Elite Player Performance Plan
The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) was implemented after consultations with The FA and representatives of the Football League, the Premier League and its clubs, and other stakeholders to ensure that professional football in England will have a world leading academy system that provides a greater number of excellent homegrown players and increased efficiency of youth development investment. We strongly advise you to be aware of all changes set out in the EPPP but if you want to read on topics specifically related to football scouting, please refer to the below pages from the EPPP which can also be found on pages 75-79.
Talent Identification and Recruitment
All clubs recognise the importance of establishing a thorough recruitment network. Successful talent identification and recruitment of players of all ages isvital to the future prosperity of all clubs. This is a vital aspect of the Academy function in the club. This provision extends throughout the operation of the club; from young players aged 5 years playing in the Development Centres, through to senior first teamprofessionals. The current Rules and Regulations require clubs to register those employed by the club as Scouts. This requirement has been driven largely by the statutory requirements aroundchild safeguarding. Talent identification is a fundamental concern for any youth development system. The Academy Manager, their coaches and support staff have clearly defined roles and responsibilities within the Rules and Regulations. However, the role of a recruiter has not been defined previously, yet their experience and contribution iscritical to the effective running of the Academy and the wider club. There are currently no requirements to provide CPD for this category of staff. Similarly, there are no formal qualifications other than a stand-alone, attendance-based „talent identification‟ course provided by The FA which is required to operate as a „scout‟. The education of recruitment staff currently happens „on the job‟, via peer relationships and through learned experience. Some innovative Academies have identified this problem and have attempted to improve the situation by staging their own in-service, education programmes.
All clubs need to recruit effectively to prosper. Conversely, all clubs need to retain their best talent if they are to create a performance legacy for the benefit of the club. These conflicting requirements ensure that the Academy System is often stymied by fear of the „predator club‟ The fact that all clubs are at some stage perceived as „predators‟ and at some stage „under threat‟ is the reality of professional football. Some clubs have become increasingly reluctant to permit rival clubs from scouting games. It is recommended therefore that, as part of the Modernisation Process, the Academy System must find a suitable solution that enables registered scouts to watch games. If scouts are to be allowed into the Academy Games Programme then a transparent and responsible approach will need to be adopted by the scouts and their clubs. 77 The alternative is that scouting will be forced increasingly outside any regulated process and this is ultimately not in the best interests of the clubs or the player. It is proposed that access to authorised games be granted to registered scouts provided the scouts have applied in advance to the Academy Manager to watch the game.
The current Rules and Regulations provide for time/distance Rules for the recruitment of Academy players. The modernised system will re-shape these Rules. The new Rules relating to time/distance recruitment will be introduced for the start of the 2012/13 season and the Rules relating to national recruitment in the Youth Development Phase will be introduced in two stages.
Category 1, 2 and 3 Academies will be permitted to recruit players in the Foundation Phase from within an hour of the principle training venue. Category 1, 2 and 3 Academies will be permitted to extend the time/distance recruitment to one and a half hours from the principle training venue in the Youth Development Phase. Category 1 Academies will be permitted to recruit nationally during the Youth Development Phase. The relaxing of the time/distance Rules will be brought into the Academy System in two stages. The first stage will be recruitment for the U15 and U16 groups which will formally begin in Season 2012/13. It is then proposed that the opportunity for national recruitment for Category 1 Academies be extended in Season 2014/15 to U12 and upwards.
All Academies will be entitled to recruit nationally for the U17 group onwards.
Establish the role of Head of Recruitment in each Academy
Provide a clear rationale for the talent identification approach which is consistent with the club’s Football Philosophy
Provide training and development for recruitment, scouting and talent identification staff which underpins the club’s priorities for talent identification based upon the club’s Football Philosophy
The Leagues, working with the clubs, will monitor and regularly update data regarding the relative age bias that currently exists in the recruitment profile of players in England
Introduce systems to effectively track each player’s movement to and from amateur football into and out of the Academy
A support programme will be operated by the leagues on behalf of the clubs for players released from the Academy System
Fully integrate Talent Identification and Recruitment with the Coaching, Education, Sports Science and Medicine, and the Games Programme
Establish clear guidelines through the Rules and Regulations regarding access to the Games Programme for scouts and recruiters
A ‘cooling off’ period will be introduced between the signing and commencement of a player’s registration form
The Premier League will produce a Parents/Guardians Charter and a Parents/Guardians Information Guide for trialists
All Academies will introduce a formalised induction procedure for players entering the Academy
Youth Development Plan
The Youth Development Plan was implemented to improve the enjoyment, fun, and development of young players. These are set rules and regulations and changes to the system of youth development. We strongly advise you to be aware of all changes set out in the Youth Development Plan but if you want to read on topics specifically related to football scouting, please refer to pages 73-90.