This week saw the International Professional Scouting Organisation (IPSO – scouts visit IHM Football Academy at Ellesmere College, to meet the players, watch the games, present to them about what scouts look for and prepare an individual scout report for each of the players.

The academy was delighted to welcome Colin and John from IPSO once again to work with the players. The partnership with IPSO and IHM Football Academy is now in its 4th season, with Colin and his team regularly visiting the academies to cast an eye over the young student players and deliver some valuable feedback to them, from a scout’s view point.
IPSO Scouts
IPSO is an International Scouting Network designed by experienced professional scouts and analysts, who have worked in the English Premier League for many years. They have worked at both club and international levels, scrutinizing players’ and teams’ performances with an ”Attention to Detail” process that only IPSO delivers and a process in recruitment. It is that which makes a difference when looking at players or teams. Knowledge and experience of the IPSO team, combined with a global network of contacts, puts IPSO in an excellent position to represent, work with and advise young players on progressions and development, giving feedback and professional reports.

Many years of hard work and experience in the observation and analysis of players and teams led IPSO to conduct advanced research in assessing players. This included evaluating systems, observation skills in talent identification followed by match reporting. This enabled them to learn how to construct opposition analysis reports, otherwise known as “match reports”. Their aim is to provide appropriate systems and procedures for effective analysis at every level of football, from grassroots to the professional game worldwide. And here at IHM Football Academy, we are delighted to have them with our squads each season to do just that.

During the IHM scout assessment day the players played out a competitive 11 v 11 with Colin and John watching on and taking notes. Each player participating will receive a scouts’ report. This will highlight how the scout saw them in that particular game and suggests areas for improvement. This is a fantastic tool for the players to use as they will see an independent report on their performance in that one game, exactly as if a professional club had sent a scout to watch them. This report will also provide feedback and recommendations, in addition to the thoughts and observations of the scouts.

The day also features a classroom session with Colin. Colin showed the players a game and was able to talk the players through what he, as a scout, saw in the game and what he would report back to an opposition manger, if he’d been request by a club to do a report on the team. Similarly, he was able to highlight individual play and what areas, when scouting, he would look at. The final part of Colin’s classroom session was a very beneficial presentation on how scouts work, what they look for and how they report back. This provided a great insight for the players to allow them to better understand the scouting process and enable them to perform at their highest level to optimise their chances now and in the future of being identified by club scouts.

Colin and John’s experience is a valuable opportunity for the players in the academy. Colin, is not only the Head of Education at IPSO, but also has 21 years’ experience scouting. In fact, he still works now with the Polish FA, scouting for the international side along with numerous lower league clubs in the UK. John was previously a teacher, a professional football player and is currently working with lower league sides in the northwest and touring teams from the US.

The IPSO day is just one of many opportunities the IHM at Ellesmere academy players receive throughout the course of the programme. It is designed to enhance their understanding of the game in the UK and provide opportunities to showcase their ability. Being able to play in front of scouts from the area is a great opportunity. However, to receive comprehensive feedback from the scouts is a fantastic learning tool which the players can use for their future development and progression.

Lead Coach, Brandon, said of the visit and scouting day:

“What a great day for the lads. They got to show what they can do in front of some very influential scouts and one of the leading scout organsations in the country, if not he world. To receive the amount of detail that they had in the presentation is fantastic, a real learning experience for them all.

Some of the lads have really engaged in this today and have taken a lot from it. They can now look at their time remaining on the programme and really try to put in everything they can to achieve their potential.

I can’t wait to see the reports that come back. I think for some it might be a shock to see the honest and direct feedback they get, but it will be good to use for their development, going forward. A great day.”

A massive thank you to Colin and John for visiting the academy this week. We look forward to seeing them again soon and seeing the reports next week.

If you would like to be part of the team here in the UK and have the opportunity to showcase yourself in front of the IPSO scouts, receiving your very own scout report, then contact us now at IHM Football Academy, to find out how you could join us in 2024.