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New UEFA course to reflect evolving role of scouting

UEFA's new scouting course will merge existing and new methodologies to provide candidates with the perfect mix of knowledge to embark on one of football's fastest-changing professions.

FrontzoneSport via Getty Images

The Elite Scout Programme (ESP), which kicks off its first edition next month, will bring together the long-established methods of match observation and assessments with the latest in new technologies and data management, ensuring graduates are equipped for life in a range of scouting and analytical roles.

Already, professionals from 18 different national associations have applied for the course, including former elite players and talent spotters from France, Spain, England, Turkey, Belgium and Norway.

The perfect combination of intuition and science

Course director Les Reed, who has a wealth of experience as a scout, director of football and a coach, explains what the course will offer.

Course director Les Reed
Course director Les ReedPA Images via Getty Images

"Scouting has changed to a much more organised, structured and targeted approach – it has required scouts to have additional skills," he says. "You can’t really be a scout now without having IT skills and the ability to use the technology that’s available.

"Good scouting lies in the middle between intuition and science. When you blend the two together, it all becomes much more accurate, and you’re going to make fewer mistakes.

"And at the same time, getting those really intuitive scouts who have been practising this for a long, long time to understand what is available to them in terms of the tools to help them do the job more efficiently."

The three-month interactive programme will offer expert’s masterclasses, real-life case studies and simulation exercises, with the opportunity to learn from UEFA experts and industry leaders who will share their experience and insights through a serie of live presentations and workshops.

In addition, current scouts and sporting directors will share with you inspiring personal stories of how they successfully managed their top-flight careers in the most prestigious clubs and associations.

Overview: the UEFA Elite Scout Programme

- Understand the international football ecosystem and its governance

- Master the key principles of scouting and match observation: talent identification, analysis and recruitment management

- Learn how to produce various types of match reports (text, animations, videos)

- Become familiar with technologies to monitor football data and statistics and discover the latest innovations in this fast-changing sector

Simon Rolfes, Sporting Director, Bayer Leverkusen

"In recent years, professional teams have been investing more and more money in young talents in order to gain sporting and financial success. As a sporting director, it is absolutely crucial to make the right decisions when recruiting a new player. The new scouting and talent identification tools that have been developed over the last two decades can give us more relevant information and limit the risk of mistakes. It is therefore very important for our scouts to know about these new tools and how to master them."


Apply for the Elite Scout Programme

The UEFA Academy and programmes for players

Building on the professional excellence UEFA has established throughout its history and the learning initiatives developed over the last decade, the UEFA Academy inspires the education of individuals and organisations to continuously elevate the game.

The UEFA Academy has recently designed a series of programmes exclusively for players considering a change in career while remaining in football. The UEFA Elite Scout Programme is one of five dedicated new opportunities created by the Academy to help players stay in the game.