The Agent’s View is an exclusive content strand that comes directly from Ricky Pattenden, an agent for Every Aspect Sports Management, who offers insight into the life of an agent, his perspective on EFL ongoings and transfers, and so much more.
I thought it would be wise to start this weekly column with a topic that forms a huge part of our day to day regime… Scouting.
I will attempt to try and keep this to a readable word count because this really is a something we can talk about until
the cows football comes home.
There are many facets of scouting, and plenty of avenues we can explore, but let’s focus on what scouting looks like from an agent’s perspective.
As an agent, there is a fine line you need to balance between representing enough talented clients to provide a good service to clubs, and not having too many clients so that the level of service to the players drops completely, this may be because of a lack of time you can allocate to the player. In today’s game this is an all too common issue that an increasing number of players are finding out the hard way…more on this another time.
So, when you decide the time is right as an agent or in my case the agency to increase the number of clients you have, a robust, coordinated scouting provision should kick into gear.
A good starting point is to touch base with your close circle of trust. People within the game of whose opinion you hold with the highest regard, current clients, ex-players, coaches, club scouts, non-league experts and even to extent the modern football fan who have all got their finger on the pulse when it comes to emerging talent and/or players who are performing consistently at their clubs in the Premier league, EFL and abroad. This provides us a base to formulate our “players to watch list”.
I generally take in a minimum of 3 to 4 games per week, that tends to be a mix of under 23 and first team games, for the most part, my game schedule is planned only a week in advance due to the ever changing nature of football, anything longer falls apart.
Once I have a substantial “players to watch list”, I will try and get to see as many of the players as possible in the flesh, and at the same time ensuring I have the right balance of taking in our current clients matches as well.
I won’t lie, the travel is tough and the amount of games you need to be at hard, If you don’t fancy a Tuesday night in January at Gillingham then this isn’t for you!
We are however lucky to live in an era where there are some fantastic scouting tools on the market that allow us to catch up on games, and even key in to specific player highlights. These tools aren’t cheap, but quite frankly I can’t see how an agent would do their job well without them.
I can’t stress enough, how important it is to know your client’s games inside out, because when you recommend a player to a club, you must be able to speak the language.
Why are they a good fit for the club? What can they bring to the team? How best can they be utilised in different formations?
These are all basic and common discussion points with clubs and add to that the statistics behind the player and specific games they have performed well in, that you need to know off the top of your head.
If I got an estate agent to sell my house, then I want them to visit the property a number of times, and know exactly what they are selling, so that I get the best possible sale… And the same rule of thumb applies to being a Footballer employing a football agent.
When taking in a current client’s game, or a perspective client’s game, it is of course common to identify talent that shone in that particular match, so that player then naturally joins ‘’our players to watch’’ list and yes, this list can be long…. very long.
We now arrive at the point where we start to look at the market. The positions that are in demand, the specific type of players that are in demand, and ultimately do we think we can add value to the players career should we work together.
If everything adds up, then we would look to approach the player and see if they currently have an agent or not. At this point the list gets cut dramatically to only a few names.
Fast forward a few weeks, all being well and several meetings, dinners and coffees later, the player would sign with our agency and then we can begin the working relationship with our single most important job, to support the player on and off the pitch, allowing them to play at the highest possible level for the longest possible time.
Every Aspect Sports Management
Twitter & Instagram – @everyaspectmgmt