Similar to other elite-level organizations in leagues like the NFL and NBA, Global Football clubs spend a record breaking amount on talent acquisition and management. As global demand for playing talent has increased so too has the costs of player trading. 

FIFA’s Global Transfer Market Report 2020 shows between 2016 and 2018 there was a year on year increase in the total transfer fees paid totaling $2.63bn USD. Whilst 2020 was impacted by the global pandemic (decrease in the total spend by $1.72bn USD), FIFA found there was still a high number of player transfers. Meaning the demand for identifying talent remains constant.

To learn more about market-leading best practices for high performance workflows based on these key global trends and more, download our new eBook - High Performance Workflows.

Now more than ever, it’s important that elite-level organizations and federations understand the importance of developing high performance workflows for the scouting and recruitment of talent.

Listed below are six areas of Scouting and Recruitment that are crucial to build into your workflow.

Squad/Roster Planning

The process begins with a clear recruitment strategy, followed by squad and roster planning to assess performance levels with an established evaluation workflow. (See earlier in this document)

The evaluation process should consider the short, medium and long-term ability of the squad to compete and achieve the organization’s goals. Then the wider scouting team is brought in to discuss filling gaps present in the squad.

Products like Hudl SportscodeHudl and Wyscout can help make more accurate evaluations using video and data of the current squad. Wyscout Shadow Squad can help too, allowing users to map current talent and potential signings with visual and diagram tools.

With Wyscout Shadow Teams you can make unlimited line-ups and share them with your colleagues. You will be able to set up access levels and choose whether a line-up is editable by all team members or only by those who created it.

Recruitment Brief

Detail the attributes required per position on the field. Key conditions that need to be considered are: budget, salary caps, club vision, desired playing style and cultural fit.

Achieving a brief that achieves all of those aims is not easy and requires regular high-quality communication between the key stakeholders. 

However, Hudl Pro Suite can help the process greatly in almost every area. For example:

  • Achieving clarity on playing style and player requirements using video playlists in Wyscout, Recruit, Hudl and Hudl Sportscode.
  • Establishing minimum or desired metrics using custom data built in Hudl.
  • Sportscode or event data provided by Hudl and Wyscout tags, stats and reports.
  • Creating custom dashboards using “bigger data” with Wyscout API, third parties and Tableau.
  • Securely share these key video messages, data visualization and documents more widely using Hudl.

Once the brief is decided the final step is to design a scouting report template and share it with the relevant stakeholders. Football clubs can create templates in Wyscout Scouting Area and other sports can create them sharing exported documents in a central location like Hudl.

In the Wyscout Scouting Area, you can draw up lists of data about your team performance and keep track of the most promising players, monitoring the average of evaluation scores.

Long List / Initial List Creation

The first stage of the scouting process can now begin. A list of targets is produced and, if possible, “bigger” data can then be introduced to the process in order to add suggested players to the list and challenge the inclusion of those due to previous subjective opinions.

Products like Wyscout API can drive the process and lists can be visualized in raw format or interactive dashboards, e.g. Tableau, Python, Power BI. The combined list is often referred to as the “initial” or “long” list of options that meet the recruitment brief and should be evaluated further by the scouting team. 

Introducing API workflows to the process often leads to the unearthing of “hidden” talents that would have otherwise been missing from the initial list. 

Live Video and Data Scouting

Traditional methods of in-person scouting remain vital, however, the use of video and data scouting via Wyscout and Hudl can help ensure that only players worthy of this time-consuming and expensive work are seen in person.

Wyscout covers 270+ Global Football competitions worldwide and is a great place for scouts to make early evaluations of players - particularly effective if they are located in a challenging geographic location. The same can be said for Recruit for Basketball and American Football with 98% of College and JUCO film covered for the latter.

  • Full games are available but player performances are also broken down and filterable by event. 
  • Playlists can be built for players and added to their profiles to create evidence to support subjective opinion. 
  • Career and performance data is also often available so you can get an overview of their key stats from previous seasons.
  • Wyscout player reports include data visualizations that can be shared internally and externally. 
  • Videos can be downloaded for a more customized and in-depth analysis process using Hudl Sportscode if necessary. 
  • Scouts that do attend games in-person can use Hudl Coda to create tags on their mobile devices that are easily synced to video post-game. 

Video analysis technology means scouts no longer need to record their thoughts on paper and type them up post-game. The new mobile app of Wyscout Scouting Area allows scouts to create their reports live in the moment, even when offline. Reports created offline are synced with the Wyscout account later once back online.

Wyscout API: If you are a Performance Analyst and you want to analyze automatically your players’ growth or if you are a Scouting Chief and you want to organize travels of your scouts all around the world, you can do all of this with Wyscout Data.

Cross Check and Short List

Filter and rank targets using Wyscout Shadow Teams or use Recruit to code scout player lists.

Players being recommended for the final shortlist or “target” list will normally be the subject of a comprehensive multi-media player dossier. These dossiers pull together all of the accrued information on the player, much of which has been created using Hudl Pro Suite as part of the workflow to this point, including:

  • Personal information
  • Career data and progression description
  • Descriptions of perceived strengths and weaknesses in the technical, tactical, physical and psychological areas
  • Video and data evidence to support these perceptions
  • Contract status, contract expectation, current value, expected cost to sign, projected value
  • Details of source/depth of information above
  • Final recommendation by the scouting team, i.e. attempt to sign

Once the dossier is created it can be exported and shared with club leadership in order to guide their next steps in attempting to sign the player or not.

Decision and Execution

Club leadership can track and update progress on target players using specialist tools like Recruit and Wyscout Shadow Teams.

New players can be added to the club Hudl account allowing them to quickly get up-to-speed on team playing style and training drills run. The quicker a player can settle and train/play to their full capacity the better.

The player’s longer-term development plan document can also be shared with the player themselves and coaches/performance staff. 

Signing players of lower financial value and developing them into players of higher value to profit from is a key driver of many elite organizations. Capturing aspects of player performance can also lead to a more evidence-based approach to contract renewals.

Interested in learning more about global trends and high performance workflows in analysis and scouting in modern football? Register to our High Performance Workflows webinar series!

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