Club recruitment system: Anglo-Saxan Chronicle 43


In my role as manager of FC Saxan, I am attempting to develop a systems engineering approach to football management.

In my previous post I identified five pertinent systems involved in managing the club, of which the first was talent acquisition.

There are two ways to acquire new talent: through recruitment and through developing the talents of existing players.

Recruitment entails a set of sub-systems, namely:

  • Discovery
  • Assessment
  • Offers and contracting

Discovery of players is in part a function of scouting (for example, scouting a new territory or competition) in order to add to the player database. It is also a function of previous recruitment: that is, as you bring in players or backroom staff, they broaden your knowledge of players out there. And it’s function too of playing: as you play against a wider range of teams, so your knowledge of players grows.

Discovery of playing talent is also a function of the youth set-up. The Head of Youth Development (or their proxy, if you don’t have a HoYD), backed by a youth recruitment network, discovers kids, some of whom are presented to the club through the annual youth intake.

But players, young or not so young, are not the only kind of talent a club needs to discover. Backroom staff are also a form of talent.

Discovery of staff happens in much the same way as discovery of players, minus the scouting. That is, you can’t set scouts to search for backroom staff (though I don’t understand why not): but the other discovery methods – bringing new people in, playing on weir stages – broadens club knowledge of staff. And even though you can’t detail staff to look for staff, they do seem to uncover staff wherever they go.

So discovery (D) is a function of scouting (Sc), previous recruitment (PrR), playing (Pl), and youth recruitment (YR):

D f (Sc, PrR, Pl, YR)

I’m hoping my theorising on the whiteboard in my office is making me look like a real boffin.