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Selecting a team

01.16.2016

Within the training camps (I wrote about training camps in the first blog) a coach is trying to bring his team into balance. Bringing a team into balance means that you are selecting the qualities that the coach thinks he needs to create a good team.

What is a coach looking for in his team?

Every coach is different in selecting the qualities that he needs for creating a strong team. The first important thing of course is what kind of budget the coach has to work with. A budget without limits makes it easier to select the players that the coach wants and likes. A limited budget will make the coach more creative in selecting the players that he wants. The second important thing is what kind of style the coach would like to play (Attacking or defending) and what kind of system (1:4:3:3 or 1:4:4:2 etc.) he would like to play with the selected players.

When these decisions are made the coach will start with making an inventory of the players that are still with the team and those that he will select to stay in the team. From their he will start building the team; how many right or left footed players, defensive positions (how many?), type of midfielders needed?, average age of the players? What type of attackers he wants (wingers, strong center forward)? , Players with the right character and on which positions the coach would like them?, leaders on the field? For development (long term) or for direct success (short term).

These are just some of the questions the coach will ask himself in creating a team.

How to select these players? How will decide which players to sign?

The players that will be invited will be selected by the head coach, scouting department, sport director and in some clubs the president of the club. Is this ideal? Not always, if there is not a clear line of communication and decision-making this will cause some problems in understanding each other. The best is of course before the coach has signed a contract to explain him the lines of communication within the club, the way of selecting the players and the style that the club would like to identify itself with. In some of the clubs the coach decides (this can mean that when the coach changes the players will change) but when the coach knows the philosophy of the club he will work with the players that are selected for him but from his recommendations. In the last example it means that the club management is involved in the decision-making and that means that the players are selected and supported by all members of the management. This will fore comes problems when the coach is leaving at the end of his contract or earlier. The players are there to stay because they were selected but also supported by the management of the club.

If you apply this also to youth football it means that the youth scouting department has to deliver candidates for the academy and that the coach and academy director will decide about which player to select. The final decision will always be made by the academy director.

Evaluation of the team

During the season the head coach and his staff have to evaluate the team after every match but also the input of every individual player. Some of the players will make progress under the coach but some of them maybe not. This will be points of attention for the scouting department and management to prepare for the next transfer window.

In all teams you have players that are not making progress and this is a normal situation if you want to replace. The level of the team is improving and the players that don’t make the right progress have the chance to be replaced by other players from within the team or from outside of the team.

Scouting players and selecting them for your team is an ongoing process and when it is done correct in a period of 2-3 years you will have selected a group of players that can play together for a few years. This will be the group that can give the club some success in all the competitions that they will participate in.

Having success means that the team is in balance because you have found the right combination of all qualities needed in football.

by Sportsdirector on 04/02/2015 in Blog, first team