In part two of this three-part series we will provide expert tips for optimizing your scouting processes in remote working situations. 

Football leagues around the world are on hold while the precautions surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are in place - but scouting simply cannot stop. Even during this period of social distancing, every day counts, because the transfer market never sleeps.

Scouting staff will experience more challenges than most, as they can no longer travel to see live matches but must keep in mind preparations for identifying new targets and the summer transfer window.

Firstly, what are the general daily challenges for a club scouting remotely?

  • No active match schedules combined with travel restrictions means no opportunity to review performances of potential recruits.
  • Rescheduling your live scouting: With nearly all competitions worldwide put on hold, scouts have to make sure a new scouting schedule will be properly managed so that your priorities and targets are kept under the radar as much as possible. 
  • Re-assess your geo-strategy: Attending matches and travelling is no longer possible, meaning a solid assessment of a player will be harder to ascertain and so the way scouts look at the market will also be changing. This means, you will now potentially be looking at different players or even markets.
  • Keeping yourself motivated: Assessing and reassessing your targets - tweaking your ‘shadow team’. Look at other competitions and keep a close eye on different sources, including the huge amount of data available online. 
  • Depending on how a club approaches scouting, there could be a lower utilization of other scouting resources. An example of this is where technical scouts operate as the main users of technology to support processes. In this example scouts who don’t usually use Wyscout for creating detailed assessments and dossiers on players will be impacted the most.

Using Wyscout means clubs can continue with their preparations for the Summer and Winter transfer windows in 2020/21.

According to Jose Chieira, who manages global scouting and recruitment at Sporting Clube de Portugal, building a 'scouting environment' at home is a top priority if you want to keep yourself active and connected, so you have to make sure you can use different tools.

“Most important of all is making use of a scouting platform,” said Chieira. “Wyscout allows me to see any player in the world from so many competitions, while looking deeper at individual and team actions. Managing your players' listings, building on your reports and any different analysis you might be willing to break down from a player.”

Newcastle United's dashboard on Wyscout. Credit:

Now take the example of Newcastle United, who during this time of self-isolation will have their club scouts using Wyscout as a supplementary tool for the reports they have already gathered from watching players in person.

Wyscout was already fundamental in bringing current starting goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to the club when the Slovakian international was found from a list of over 100 players after goalkeeping coach Simon Smith watched him both in person and on Wyscout as far back as 2017. 

FC Groningen technical director Mark-Jan Fladderus is watching several games a day at home because he still needs to form his team ahead of next season, whenever that season may come. Already he has watched over 20 matches and involves both himself and club trainers in the scouting process. 

For national team coaches with low contact time with players, Wyscout is used to monitor current and potential squad players from a distance. Ecuador national team head coach Jordi Cruyff is also using the platform to analyze playing footage while working from home during this period of self-isolation. 

Mark-Jan Fladderus' remote working setup using Wyscout.
  • Upskilling in technology is also vital during this time to ensure employment or stay ahead of the curve, as scouting processes can only take place remotely. 
  • Use this opportunity to review players your club already has in the building - one of the key challenges for scouts on the road is a lack of time to truly understand needs, i.e. ‘how do you know the player you are’. 

In this vein, Walter Zenga has just joined as coach of Cagliari and is doing leadership courses online to bridge gaps in knowledge. Using Wyscout he is studying the technical and personal profiles of the players he will inherit in his new squad.

Also, consider these points:

  • Take more time to check on all the data available to you, comparing your targets, building specific filters and search within different competitions. 
  • Be sure to check overall positional indexes.
  • Explore the market while looking at player rankings, upcoming or 'new' players, solid performers and contract end dates. 

How can intermediaries who are usually on the road or in client-facing situations, use Wyscout to manage scouting processes remotely?

  • Wyscout is used by intermediaries for sourcing potential new clients and tracking their current clients.
  • During this period of no games, intermediaries can use Wyscout to refine dossiers they would share with clubs and sponsors to promote their clients.

In the final part of the series we will bring you more practical examples to get you through these challenges, and we’ll dig deeper into how the new Wyscout Scouting Area can streamline your workflows.

For more information on the Wyscout Scouting Area click here