had a DC "scouted" by a football team??

(37 Posts)
simpson Mon 03-Jun-13 22:48:36

DS (7) has been scouted by a football team and they want him to play for their academy in 6 months or so (they feel he is a bit young atm).

Has anyone got experience of this and what happens, pros/cons etc gratefully received grin

basildonbond Tue 04-Jun-13 22:40:05

Not my ds but a couple of his friends were scouted at about the same age - one for Leeds and one for Chelsea

Obviously it's a great opportunity but you need to keep realistic - only a tiny fraction of the children who are scouted go on to become professional footballers. The boy who was scouted by Leeds was dropped by their academy when he was 11 and it really affected his self-confidence (the one who played for Chelsea decided himself that music was more his thing than sport and left)

It's not as time-consuming as you might expect - at primary age at least - as far as I remember it was about the same amount of training and matches as his friends who were playing in local leagues

lljkk Sun 09-Jun-13 10:31:37

Some of these scoutings are just ploys to get money with flattery, nothing you get from the youth academy you couldn't get more of for far less money by joining your local leagues.

teacherwith2kids Sun 09-Jun-13 16:13:59

Lijkk, to be fair, that isn't quite true.

DS played with the local professional team's 'academy / centre of excellence' for 3 years (Y3, Y4 and Y5). He is a goalie - and at the academy he got twice-weekly specialised goalie training with a goalkeeping coach, alongside the keepers from all the other age groups. That isn't available at his local 'weekend' football league club, as the coaches - mostly parents who have had some training as coaches - are in general much better equipped to train outfield players.

I would also say that for the outfield players the intensity and the focus on specialised skills provided through training at the academy was significantly better than at local boys' teams - because the coaches were professionals and also because of the lack of any children of lower ability.

It was a good experience for DS - intense, gruelling on the parental taxi front, slightly scary as we saw him off on the team coach for games in far-flung places - but carries the inevitable spectre of being 'dropped' at any moment. DS was dropped after 3 years.

Bowlersarm Sun 09-Jun-13 16:25:07

My DS is at a professional club currently. Let me know if I can help at all.

It takes a lot of parental input. And it's not for the faint hearted! A lot of commitment is required.

beatback Sun 09-Jun-13 16:33:44

well said bowlers arm. Some people think because they Ds have had trials at 12 they are the best footballers in the world and that they are going to be premiership footballers. The reality is that 9 out of 10 kids at pro clubs will end up playing non leauge football at best or local amatear football. Another thing that people on this site do not understand is that when a kid is rejected at 15 or 16 it is 1000 times worse than failing the 11 plus that people on here think is the be all and end all. Good luck for you ds.

teacherwith2kids Sun 09-Jun-13 16:34:15

Input required, by the way, was transport to 2x evening training sessions every week, plus a lift to the coach for matches on Sundays. For us, winter training was 10+ miles away, summer training much more local. Some parents went to every match, whether home or away. We didn't.

GemmaTeller Sun 09-Jun-13 16:54:34

My son was signed to Bolton Wanderers youth squad a few years back and had trials at three premiership clubs.

Yes it was a great experience for him with massive commitment on his and the parents part, but, you have to be able to face rejection and realise that at youth team level you rarely get a full game as they have a lot of players at that level. When my son was there they had six goalkeepers they rotated throughout the matches.

Its also well known that certain teams scout and sign up a lot of potential players to 'get in there before the opposition does'.

On a lighter note, DD's ex-boyfriend-at-school now plays for a high profile premiership team, we used to tease her she had missed her chance to be wag and should 'get back in there' smile, 'nah, its not worth it he's a knob now' is her answer.

Januarymadness Sun 09-Jun-13 16:58:05

Not uncommon and a fantastic opportunity at this age. However, as others have said it can be utterly devestating isf they get to 16 then get dropped.

Bowlersarm Sun 09-Jun-13 17:04:12

beatback it can be a very brutal experience as you say. The club my DS was at from the age of 11 (pro club) took him aside one evening after training at the age of 16 and told him that he was no longer required. That is generally how they do it, even with boys who have been there at an even younger age. Very very hard, harsh environment.

