ISM Scouting- An eye for talent

Introduction to ISM Scouting At ISM, we pride ourselves on recruiting the best talent there is, in order to give opportunities to players who deserve it. In this blog, we will explore what our scouts and also professional scouts look for in a football player. Our recruitment team look for players who we can take on their own personal journey. Every player has different goals and we take this into consideration by having various opportunities available.

Take a look at those opportunities below or visit our website for more information regarding the ISM Journey -


Foundations of Scouting and Psychology Alfie Linger (Head of Scouting at ISM) Our Head of Scouting gives us an overview on subjects such as the baselines of scouting, psychology and the importance of finding a club that tailors to a footballers skillset. “I like to think of the operations of scouting to be endless. There are of course the 4 corners which form the basis which here at ISM we incorporate into our scout reports. However, we like to be vigilant in terms of knowing how a player can suit a specific style of team. It’s important to look at the bigger picture and visualise where you believe a player’s potential can take them. Sometimes they could be an athletically dominant player whose unique selling point is their pace and athleticism. In contrast with a ball playing, technical player with less of those physical attributes, the most important point to focus on is what environment will this player flourish in. Having a psychology background, I feel this is an imperative aspect of scouting - more specifically their mentality. A misconception I notice a lot is that a scout will watch one game and if they don’t like what they see, quite often they will disregard them straight away. Sometimes it takes a lot of monitoring over a period of time. This is where you get to learn a lot more about a player in terms of their temperament and discipline. At ISM, we like to get to know players on a more personal level to gauge more about who they are as not just a player but a person. This allows us to learn more about their attitude and commitment levels which I feel is essential to get somewhere in such a tough industry, particularly in today’s climate.”

*CLICK TO EXPAND PICTURE* The Importance of Data and Technology in the Modern Game Nelson Moreira (Scout at ISM and Head Coach) Here, Nelson gives his verdict on how scouting has evolved in the current game and the importance of data and technology, alongside visual impressions. Read what he has to say to find out how you can impress scouts in the modern era. “There has never been such an interesting time to be scouting football talent, or any team sports for that matter. The world’s of traditional scouting and data driven and video based statistics have merged so that talent scouts can now use both subjective and objective key performance indicators to analyse players or team tactics. Being able to get data on a player based on stats like passes, for example, completed or successful vs unsuccessful passes per 90 minutes or how many interceptions a midfielder makes on average, etc. A team’s system of play can be analysed to get a full understanding of what recurring themes happen in their game or how they defend or attack, etc. This can now be analysed using video and data stats which offer a lot of information on a player or a team and cover the Technical, Tactical, Physical and to some degree, Mental aspects that scouts analyse. However, we can never ignore our human side of which only a human can see or understand, the feeling a scout gets from watching a player warm-up before a game, how he reacts to challenges or even what his social background is can only be done by a talent recruiter himself attending games and or training sessions.”

*CLICK TO EXPAND PICTURE* Player Attributes and Second Chances Fran Harvey (Scout at ISM and Concord Rangers FC) Lastly, Fran Harvey from Concord Rangers explains how significant it is for a scout to delve further into a player’s mind, taking into consideration bad days, personality and how they may react to the game around them as it takes shape. “For me, scouting a player happens over several phases. Whilst watching a game not only am I looking for the star players and the mavericks, I’m always looking out for the ones that are working hard off the ball, trying to get their teammates up for the game and the one’s that act like the leaders... even though they may not necessarily be a captain. You can always spot the ones with the skills and pace, but sometimes you will be sent to look for someone specific. That is when you need to be able to draw on your experience and look beyond what is obvious. It is always vital for me that they are well rounded. I would expect a certain number of things from a player, depending on what position you are looking for. If it is a centre back, the pre-requests are that he is strong in a tackle, good in the air and can read the game well. But I am also looking for other attributes. Is he composed with the ball at his feet? Does he have a good range of passing? Does he beat himself up after conceding a goal? Every position has pre-requisites, and every position has desirables. Identifying which players fulfils the majority of these attributes is where my job comes in. I will always give a player the benefit of the doubt, especially if it is someone who may have been recommended to me. Creating contacts in the game is as vital as going out and looking for your own players to scout. The players, like you and me, will have bad days. If I’m scouting youth players or semi-pro, some would have been at school or at work that day. It’s important to build up an opinion of a player over time. In my experience the more you can watch of a player, the more you will learn.” Visit ISM’s well rounded team here -


Want to perform in front of ISM and Professional Scouts? Here’s how! ISM are hosting an identification trial event on April 22nd. Our recruitment team and scouts from the likes of Rangers, Colchester and many others (see our social media) will be there. If you would like to showcase your talent, follow the link posted below!


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