95% Need Not Apply
95% Need not apply - Pitch website
When I first launched Pitch as a website I had a vision of helping players by tracking their actual data and metrics but also making it fair, equitable and realistic for players to showcase their talent. I wanted to help those few players that may have a good chance of making it back to the professional game, the small 5%. But the questions of ‘what do aspiring players really want?’ also coalesced with another fascinating question for me, which was ‘what do football scouts actually desire or want too?’. The journey is only 2 years on so far and the website started off with a grand total of 25 users from a hard launch with the BBC. I knew I had a long journey and a lot of hard work to put in! After one-year Pitch had around 100 users including scouts, coaches and players. I am very pleased to say that after 2.5 years we now have around 600 users on the website (500 players, 40 coaches and around 40 scouts). So, it’s been a brilliant journey learning about the industry and the numbers seem to prove that the concept may have some legs. But admittedly I think its still in its infancy, I mean after all it takes 10 years to be an over night success!
The journey of passion.
Because of my passion to help released players get more eyes on their talent I went on a journey to learn more and to speak to some of the most experienced scouts in the industry. I have been very fortunate to talk to some amazing, knowledgeable, highly experienced and professional scouts such as Mark Anderson (highly experienced scout at many clubs), Ged Searson of S4Recruitment (fantastic provider of scouting educational workshops! I would 100% recommend these to aspiring scouts) to more recently Josh Potter of Sheffield Wednesday and many more like Barry Faust of ‘The Scouting Network’ (a brilliant network for scouts and football related professionals)! This journey has taught me so much, but I am so thankful for the time, the conversation and collaboration with so many that I have reached out to. Well, all of these conversations have led me to the position now, where we have made a number of changes to Pitch as a result of listening to scouts, coaches and released players.
So, what are the changes?
We have essentially made the website more interactive after listening to our users. So what are the changes I hear you cry, well here they are in order:
1. For example, aspiring football players can now get endorsed by other scouts and players for their talents on and off the pitch. This really helps players that have been released to have professional scouts and coaches’ commendations, which also is something other scouts and coaches like to see. The sharing of good practice and discussion about a player’s attributes.
2. We have also created a validation process, where players test scores can be validated by other scouts and coaches on the system. This means that if a player can actually sprint 20m in under 2 seconds and an industry professional has observed this at academy or club level then the scouts or coaches can validate the score. This is a verification process that allows other scouts to know and trust in the data of the player.
3. A new and improved video upload system where players can upload their game footage for scouts and coaches to see.
4. The system now also has a new and improved notification centre where you can see who has looked on your profile as a player, scout or coach. Check out more at www.pitchrmt.com
The future and call to action.
We have a lot of new and interesting developments for the website coming up. For example, we have been running research / surveys with scouts and we will be running an online free webinar in the new year to discuss the results of the survey (77 professional scouts have responded so far, which is amazing and has helped us to learn so much about the industry). If you are interested in attending this online free webinar, please do send an email expressing your interest to email@example.com
We also will be looking at how we can pay our scouts on the website for a fair and equitable price based on experience, education, club or team worked at and a lot more). But this is an ongoing discussion, that is absolutely fascinating, so please do keep up to date with these blog posts and please do make a free scout or coach profile on Pitch to learn more (www.pitchrmt.com).