The PFSA delivered their world-class Talent ID course to a selection of AFC Bournemouth’s Academy scouts alongside a group of hopefuls looking to break into football, in August. We spoke to Conner Agar, who covers Hampshire as a development level scout for the Cherries, about his experience of the two-day Level Two course.
What was your overall impression of the course?
The course helps bridge the gap between education in terms of talent identification and what professional clubs are looking for in terms of individual and opposition reports. We work predominantly with the youth sector and academy scouting and it gives a greater insight into what professional clubs are looking for. I went into it with a completely open mind. I always want to learn. I think any CPD or any course that is put on, that the club is willing to invest their time in, is always going to be a positive for us. So it was a pleasure to sit on a course that was run so well.
What can you tell us about the course?
The course was all classroom based but the PFSA provided clips for us to discuss and analyse, which is great as football is a game of opinions. So you are sat around with ten or 12 people who all have a different opinions to you and you can bounce off each other, learn new ways of looking at things and communicating what you see. That part was great.
What were the key take aways for you from the course?
For me, I have now done a few bits for the PFSA Scouting Network writing opposition reports, so the big thing for me was to see how clubs write their reports, to see how they like to have things done with individual players, but more so with the opposition reports and analysing how set pieces are worked, styles of play, how teams set up in and out of possession. Our work is very much looking at individuals so it was great to have a different insight into how teams see things and scouts work in terms of team reports.
Would you recommend the course to other scouts or anyone considering taking that leap from playing football manager to finding players for real?
If there is anyone who wants to get into the game or just broaden their knowledge about the game, speak to the PFSA and get on one of their education courses. I thinks it is a great starting block if you are looking to get involved in the game. Their communication is great, you can always speak to them and the coaches they bring in are always open to talk and network as well.
For more information on how to progress from the classroom to the analysis room of a professional club then head on over to the PFSA Scouting Network Homepage.