Many clubs up and down the county have set up their own, talent identification programmes that are unique to football. These look to identify promising young footballers, clubs such as Chelsea FC have a successful acadamy, who recruit players from all across the world.


Australian Institute of Sport / UK Athletics – Plans & Programmes


Phase one:      (Identification of Talent Stage)


Adolescents aged 14-16 are screened within their school via a series of eight physical and physiological assessments, the results of which are correlated against a national database. If the youngster’s scores show a favourable correlation against the national standards, then they progress on to phase two. 


Phase Two:     (Testing Stage & Selection Stage)


The testing or screening process continues in this phase, but becomes more sport-specific. The testing protocol serves to hone the results in phase one. If increased potential for a specific sport is indicated, then more advanced laboratory assessment will probably be conducted; this is the ‘selection’ phase.  


Phase Three:      (Development Stage)


Young athletes who have been identified as talented, and selected for a particular sport via testing, will be invited to participate in a talented athlete programme – the ‘development’ phase


Professional Football Clubs – depend on views and opinions of their employed scouts and coaches for identifying talented players.


A set of codes they use are: –


  • TIPS – technique, intelligence, personality, speed

(Key phrase incorporated in the scouting process of

Ajax Amsterdam Football Club)


  • TABS – technique, attitude, balance & speed 

(Key phrase incorporated in the scouting process of

FC Barcelona)


  • SUPS – speed, understanding, personality & skills

(key phrase incorporated in the scouting process of

Arsenal Football Club)


Trials at Chelsea Football Club Academy


Chelsea Football Club Academy does not hold open trial dates. They have a large scouting network with scouts watching games and tournaments in and around London. This is their main source of recruiting young and talented players. 

Should a player be considered for a trial, the following procedure will apply:

Players between the age of 9 and 18 years are asked to send their CV and a covering letter to the Academy, including the following details:

–           Your name
–           Your age & date of birth
–           Your contact address and telephone number
–           The current club you play for
–           The school you attend
–           The position you play
–           A list of forthcoming fixtures you will be playing in

On receipt of your letter, the recruitment staff will make a decision as to whether a scout will watch your games. If the scout feels that the player has shown potential to play at Academy level, an approach will be made to the manager of your club as well as your parents and you will be invited in for a trial with Chelsea Football Club.

The trial will last for a maximum of six weeks during which time the player will train and play with the current registered players in your age group. During the trial period the player will be monitored by he or she age group coach, the assistant Academy manager, Academy manager and recruitment staff. A decision will be made within three to six weeks whether to sign you as a Chelsea player or release you from your trial and monitor you at your Saturday / Sunday club.








Here We Examine & Evaluate The Effectiveness of The Current Talent identification Programmes Currently Out There  – M1



  • Due to the massive interest and scale of football in the UK and the desire for young males and females to become a professional football player. Talent identification programmes will quite simply be able to pick the best individuals, because the players will believe they are almost there to achieving their goal of turning professional.


  • Football clubs / talent identification programmes usually just examine and judge a player from watching them compete in a match and assess their performance. Rather than assessing them in different criteria such as fitness assessment, if they are psychological ready.


  • Historically most football talent identification will simply judge a players speed by watching them sprint in a match. Not by analysing and conducting fitness tests to determine and monitor their fitness.


  • Talent identification programmes tent to take the views and opinions of scouts when identifying talented individuals. Yet a scout view may be very different to what the programme is actually looking for and it doesn’t make for a top player.


  • A problem especially for talent identification programmes in the UK is that a lot of football clubs are sending scouts out to different European countries such as, Spain, Italy and France to identify talented players and bring them into the academes. This is ultimately taking places up at academes for English players.


  • A lot of football clubs academes tend to release a number of players if they feel they haven’t made the grade. This may turn out to be a poor decision as a player they let go could progress into a successful player. However, more on a personal side it can be devastating for young players to hear they are being released. As it may have been their dream to turn professional and what they have worked so hard for.   



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