01|04 PRESEASON: A LOOK AT SCOUTING

seasonOne.episodeFour| Preseason

Setting up a good scouting network is something I seldom see other managers do, yet it is one of the key activities I believe we have as football managers if you are to naturally progress. You should always strive for a better squad and better staff.

We have four Scouts at Parma, a Chief Scout, and two Data Analysts. First things first, I ask Daniele to place an advert for a Chief Data Analyst and another scout. Our entire scouting team are from Italy so I will see if we can get someone from outside of our borders to help with our coverage.

Looking at the players at my disposal, it is clear that I will need to strengthen if we are to challenge for promotion and get back into Serie A. To do that, I was going to need to review our current scouting assignments and refocus our attention.

After speaking with Enrico Dalè, my Chief Scout, we set a series of short-term focusses. Having reviewed the squad available to me, including the youth teams, it is clear we don’t have the depth at the club to survive a full season. The defensive areas are seriously lacking cover. The scouting team were just set up to run general scouting across Italy, that will be put on hold for now. Moreover, we could perhaps do with an extra body to play the attacking midfield role, should Insigne need cover.

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We have some good defenders at the club, but we don’t have enough to last a full season. It only takes a couple of knocks and it’ll really affect us. I need some additional cover here so I have asked the team to look for Central Defenders. Moreover, cover on the defensive flanks is poor. We will be out searching for players who can come into the team and rotate in with our current options. I have recalled Garufo to the first team and removed him from the transfer list. He will get a chance to impress over pre-season.

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Due to the precarious financial position at the club, we are restricted in terms of scouting budgets. I have temporarily cancelled the youth scouting packages which were costing us  £2,000 per month. We currently pay £3,000 per month for scouting the leagues around us.

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I may look at increasing the senior package for the duration of pre-season to give us better coverage if the short-term scouting assignments don’t highlight any players. We don’t have great options for scouting at the moment, and the restrictions on being forbidden to sign non-EU players from abroad will mean that we cannot yet scout Argentina and Brazil for some hidden talent. I may well take a look over in Eastern Europe to see what we can find.

A quick glance at the free transfer lists reveals some interesting names. I immediately deploy my scouts to take a look at Alessandro Diamanti. An ageing Advanced Playmaker but with a great first touch and wonderful technique, he could add some real flair to open up teams. Not to mention he has a great long shot.

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Although injury prone, I also deploy my scouts to take a look at Guiseppe Rossi to let me have their thoughts. He won’t be available until December, but he is someone we could keep an eye on for a possible January transfer

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The end goal is to have a self-sufficient club thriving on our own youth prospects, but unfortunately, I think that is a pipe dream for now. While we do have some good youth prospects, they are too raw to be used right now.

We have £146k in the scouting budget, which allows me a transfer spend of up to £2.2m for new players. We will see what we can do in terms of sales as there are a few players surplus to requirements, given their prefered roles not being suitable for the system I want to use here. Once I’ve assessed the squad when they return from holiday I’ll speak with Daniele and see who we no longer need in other areas.

Until next time, arrivederci.

O.Jensen

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