Football Clubs Change The Way They Scout For Future Stars

Clarets Launch Global Talent Search Via Mobile Phone Application

Burnley Football Club think they have found the answer to searching for global talent by asking youngsters from around the world to trial for the club’s academy using a mobile phone application. Footballers aged over fourteen can film themselves performing specific drills and then upload them to the application, which uses artificial intelligence technology to analyse, rate and compare players.

Burnley, who have been taken over by American investment group ALK Capital last month will invite “exceptional” youngsters identified by scouts from the app to formal academy trials later this year. The app analyses “technical, athletic, cognitive and psychometric ability”and has already helped its first fully fledged professional player. Ben Greenwood had trials at four Premier League clubs before signing for Sky Bet Championship side AFC Bournemouth and has since played for the Republic of Ireland Under-18s.

Speaking about the introduction of the new system chairman Alan Pace said, “This is the first opportunity for us to introduce new data-led technologies into the football club and promote Burnley to the wider football world by giving aspirational young players an opportunity, via the AiScout application. As the pandemic is currently leading to a suspension of youth football in Lancashire and across the UK, this trial represents an open and inclusive opportunity for football players to complete a set of drills in their own environment that could end with them being scouted by a Premier League club.”

The founder and chief executive of the application Darren Peries came up with the idea after his son was released by Tottenham Hotspur. He was surprised when scouts approached him for online clips of his son playing football and that got him thinking.

The application takes what happens in a six to eight-week trial, such as the drills, athletic tests and puts those into the application making them accessible to millions of people though a phone rather than the lucky few who get scouted. It allows the scouts to get a good view of the player.”

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