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The Scout – You call this glamorous?

Welcome to the second blog entry by The Scout – a new Total Football series that takes a look into the world of match scouts.

We’ve signed up a professional scout to give his views on what the job of a scout really involves.

Does anyone really understand what match scouting involves? Is it glamorous? Is match scouting necessary any more with video technology? Is it even necessary anyway?

Some days are a drag!

Sometimes in scouting you get those grounds that you really do not want to go near, it’s not down to there being no food or drinks either.

This ground has been a bug bear of mine for a season or so and it did look to shape up a little midway through last season but sadly it’s plummeted beyond recognition.

My gripe is the view we are given to see the game, you may say we are getting in free and that a club can do as they wish BUT it’s professional courtesy as they get a better view at other grounds but do not reciprocate this.

Saturday came and I paid my monies to go into the car park, exchanged pleasantries with the very smart stewards then park up. As I walked to get my ticket, I had a bad feeling and number H198 kept jumping out at me.

I had been stuck with a game at this ground in pre-season and was given a fantastic view of the corner flag at one end, luckily enough the stand was half-full so at kick-off, I wandered further in to get a decent view.

My heart dropped. H197. This could only mean a poor view and there it was and to make matters worse I got drenched by the emergence of an on-field sprinkler!

A few more scouts turned up and we exchanged a few comments about the drag of coming here, but we positively hoped that the stand would not fill up.

Five to three came and we got up and luckily headed into the centre of the stand into a mass of home supporters.

The game was ok for League One, some smart football by the opposition and the normal huff and puff of the home side. It ended 1-0 to the home side which in the end was what they deserved.

I have to say even for the most fickle of scouts, I was surprised to see one disappear on 61mins.

Come on, unless he was walking home, I see no reason why this guy could not at least kept to the norm of 75mins!

I waited till the 90th minute then made a hurried exit to the car park before the yokels made their moves.

There is something quite unique about being in your car and listening to 5 o’clock results on 5 Live, the anticipation of how your team did and whether you made a difference.

Mine, well, they got stuffed and then there is the realisation that the fella you earmarked as a threat had nipped in to score a brace. Sometimes you wonder what the hell they do with your report.

Question this week is which ground was I at? H197 in the east stand? Send your answer in by email to

Video technology - Has it killed our jobs as a scout? 

I mentioned in last week’s blog has video technology killed our jobs as a scout?

Thankfully no, it’s added more pressure but in the same vein it has helped jog our memories and is actually a useful research aid.

We do a lot of writing at a game (some of us do!) and diagrams of set plays, so we do not always have time to get it spot on.

It certainly helps when you end up in the crowd and you have that annoying bloke that stands up every two minutes and you end up missing something.

The downfall is that you know full well that the manager or analyst will comb through the video and check every small detail, we are only human!

Believe it or not you can’t get a good view of a game just from watching on TV or video. There is so much more going on, seriously!

This is a good segway on to AVB’s scout report. It’s top notch but I will leave you with a couple of unanswered questions, how much time did he have to do it and how much of an influence did video technology aid him? Play, pause, playback, play, pause...

Next week I will, as promised, give you my view on loan deals and whether or not I care, and I will let you know what happened at my assigned game on Saturday.

If you have any questions please send them in and I will do my best to answer them in my next blog entry – to protect my identity, please email your questions to Total Football’s editor Mark Roach:

The Scout

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