Professional Prospects for non EU / UK players in the UK
International Player Prospects in the UK
At IHM we will always be completely honest with our players throughout. This means that during your course with us, via our tutorial system, we will provide a comprehensive and objective report on each individual player’s ability, mental attitude, fitness and professional prospects. However, IHM is principally a school and as such we will always prioritise the academic progress of our student players. We similarly include academic performance in our tutorial and progress reporting.
Scouting Opportunities for IHM Players
Throughout the year IHM provides some specific events which allow our full-time enrolled student players to show off their skills in front of professional football scouts and coaches of teams. These people represent all level of clubs in the UK from amateur through to semi-professional all the way up to Premier League. Any player who impresses a scout or coach can then be invited to trial directly at the club. This may be a one-off event or, more likely, the club will allow the player to train weekly with one of their squads so that the coaches there can assess that player’s development over an extended period of time. This opportunity may be terminated by the club at any time.
A Caveat Regarding Students
When enrolling and attending an IHM football programme, you are enrolling on an educational study programme as a full time student. Therefore, any students who are attending the programme from outside of the EU and have been granted leave to enter the UK by a student visa, are not allowed to access public funds nor are they allowed to work in the UK, either paid or unpaid.
Working would include playing professional football for a club in the UK or amateur football for an amateur FA registered football club. A student player’s primary objective once enrolled must be the successful completion of the student’s course of study and full compliance with the terms of their UK student visa. Failure to comply with UK student visa regulations and the Immigration Rules can lead to a student harming their future prospects of obtaining a UK visa.
Opportunities for Non EU / UK Student Players
Due to English FA regulations and UK visa restrictions it is incredibly difficult for non EU / UK citizens to be allowed to play professionally for a UK club. The restrictions are even greater for players who are under 18 years of age. IHM is aware of these limitations and so will always expressly inform prospective student players and their parents about these at the enquiry stage. However, there are some opportunities and benefits available to non EU / UK players that are worthy of note:
i) Tracking Players in Home Country – Exceptionally talented players may be tracked in the longer term by an interested UK professional club. Big clubs have a global network of scouts who monitor the progress of certain players in their home countries. Should such a club then wish to pursue such a player, they would then need to work with the player and their parents directly to find a legitimate way of making this happen.
ii) The IPSO scouts – IHM works closely with the International Professional Scouting Organisation (www.ipsofooty.com) which provides professional scout training and tale I.D. courses all around the world. IPSO scout trainers work with scouts from professional clubs, sometimes a number of clubs. IHM contracts IPSO scouts to attend our Showcase Events and Talent I.D. courses and provide a written report on each individual player taking part. If they spot exceptional talent at any of these events, they will send a report
onto any of the clubs, outside of the UK, that they represent for them to consider. It is then up to the club to assess this and see if they wish to or can take it any further.
iii) IHM is building links with scouts who work for non-EU / UK clubs – scouts representing clubs from outside of the UK have already attended our events. We are working to bring more such scouts to our events in the future.
iv) Improved prospects for a player in their home country – By attending IHM football coaching a player will improve his fitness, reading of the game and football skill and ability. In short, we will make him or her a better player. We help all our players to build an online football cv and having attended our academy only enhances that cv. Similarly, if a player is identified as talented by a UK club, even if that club is prevented from pursuing the player further, this is a great attribute to have on a football cv. Many of our players have gone onto to sign pro contracts with teams back home after attending our school.