Scouting

PFSA Scouting Course Weekend

Over the 20th/21st June, I had the opportunity to attend the Professional Football Scouting Association’s monthly course in Accrington, Lancashire. The course, which is accredited by the NCFE, took place between 9am-4pm in The Globe Centre and attendees included former Manchester City striker, Shaun Goater.

The full group pose for a photo at PFSA headquarters.

The full group pose for a photo at PFSA headquarters. (Picture courtesy of the PFSA)

Day 1.

Attendees were greeted by the Director of the course, Purves Ali and were immediately made to feel at ease. Not long after, the group were introduced to Dean Whitehouse, an Academy coach at Manchester United, who led us through the opening day’s proceedings.

Following a brief ice-breaker, Dean took the group through various topics concerning Talent Identification, touching on issues such as ‘what is talent?’ and ‘what are the key indicators of talent?’- all of which often led to further discussion and debate amongst one another. The group were then briefly introduced to Manchester United’s Head of Recruitment, Derek Langley, who highlighted the differences of a player wanting to be a footballer and those hopefuls who need to be a footballer and his experiences with players who lacked the desire to become a professional.

Dean Whitehouse in action with one group during the opening day of the PFSA course

Dean Whitehouse in action with one group during the opening day of the PFSA course. (Picture courtesy of the PFSA)

The group went on to discuss how talent programmes can be set up and managed and the various pitfalls that can occur if not done effectively. The day was rounded off with details into the legal aspects of being a youth scout.

My group and I presenting what talent indicators we would look for in an age 12-16 winger

My group presenting what talent indicators we would look for in an age 12-16 winger. (Picture courtesy of the PFSA)

Day 2

The final day was led by the experienced Alan Jeffers, who is perhaps best known for his youth work surrounding soccer in New Jersey, USA.

Alan got stuck straight in by leading the group through how a scout is to present his reports, both for individual players and teams. The group considered what makes a good report and how these reports can be tailored for not only different age ranges, but also to different line managers who want their reports presented a certain way.

Coffee breaks were a perfect excuse to network with one another.

Coffee breaks were a perfect excuse to network with one another. (Picture courtesy of the PFSA)

The group were then asked to produce their own report of a well known international player and a brief match report of a game that took place in the World Cup in 2014. Before attendees jetted off home to various locations across England and abroad, Dave Hobson (representative of the PFSA) and Purves, took time to de-brief individuals on their performance across the weekend.

All that was left was an obligatory selfie with Shaun Goater!

Say cheese! Shaun Goater and I

Say cheese! Shaun Goater and I.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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Round 36

Round Review: Round 36

Player of the Round:

Louis Schaub

Louis Schaub was back to his best for Rapid Wien against Wolfsberg as he helped set up a 5:0 away win for his side (picture courtesy of Sky Sport Austria)

Louis Schaub was back to his best for Rapid Wien against Wolfsberg as he helped set up a 5:0 away win for his side (picture courtesy of Sky Sport Austria)

After a metatarsal injury and Philipp Schobesberger in imperious form, Louis Schaub could have been forgiven for trying to put this season behind him. Instead, the attack-minded midfielder scored twice to help thump Wolfsberg 5:0 away from home.

Goal of the Round:

With Admira knowing that a victory would be good enough to keep them in the Bundesliga, Toni Vastic’s composed finished ended what had been a frustrating season for the striker, on a high note. The 22-year old came off the bench to squeeze the ball past Cican Stankovic when through on goal.

Picture of the Round:

Sturm fans celebrate their side qualifying for the Europa League ahead of the final game of the season (picture courtesy of Laola1.at)

Sturm fans celebrate their side qualifying for the Europa League ahead of the final game of the season (picture courtesy of Laola1.at)

Controversy of the Round:

The manager merry-go-round was in full swing early into the week as relegated Neustadt’s manager, Helgi Kolvidsson, was promptly poached by SV Ried, who had been deserted by Oliver Glasner the previous week. Kolvidsson had been linked with St. Pauli in Germany, but after a gutsy tenure ended in vain with the blue and whites, many had hoped he would continue in Austria. Meanwhile, despite standing by his manager throughout the season, Christian Haas finally pulled the plug on Michael Baur’s reign with Grödig after only one season, as the side slipped a disappointing to 8th place finish. Haas was quick to appoint a successor for his side, who have been left depleted after the departures of key players Cican Stankovic, Marvin Potzmann, Ione Cabrera, Stefan Nutz, Tomi Correa and Philipp Huspek. Former Rapid Wien player and manager Peter Schöttel, who had most recently been used by Sky Sport Austria as a Bundesliga expert, was handed a 2-year contract with the club, as he looks to take them back to the heady heights of European football that Adi Hütter had brought the side in his one and only season in the top flight with them.

Ex-Ried coach Oliver Glasner locks hands with his successor Helgi Kolviddson during Ried's trip to Neustadt earlier in the season (picture courtesy of GEPA pictures/ Mario Kneis)

Ex-Ried coach Oliver Glasner locks hands with his successor Helgi Kolviddson during Ried’s trip to Neustadt earlier in the season (picture courtesy of GEPA pictures/ Mario Kneis)

Full Results:

SV Grödig 0:1 FC Admira Wacker
FK Austria Wien 1:1 RB Salzburg
SK Sturm Graz 0:0 SV Ried
Wolfsberg AC 0:5 Rapid Wien
SC Wiener Neustadt 0:1 SC Rheindorf Altach.

Final Word:

The 14/15 Austria Bundesliga finally came to a close with the top 5 sides qualifying for Europe after RB Salzburg were able to beat Austria Wien 2:0 in extra-time, in the Samsung Cup final in midweek. Salzburg and Rapid Wien qualified into the Champions League, while Altach, Sturm and Wolfsberg will all be representing Austria in the Europa League qualifiers. It was a fantastic season with twists and drama, and it was an absolute pleasure to follow.

The final Bundesliga 14/15 table

The final Bundesliga 14/15 table

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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