The beautiful town of Trnava, located 45 km from Bratislava, was the site of the fourth edition of the IPSO scouting course, organized for the first time in Slovakia.

“We had many people from Slovakia obviously but also from Poland, which is exciting to be fair, because IPSO has done well over there,” said Colin Chambers, main lecturer of IPSO courses. “There were also people from England and a student from Africa who was a former professional footballer from Burundi, as well as a guest from Latvia. There was a good mix of people from different countries involved in the fourth addition. So we have what we wanted,” he added.

This time our course lasted for three days. As a bonus for the participants there was a friendly match to watch live in Spartak Trnava v Olympique Marseille. Olympique Marseille won 1-0 at the newly opened City Arena Stadium. This stadium is a very modern, state of the art and multifunctional as it is connected to a shopping centre. It is a real gem in Slovakia. The most up-to-date stadium in the country.

As usual, we had special guests. This time we had a former player Jozef Kožlej of the Slovakian national team, now a football agent, and Dušan Radolský a very experienced coach in Slovakia who’s also worked in Poland.

“It’s a great idea to have an organization for scouts that helps scouts develop their knowledge. I think this is big a problem in Slovakia, because there are few people who can analyse a player professionally and the course will certainly help to change that,” said Kožlej.

“Scouting Departments are very important in clubs abroad. Here in Slovakia we somehow have not yet realized that such a thing is necessary, although in part it’s because of the financial difficulties faced by many clubs,” – added Radolský who is also known for his work in Poland.

A part of Saturday lectures was related to individual assessment of the player. On Sunday, students learned about the secrets of the analysis of the game of the whole team. The second day began, however, with a practical test that is a report based on observations off Tomáš Pastrneka a centre-back of SK Senec. On Saturday afternoon the attendants visited a Slovakian 2nd league match. Senec v Dukla Banská Bystrica . The score was 2-0 for Senec.

Among the participants there was a lot football-related people, as well as fans of the sport who would like to try their luck in the profession of a football scout.

““I’ve learnt a lot, and can only look at it as part of my personal growth in football. I will pass the knowledge to the people in the club and I believe this will help us develop scouting and move us to a higher level,” said Ladislav Kubalík, the second coach at MSK Zilina, one of the best clubs in Slovakia.

“I would recommend the IPSO course to every agent in the world. Much can be learned, you look at the players and watch games in a different way. As all agents we are looking for good players, but this course helps to look at them a little deeper,” added Victor Alpha, the agent at Skylet Andrew football agency.

“We can work in different ways, pay attention to the same things, the same details. It was interesting also that we could learn something from the English scout (Mr Chambers), because, of course, England is the number one in terms of football and scouting,” added Dmitrijs Hohlovs, working as a scout at FC Astana, participant of this year’s Champions League.

I didn’t imagine the scope of things a scout has to look at. He has to see in detail all 22 players, team’s strategy and the positional game. This is very hard and surely we need at least a year of practice to analyse it the way it was presented to us during the course,” said Pavel Juhas, a lecturer at the University of Trnava, a big football fan, who also took part in our course.

The Slovak edition of the course could not have taken place without the involvement of Peter Hricko, the IPSO director in this country. “The level of knowledge was very high and it will help to develop scouting in Slovakia further. I believe that IPSO will come here once again and that it will change how people here perceive scouting,” said Hricko.

“It was worth coming here. Everything went well. I am also impressed by this remarkable city and a beautiful stadium, and the involvement of participants in the debate,” said Colin Chambers.

The expansion of IPSO is growing with Slovakia now under our wing but we are also working on other countries involvement. “We have just joined forces with Kirklees College in Huddersfield England and in October we begin a new course there. Also currently we are negotiating with people from Ireland, Germany and the United States as well as working on the next courses in Poland and Slovakia,”said Kamil Potrykus, the managing director of IPSO .