IPSO were honoured to deliver a first professional scouting course in China partnered by Green Star Sports Development Co Ltd. Both companies were very proud to officially start their first ever Chinese course in Beijing China.

On the morning of May 6th students gradually arrived at the Elite Centre to register for the course, as well as starting to communicate with their new course mates in the reception area. Among the students, there were famous football commentators, professional analysis staff from Beijing Guoan FC the biggest club in Beijing along with BIT FC, employers from Soccer World, WINLINK Sports, Hobbit Soccer etc., as well as football coaches, students, and football fans mixed as the course got underway.

At the beginning of the course Colin Chambers, one of the IPSO directors who’s also a scout & opposition analyst of Middlesbrough FC introduced the career background of Martin Dobson and himself. Students found the experience of meeting a living legend of Martin Dobson’s calibre stunning, they were also very humbled with the thought of being allowed to call him Dobbo, Sir Dobbo to others.

Considering the different level of football knowledge among students and within the room from professional coaches, analysts and commentators to students of the game from grassroots level, Colin & Dobbo delivered the course content step by step, from the very basic “what is the job of a scout and team analyst” to “how to observe talent from different age groups”, to very detailed video analysis.

During the course, Colin played a video and asked them to particularly observe one player, then let the class discuss and evaluate the performance of the player. Colin then found the difference in football knowledge among students, but he was confident that after the two-day course, all the students would improve in their understanding of scouting and analysis.

At the breaks, students continued to discuss with each other and with the tutors all the different aspects of scouting. Here Xu Yang, the famous football commentator and Executive Director of Beijing Baxy FC, joined the discussion with Colin and Dobbo, exchanging views and knowledge on football scouting and on how Chinese football has progressed.

In the afternoon of day1, Sir Dobbo continued the topic of what qualities a scout and game analyst shall have. He mentioned that, in parts a scout would only need to look for talent, but currently, along with the high-pace development of football, game analysis and opposition analysis have also become inseparable skills besides scouting. Then Colin played a few videos as examples to help students learn how to analyse individual player’s performance and to evaluate the impact of their performance in the game. Students also started to gain the knowledge of how to write a standardised individual player report.

After the first-day course, IPSO invited students for dinner. Colin mentioned that in Europe, social bonding is significant among scouts and coaches and IPSO didn’t stop at the end of day 1 and like to share even more knowledge and stories when inviting all the students out to socialise and gain new friends within the game. Therefore he expected students to have this opportunity for further communicating after a day’s tense learning. The dinner atmosphere was great and students mentioned that the tutors were actually very humours and not always too serious which relaxed the students after the vast amount of knowledge and information that they had taken in from day1. Which many students said really added to the course and just showed the amount of thought and customer care offered by IPSO.

At 9 am on May 7, students arrived at the classroom to attend day 2 of the course. On the second day the course was more on the practical side, including more video analysis and examples of reports. From those materials: As a scout and opposition analyst, when watching the game, one must pay ATTENTION TO DETAIL, because whether one could observe the tendency and player potential from various details is the key to distinguish between the professional and the supporter.

Then the lectures started talking about writing a game report and opponent analysis. Similarly, this required not only strong theoretical knowledge base, but accumulating game analysis practice. The knowledge in level 1 regarding a match report is very basic, while on the level 2 there would be much more detailed explanation on how to analyse a game and a team.

Wang Liping, player for the 1999 Chinese National Women Football Squad Known as one of the best ever full-backs in the women’s game

After the course on Sunday, tutors and students came to Beijing Workers’ Stadium to watch the Chinese Super League game between Beijing Guoan FC and Hebei CFFC, and the students was asked to focus on a specific player. Students were required to write a report on the player’s performance, and that would be the final assessment of the course, from which the tutors would determine whether or not a student could get the course certificate.

Students expressed their feeling that the two-day course was very informative, that what they learned about scouting and game analysis could be helpful for their career and for the industry. As the group of the first IPSO Chinese course students, they were all from different provinces and different football backgrounds, but with the same objective: to learn about scouting, to get knowledge of football analysis, so that more talent would be discovered in the future, and this could be a strong point in promoting Chinese football development.

Ling fung Wong, Sport Director at BIT FC

In the interview, Director Zhang Lu said that “there would be massive demands for scouts in the Chinese football market in the future; this career has a great prospect”.

And Director Xu Yang also mentioned, how to discover Jamie Vardy like Leicester City FC, how to discover potential talent from low-level leagues or grassroots, is “a skill that we lack.

IPSO tutors and Staff from Green Star Sports