What to Expect at a We Make Footballers Talent ID Event

We Make Footballers
26 May 2023

At We Make Footballers, we take a huge amount of pride in the number of young football players we have helped take the next step in their football career, be it joining a grassroots club or signing with a professional academy.

One of the reasons we have such a good success rate is because of our We Make Footballers Talent Identification events.

Organised and run by our academies and coaches, a Talent Identification event offers children the opportunity to showcase their ability in front of watching scouts from professional clubs (including premier league football clubs) as well as local grassroots clubs.

Putting Talented Players Front and Centre

Increasingly, professional football clubs and academies are turning to Talent ID events as their preferred way of scouting talented players. It allows them to watch numerous young players from local teams playing football in a single day, rather than having to spread their football scouts across many one-off games.

Talent ID events are a great way to save premier league scouts time as well as save local grassroots clubs money. 

They are good news for football players, too. Talented children who might have otherwise gone undiscovered because their team is yet to attract a scout to watch, suddenly have a direct line to a professional academy and with it, an audition. 

The best young football players are less likely to fall through the net thanks to Talent ID, with many going on to premier league academies. The same goes for those looking to find their way into grassroots teams. Talent ID provides a great pathway into club football.

Those are the benefits. But what is a Talent ID event like to take part in? Here is what you can expect on the day...

The Hosts of Talent ID

Our Talent ID events are hosted and run by a fully qualified footballers coaching team in their local area. If the Talent ID is taking place in Sutton for example, it would be organised by our Sutton academy.

Events are open to all children in that local area, not just those signed up to We Make Footballers. We believe every young player that has a passion for playing football should have the chance to play in front of professional scouts and grassroots clubs.

The more children who develop and improve, the stronger football in England becomes. We would like to win a World Cup one day, after all!

One Hour to Showcase Skills

A Talent Identification event lasts for one hour. Our coaches will put football players through a warmup, followed by small-sided 1v1 and 2v2 games. This process is based on the same sort of challenges children enjoy at their regular We Make Footballers sessions - giving them chance to demonstrate a range of skills while still having fun.

Each pitch has a maximum of 10 football players with one We Make Footballers coach per pitch, managing these small-sided games. 

Football players are regularly switched around in terms of team and opponents, giving every child the opportunity to use different skills and approaches depending on who they are facing.

What The Scouts are Looking For

Each scout will have their own ideas and requirements for the sort of football player they are looking for. Their expectations will be based on factors ranging from the ethos and philosophy of the club they represent, to personal preferences bordering on a hunch. 

You hear many stories involving scouts who discovered professional football players “just knowing” there was something about them the first time they saw them playing as a child.

That of course is not much help for a young football player wanting to know how to impress at a Talent Identification event.

Following the FA Four Corner Model

A good starting point is the FA Four Corner model, which forms the basis of our We Make Footballers coaching syllabus.

Children who display strong technical skills, tactical knowledge, physical attributes and social awareness in terms of being a team player are more likely to catch the eye.

Whilst the children play football, the scouts and grassroots coaches present will go around watching each pitch. They will observe every football player present and make a shortlist of those who have caught their eye. 

Once they have compiled their list, they will speak to our coaches, who in turn identify the parents of the shortlisted football players ahead of the next steps.

Players Who are Selected by a Scout

A We Make Footballers Talent ID event can help get a young football player noticed and a foot in the door, which may otherwise have never been possible.

But often, there are still several more stages to go through before signing with a professional academy or grassroots team. The scouts present may invite a child to a trial organised by the club they represent to further assess the young football player’s skills.

After a We Make Footballers Talent ID event

At the end of each Talent ID event, all football players and coaches have a debrief to ensure that everyone enjoyed their day. 

Although Talent ID is designed to help children get scouted, its overriding purpose – as with everything We Make Footballers does – is to make football fun and safe.

Those players who attended the event not currently signed to their local We Make Footballers academy will be invited to come along to weekly sessions. 

The first session is free and working every week with our coaches will help a child improve their footballing ability, hopefully giving them a better chance of being noticed at a future Talent ID event if they were not picked up the first time around.

To find a We Make Footballers Talent ID event near you and book a spot, please see the We Make Footballers Eventbrite Page. Alternatively, get in touch with your local football academy to find out more.