In February another edition of the IPSO scouting course took place at KS Cracovia from the Polish Ekstraklasa.

It was held in the Marshal Jozef Pitsudski Stadium. Participants spent two days at the arena, listening to Colin Chambers who’s the main lecturer and experienced scout who works for Middlesbrough FC. As well as Kamil Portykus who’s the head of Analysis at Pogon Szczecin.

– “On the first day of the course you focus on how to prepare yourself for working as a scout and how to look at a footballer from a professional perspective” – Chambers explained. – At the end of discussions and the presentation, participants attended the match from the Ekstraklasa between Cracovia and Górnik Zabrze, to prepare a written report on one of the players in the game, in this case it was on midfielder Damian Dąbrowski of Cracovia. The attendants are now armed with extra knowledge, valuable tips and recommendations of how to zoom in and analyse the player correctly.

The special guest on the IPSO course was Dariusz Pasieka, vice-director for the Coach’s School of the Polish FA. Previously Dariusz worked as a manager of Arka Gdynia and Cracovia among other clubs. He was listening to what Chambers was saying and joining in the discussions whilst sharing his own experiences with the participants.

– “Such courses prove how important the role of a scout plays in comparison to a coach’s work and how different it is as a job. But their insight is as important, you have to trust them” – Pasieka said.

From the beginning of the second day participants created their reports on Dąbrowski’s performance, and there was a class-room discussion afterwards when Chambers presented his own report. The big surprise was when Dąbrowski himself showed up, which was possible thanks to IPSO’s cooperation with Cracovia. Representatives of KS Cracovia were also on the course, among them Sport’s Director Tomasz Bałdys and Włodzimierz Łach, who is Technical Director of Academy.

– “For me it was refreshing of the knowledge and information, of the way to look at players “ Łach said. He explained, that the course would be helpful to players as well, as to gain more intelligence within the game itself. KS Cracovia also guaranteed several places as trainees at the club following the IPSO course.

Damian Dąbrowski joined the course after his early training and was shown Mr Chambers report on his performance. – “Excellent touch and control. He has good vision and creativity. High quality and variety of his passing range. You could see Dąbrowski’s intelligence on the ball” – he wrote.

Chambers spoke to Dabrowski with the attendants watching as we discussed his performance– “I can see that you have excellent technical abilities. But it did look like you played within yourself, as I thought you could have upped it and given a little more” –Dabrowski was shocked but with a nice smile said-“Yes your right we were totally in control of the game and I did take it easier than normal” Dabrowski added. Chambers replied “You cannot play within yourself. As you are doing yourself no favours as at the game was a Southampton scout. If he was watching you for the first time then you could have slipped under the radar as you didn’t show him your full ability or potential” Dabrowski looked at Chambers with a very serious frown realising he may of made a mistake in not giving everything at that moment in time.

“You have to be aware that even if there are no scouts in attendance, that someone is looking at you anyway or somebody knows someone and people talk. There is a scouting tool called Wyscout were a club can watch any player around the world through DVD. So no matter what happens in the game, you have to give it your all. If a Premier League scout was watching and you glided through the game playing in second gear then the player is not doing himself any favours and the chance of being picked up could have gone as he saw a laboured approach and the scout will report on what he sees at that moment in time” – Chambers told Dąbrowski.

Dąbrowski was happy not only from positive report, but also aware of his limits and mistakes which Chambers pointed out. He answered questions from participants which was a good in-site to how a professional scout thought and of how Dabrowski thought and it was interesting to see Chambers picking up that he wasn’t playing to his full ability.

Afterwards, Chambers focused on showing what a match report was about and the preparation of team reports of how to look tactically at a team’s performance. That was followed by video examples of good and bad situations of well-known European football teams, which brought even more discussion with the coaches and attendants on the course. During the whole weekend Chambers hammered home the IPSO motto: Attention to Detail. Participants were transfixed in focus, noting what they were learning and after the course had finished they were still continuing to discuss what out-comes and experiences they had taken away from the course.

Another job well done by IPSO!