Attention to details. We hear this phrase each course, without exaggeration, more than a hundred times. So it is the punch line of almost every speech. It all comes down to details and the big picture.
The end of March at Hotel Mera SPA located two kilometers in a straight line from the Sopot pier was the ideal for a relaxing weekend. This was also ideal to conduct a training conference, the first scouting training organized in Poland on such a large scale. The United Kingdom was represented by: Colin Chambers, a scout with many years of experience with the Premier League and a co-founder and lecturer of IPSO, David Wild, Manchester City CITC coach and, above all, Colin Hendry, Scottish football legend. Poland was represented by: Kamil Potrykus, the managing director of IPSO and Czesław Michniewicz. Also, there was a mass of interesting personalities among the participants: Edi Andradina, Marek Jóźwiak, Ryszard Jankowski, Jarosław Bieniuk and Michał Probierz, who willingly joined in the discussion as the time passed by.
The analysis of Dejan Lovren game. Jamie Carragher with Gary Neville fiercely discussed this in the Sky Sports studio. One condemns Dejan Lovren too large distance to the side of defense, the second, on the contrary, claims that Croat played by the book. “For me, it’s nonsense,” Jóźwiak interrupts the discussion, as if he wanted to stop Carragher. “I strongly disagree,” Hendry adds before hearing the translation of Legia scout’s words. Jóźwiak nods, while Colin Chambers sums up the discussion, indicating that it is precisely what they wanted. Attention details, because, no matter of who is right, the question is whether a layman watching the match and drinking beer would point out Lovren’s position in regard to his colleagues.
No, he wouldn’t pay attention to a few little steps made by Michael Carrick in every action to close opponent’s space. Also, he wouldn’t notice why Manchester City gets tired playing without a striker and how to position yourself to maximize advantages over David Silva’s. The average fan wouldn’t see David de Gei’s nervousness in his first season at United, David Luiz’s nonchalant manner… or Robben’s selflessness at times when many would call him selfish. Details, details going twice and the big picture, because it’s not only about the player who has the ball.
First league match of Arka vs Miedź, two pretty good teams at this level of competition and there are 45 participants in the stands. Everyone, according to Chambers formula presented to them a few hours earlier, takes a closer look at Michał Nalepa, a 20-year-old midfielder of the hosts. They evaluate everything, from the quality of passes, receiving the ball, moving
between zones and commitment to defence, to the responses to the referee. They had to evaluate, and then draw up a report, hand it to Chambers and wait for an evaluation. They pass the exam if they accurately spot the player’s potential by paying attention to the details that can open the eyes of a future employer. This is the first step to catch the most observant scouts, those who already see more.
There is a discussion the next day. One praises Nalepa for bold decisions on shots, the second points to the lack of accuracy. One does not like the player’ grievances, the other doesn’t like lack of creativity while passing. Some chose to “forget”, deleting the player, while others recommend monitoring his further progress. Nobody, however, is one hundred percent convinced of their decision. Finally the experts share their opinion: would Michał Probierz see the boy in the first league [ekstraklasa], how Marek Jóźwiak would evaluate his usefulness and finally, what Colin Hendry thinks about Nalepa as compared to similar players in the Championship or League One. Experts exchanged their opinions and as a consequence more and more details emerged. Nalepa was deconstructed as if he would be by during a meeting in a major western club. Learning the analysis in practice was the aim of the training organized by Kamil Potrykus.
Our experts also draw some conclusions. Probierz keeps calm while listening to the comment of one of more passionate participants. Jóźwiak, on the other hand turns his head and says “Buddy, you wouldn’t work for me.” At this stage, however, have all preliminary overview of who the scouts beginners bodes better and who is worse. Based on reports on Nalepa, Ryszard Jankowski will propose a paid internship with the prospect of long-term work in Górnik Łęczna for the three of the most talented scouts. Probierz suggests something similar: who makes the most relevant analysis of Wisła will have the opportunity to work for Jagiellonia.