To DSs credit, he picked himself up, dusted himself off, trialled at a premiership club and was signed by them almost immediately.

It makes me quite cross the way professional footballers are dismissed on here as lightweight. If those posters could see the blood, sweat and tears involved, the desire and determination, and the hours and hours the boys plus their parents have to dedicate to it, I like to think they would change their opinions.

CPtart Sun 09-Jun-13 17:12:31

I know a few through both my sons football teams, most ultimately being dropped within a couple of years. A couple of lads though didn't enjoy the experience, felt it was far too pressured and took the fun out of the game, and ultimately they packed it in themselves and went back to their local teams with friends where they actually had a laugh.

beatback Sun 09-Jun-13 17:21:31

Thank you Bowlers arm. To be a Pro footballer even at non leauge level requires a dedication and intense training schedule that no one who has not witnessed it could ever believe. The kid has to be so focused to achieve this, and in most cases will come crashing down on him at 15 or 16 when informed that he will not be signed pro. He then has to pick him self up "AND RESTART HIS LIFE" because it is all he as thought about for as long as he could play. Another thing Bowlers Arm with the influx of foreign talent at academy level it makes it almost impossible for good young english talent to come though and ever get a chance in the first team, and as was seen with the appalling display of the U21 against norway yesterday this has got to be addresed imediatatly for the England to even qualify for major tournaments. He must be a "VERY SPECIAL TALENT" if a second Premiership club have signed him at 16 and lets hope the other club choke on there cornflakes when he plays for England.

lljkk Sun 09-Jun-13 17:34:44

I'm sure it varies a lot, Teacherwithkids, I hear too many anecdotes of kids being "scouted" with great fanfare only for parents to find they were pretty disappointed with what they got. And the kids went back to community leagues pretty quickly. Parents tapped up frequently for ££ to pay XY or Z as part of the development program (very expensive compared to community leagues), less actual training or play time, not especially good coaching, inflexible & inconvenient timings & locations for training or matches, etc. I suppose it's their way of weeding out those who aren't fully committed.

rocketeer Sun 09-Jun-13 17:47:40

Lljkk, ds trains with a premier league team at academy level and we have found the total opposite. We have never been asked to pay for anything including training subs. The club works incredibly hard with the kids and although a lot of commitment is required, I would only carry on if ds was enjoying himself, which he is. Think you need to get your facts right tbh.

teacherwith2kids Sun 09-Jun-13 18:08:37


The only cost we ever had to pay - in 3 full years of twice weekly training over 10+ months of the year, and weekly matches during the season - was a one-off £50-60 [can't remember now] for a full set of training / travelling kit. As this added up to at least 2 full outfits (2x tops, 2x T-shirts, 2x trousers / shorts, lots of socks) which lasted the full 3 years I can't really complain. Petrol was the only other expense - and as DS was the only goalie on the books for 2 years, he played the whole of every match. Transport to matches was provided by the club in team coaches. Maybe being a lower league club, rather than a big name, it chose to have relatively few boys in training but treat them very well? I don't know.

lljkk Sun 09-Jun-13 18:32:12

I am not commenting on your experience, Rocket, I am commenting on the oral anecdotes I have heard first hand about a local club. Which have taught me to be wary. Good to hear that some youth development programs are so generous.

Bowlersarm Sun 09-Jun-13 18:35:20

lljkk I don't think that's correct information for parents to have to pay out money. We never have. DS gets free kit,( incl boots now) all trips abroad paid for, coach travel is free, no match subs. The only expense is for parents to travel to matches. At 16, he now gets a salary from the club.

beatback good point about the huge number of overseas boys playing here. DS club has boys from Australia, France, Spain. Canada, all funded by the club. You not only have to be one of the best players in the country to succeed-you have to be one of the best in the world.

One other point I would say to the OP. although it is very exciting, in our experience, it isn't the boys who are 'scouted' at such a young age who actually end up making it as a pro. It seems to be the ones developing at aged 11/12/13 who seem to go on. We have seen so many boys playing at 7/8 and they are often released at u12 or u14. have to follow the dream if you have the energy!

