Scouting in Africa

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Africa

      Football is a fascinating language that is able to connect everybody from around the world, it doesn’t matter your breed or creed it’s a passion that creates common ground for millions of people. This simple and easy-to-understand language is formed by 22 individuals that kick a round-shaped object inside a rectangle-shaped object within a limited time frame. The simplicity of this concept is why so many people are able to love this game from rich to poor, young and old. This game amazes me as it answers the most complex question. How do we bring unity to a world full of diversity? Scouting in Africa is very different from Europe, Asia, and even some parts of America because this sport in Africa is a light to those that live in a type of hardship that we are not able to comprehend that some people in Africa have no blueprint to change their future. There was a man I was fortunate to have worked with and called a friend, Mandla Muzibuko who passed away last year he always said to me; in Africa, we must not look for the good players we must look for good people, don’t look for the ones trying to change their own life try to look for the players that are trying to change the lives of others. That statement has never left me, it's truly powerful because if you think of the individuals like Samual Eto, Sadio Mane, and Didier Drogba these men are regarded as heroes and not superstars. These legends improved their hometowns or countries and managed to shine a light of hope for those that are looking to change their destinies. These men had one essential trait in common: they shared the ability to provide belief in a continent that promotes survival over thriving and people around the world adored them for this beautiful quality. Simply put, I have a tremendous amount of pressure as a scout to discover players that bring hope with them every time they play football. When I started scouting I always asked one question to the coaches and scouts that I met; what is the one thing that you look for in a player? The answers always seem to be different with the common answer being hard work beats talent, which is very generic and lost on people that work hard in the wrong direction. So I asked myself this question the other day, what is the one thing I always find myself looking for when scouting for a player? When I reflected on this question it was fairly easy to answer keeping in mind the advice that I had been given from my late friend; it is easy to spot a great player in a match but it’s incredibly difficult to spot the player who makes everyone else look great. Look for an individual that has the ability to direct light onto others and you will find the best type of footballer that there is. Out of all the rare and precious elements we have in Africa, hope is the rarest and most precious of them all, football means hope which is the reason football is powerful beyond measure.


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