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

(36 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

Faxthatpam Thu 17-Aug-17 08:14:36

I would give it a go. Treat it like free extra coaching and enjoy the ride. My son did a few dev centres but only really liked one of them so we just stuck to that one. He got signed to them as an U9 which was really exciting for him. He absolute loved it there, it was great coaching in top facilities. They gave him a huge bag full of club training kit and had a signing day where he met all the first team and was introduced to the crowd at a home game at half time. The following week they closed the academy down completely. It was devastating at the time, but much worse for the older boys who'd been there years. He's at a smaller team's academy now and is still loving it. We take it with a big pinch of salt and tell him to enjoy it while it lasts. He loves it and gets so much out of it. But what all parents should remember is it's extremely unlikely these boys will be professional footballers, and to the clubs they are essentially a commodity. If you remember this and let them enjoy the ride while it lasts it can be a fantastic experience for them. Good luck.

smellyboot Tue 01-Aug-17 18:51:13

What are they offering? In our area a huge number of 6/7 year olds get invited to development centres linked to pro clubs but they dont all get invited back after a few weeks / months. I've never known them invite 'a friend' for the sake of it. Quite a few of our club children do extra sessions 1 or 2 nights a week with the dev centres but carry on in grassroots teams. Only post 8 do they get 'signed' and have to leave the club

Rosetaylor13 Mon 31-Jul-17 23:04:30

Hi I know this is an old post but just found it. My son his nearly 7 his been approached 2 times now at different tournaments this summer by 2 different teams. I'm a bit stuck with what to do. Both of them want the 2 same boys in the team. I've heard stories about them really wanting 1 but bring there friend aswell but they don't really want the "friend". What do I do? I haven't told my son yet. Do I just leave it and if in say a years time their still wanting him then get the ball moving?

utopialopier Tue 16-May-17 13:20:44

And yes, it also infuriates me when footballers are slated on here. They are such dedicated athletes, the ones you see on TV are absolutely the cream of the crop and have done spectacularly well to be where they are. It's bloody hard!

I agree!

utopialopier Tue 16-May-17 13:19:39

I definitely think they encourage children too young, my ds did t start until 10/11 and even then you need to wait until 14/15 to see how the child will grow and develop.

Not all boys think they will play premier league football, there are 1000s of normal people who play football for good salaries in the lower leagues, they're not all poor role models.

DameXanaduBramble Tue 16-May-17 12:41:01

And yes, it also infuriates me when footballers are slated on here. They are such dedicated athletes, the ones you see on TV are absolutely the cream of the crop and have done spectacularly well to be where they are. It's bloody hard!

DameXanaduBramble Tue 16-May-17 12:38:19

It's still very young - it's cut throat, things change so much, so quickly. A great experience, though. David Beckham wasn't that great then, it was only when he was older. Some lower league clubs do charge to train at that level when they spot a child, the biggies don't. It's a huge commitment, we declined when it meant travelling hours twice a week, that was when my DS was a lot younger. He will play at a semi pro level, which he is so happy with.

For the pp asking about where to get spotted, don't push it, it will only set you up for disappointment. You could enroll on a big name workshop day, Man Utd etc have them during the summer, scouts will also be at any big summer tournos.

utopialopier Tue 16-May-17 12:25:20

@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

The best thing to do is to get your son playing for a local grass roots team that is known for being of a standard good enough that scouts watch regularly. Also the good grassroots clubs go to the tournaments where the scouts Go.

utopialopier Tue 16-May-17 12:23:06

My son plays at a football academy and we have never had to shell out a single penny. He has a fantastic lifestyle travelling abroad and it has improved his confidence and social skills no end.

For those who say they no people playing non league football. You do know that's a job and they can get paid a good wage for doing what they love? And they can also do qualifications and coach too.

Some clubs pay for private schooling for the boys, even if they're dropped and of course they know to go into anything with their eyes open. Psychologists and physios are at every training session and match.

All of the above is in a good academy.

If my son ends up playing lower league football in a couple of years I will be more than happy for him.

The time commitment is not that big. In school holidays they go for the full day so it's like a free football camp smile

sysysysref Mon 15-May-17 19:18:11

I've had a child signed to a premiership club. Even at U9 level it was intense and not just with games and training but also with physio assessments and fitness. We paid £40 and that included full training and match kit, tracksuits, fleeces, jumpers, socks, thin coats, thick coats, hats, the works. After a season my child decided that they didn't want to make the commitment so we went back to grassroots football with no regrets but if we had carried on the commitment would have been huge.

We have had friends whose son has been spotted by 3 major premiership clubs starting from attending a summer playscheme at the end of year 1. He's now in year 6 and currently shared between 2 premiership clubs which is interesting. His parents don't want him to become a pro and he's also very academic but they are going along with it for as long as he wants to but they know that he'll also have a good academic education to fall back on.

smellyboot Mon 15-May-17 19:06:56

Gro. In our area all the scouting is done at age 4,5,6 and 7 - maybe age 8. Loads get a chance in a pro development centre but few get into full academies

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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