Groovee Sun 09-Jun-13 18:52:09

My son's friend was scouted and played for a year with his favourite football team's football school. He was dropped after a year. But I do think he was given a great opportunity which the competition was great.

Deffodil Sun 09-Jun-13 19:04:13

Never had to pay for anything,ever. The only downside was waiting for the coach to arrive after an away game,at 10-11 at night.

FortyFacedFuckers Sun 09-Jun-13 19:04:16

My DS 7 is currently with a very large club and as others have mentioned it is a massive commitment for the kid and the parent DS plays for at least 3 hours 4 X per week. Although we will not be renewing his years commitment to his current club it doesn't mean we won't be trying out other clubs. My advice is give it a try but don't commit to anything until he has been there for a while and you all have an idea of if this club is where he is happy.

BackforGood Mon 10-Jun-13 15:03:25

I think there are 2 different things here.

I know what lljkk is talking about - my dc regularly brings home leaflets for children to join this academy or that academy, which takes the name of a professional club, but isn't a 'select' training scheme for the club, but is a money making scheme that anyone can sign up to. They do cost quite a lot, and parents like them as they can say he's at "XX FC's academy", but really it's just like a soccer school, like a Summer football camp thing.

There are also what used to be the professional clubs' Youth schemes, which are now "scouting" children younger and younger. I think this must be the sort of thing that BowlersArm's ds is at.
My only experience of that, in recent years, is a friend whose son was asked, but, when they looked into it, they didn't let him sign up, as the club wanted to restrict his life as if her were a professional sprotsman - they said he couldn't go skiing (which was the planned family holiday that year) and he couldn't play football for anyone else - say for his Scouts in the District tournament. Can't remember the other things, but there was a list of them. She decided that if he was good enough to 'make it', then he'd still be good enough when he was older, and he carried on living a normal life for the rest of the next couple of years, at least.

simpson Wed 12-Jun-13 23:07:31

Thanks for all the replies smile

As far as I know there is no outlay of £££.

DS is pretty good at football but at this stage I only want him to play and enjoy iyswim so I am hoping it will not take over our life too much smile

He will not start till he is 8 anyway (August).

Atm he does football coaching once a week (how he was scouted) and athletics on a Friday and 3 PE lessons a week which will keep him ticking over. He cannot play for his school team till he is in yr5.

GoalieMum Thu 13-Jun-13 10:37:16

My ds 10 is currently signed for a professional clubs academy. Next season will be his third year of being signed when he goes into the u11 age group.
We have never had to pay out any money towards training, the only money it costs us is the petrol to travel all over the country on a Sunday morning. He trains three times a week plus the matches on a Sunday, which can be anywhere. It is a big commitment , plus once signed they cannot play for any other team, including their school team. We have pre season coming up over the summer school holidays, last year he was training some weeks up to five times a week.
The training he receives is fantastic and for us it works really well but it does take over your life and your weekends will be all football. Contact me if you have any other questions.

GroBizNiz Thu 11-May-17 13:38:53

@bowlersarm and anyone else here who's had experience getting a child into football clubs and leagues, if you could guide me.
My son is turning 11, is a keen footballer & plays for a local club. Now I'm not under any illusions that he will get to be a professional footballer nor is he but we at least want to play competitions & be seen by someone who sees potential or vice versa. What is the process? What tournaments do kids have to play to be scouted or are their any particular clubs they need to join? FYI, we are based in London.

elephantscansing Thu 11-May-17 13:55:35

DS was scouted age 8. He trained in the club's centre of excellence for 2 years - when he decided he didn't enjoy it any more and wanted to leave.

He still plays for a local team every Saturday and does other football training.

We weren't that inpressed by the coaching at the pro club - often one coach was in charge of 20 kids, which led to chaos. The coach also let fouls go, which I didn't like. There were games against other academies every half term up to 3 hours' drive away, and ds didn't like that - too much time in car.

I'm overall pleased that he has stopped because I think what he learns from being in a local team, playing with his mates every week, is more than he learned at the academy.

Plus, I don't want football to take over our lives any more than it has...

Re paying: in the club ds played for, you paid for kit and coaching up to academy level, when it became free. Clubs are different re this.

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