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AIFF and IPSO partner up in India

Above we have Colin Chambers one of the directors of IPSO shaking hands with AIFF Technical Director Isac Doru who used to work at Nagoya Grampus Eight as assistant to Arsene Wenger. Before he left Japan, Mr Doru worked with Carlos Queiros, former Real Madrid & Manchester United.

NEW DELHI: The first-ever scouting course was organised by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) at Football House in New Delhi on Saturday (December 14, 2019). Colin Chambers, one of the Directors of the, International Professional Scouting Organisation was the instructor for the four-day-long course.

Chambers was looking forward to “a good exchange of football knowledge” from the scouting course which was attended by 28 coaches from across the country.

“We need to start at the very bottom as there lies the foundation. It’s on them (the participants) how much information they can gather and they can exercise in future. They need to understand the structure of scouting and they’ll find the difference. It’ll be a good exchange of football knowledge here,” Chambers felt.

Savio Medeira, Head, Coach’s Education, AIFF who is also present alongside Chambers, cited the importance of holding the scouting course for the current crop of coaches.

“Scouting courses were long overdue in India. We do have a scouting portal but we did not have any formal course before. Hence, we decided to go for it. It will help in our coach education courses to impart knowledge to the coaches on this subject in more detail,” Medeira stated.

He further added, “To improve the level of competitions and the overall standard, we need to focus on scouting more. It will help the scouts to understand the finer details of talent identification, which is the base for scouting.

Mariano Dias, Head of Youth Development, AIFF, on the other hand, highlighted the importance of scouts for a successful team and described the decisive role of a scout.

Below we have Head of Coaching Eductaion Savio Medeira. Savio is the former India National team coach and professional player. Savio greets Colin Chambers and was very impressed with what IPSO has to offer Indian football.

“Scouts carry immense importance for a successful team. They need to scout according to the coach’s requirements. They have to understand which player is being sought by the coach and they will need to act accordingly. Good scouts will be able to identify better players and eventually, they’ll be trained by the coaches. At the end of the day, it will help Indian football to grow,” he said.

Rajat Guha, the goalkeeping coach of Indian women’s national team and one of the participants of the course, also reiterated the same and endorsed the idea of hosting the course which will, in turn, help them hone their “view and knowledge of talent identification and scouting.”

“This course will broaden our view and knowledge of talent identification and scouting. We can profile the players in a more specific way for long term development. It will help us assess our requirements and to let the players realise what is needed from them specifically,” stated Guha.

“All of the participants will leave the course with different level of knowledge but they’ll have a structural idea of scouting. As they progress over the months, we’ll see the real difference in terms of scouting,” Chambers rounded off.


NEW DELHI: In a freewheeling interview, Chambers spoke at length about the course, as to who can become a scout, the secrets of making a good scout, and much more. Excerpts:

What was the purpose of the scouting workshop?

It was conducted to show scouts, coaches, managers or anyone interested in the football industry in India the merits of a high-quality scouting course. It had procedures that have taken years of football evolvement to be put together, and in this case, help improve the football community in India.

What do you make out of AIFF’s effort in going for such a scouting workshop?

I think it was very much the need of the hour. With Technical Director Isac Doru, and Head of Coach Education Savio Medeira at the helm, Indian Football now has two guys who are very experienced and are aware of the next stages of development that India football needs.

To build up the National Teams and clubs in general, scouting in India will play a massive part in improving the procedures so that the best players get selected. Scouting is a massive skill. These workshops and courses will have an impact and add to the development of Indian football.

There are different schools of thoughts saying only a former player is fit enough to become a scout while others feel that anyone can become a successful scout.

This is a myth. Are the best managers all ex-players? Not really.

An ex-player should have an advantage as they have played the game. If they have coaching qualifications, it is always an advantage.

But I know lots of scouts who haven’t played the game but are top scouts across the world. Scouting is all about observation. I always refer to them as observation specialists. Most significantly, observation of a player is not always football related.

Arsène Wenger and José Mourinho were not great footballers at all. Mourinho, in fact, started off as a translator, then learnt scouting and analysis, and the rest is history.

What is the basic difference between a scout and a normal fan?

Most people can spot the obvious – the skill of the player with the ball, the speed, physical endurance, etc. But scouting looks deeper into the character of the player, the attitude of the player. It feels the player will absorb instructions, or will they be disciplined.

These are not football skills, and you don’t need to be an ex-player to note these. I started at grassroots, and I have never been a professional footballer. Yet I made it to the top level with hard work, watching numerous games, analysing closely, being observant. And as you do this over the years you start to understand the game like a chess player understanding how to play chess in football terms means you pick up lots of things like tactics, team shapes, player positioning and you get to know what is right and what is wrong therefore understanding is the player is intelligent or not in football terms which can make a big difference in selection process when scouting.

So that means you can always produce a scout.

Surely. But the person in question has to have a lot of ingredients to do the job. Desire, passion, discipline. You may be tempted to think I am talking about a good footballer. But in reality, anyone can do anything they want in life if they are passionate. I think you would have to love football to become a good scout.

What are the qualities which one needs to possess to become a scout?

Desire, passion, discipline, willingness to learn, observant, patient, open-minded and above all dedication.

What was your overall impression of the attendees in the scouting course at Football House?

When a football person talks to another, you can gauge their intelligence in the game. My observation skills kicked in after 10 minutes, and I need to admit the students didn’t disappoint. No one was pretending to know more than they should, and the questions were very honest and open. I liked that as the students looked hungry to learn. They were never worried about voIcing their opinion.