Lawrence Appleby has seen his share of football clubs. From scouting for Hereford United FC during their Welsh FA Cup winning year to serving as joint manager at Morepth with ex-Premier player Trev Benjamin, Appleby’s career inside the world of football has been filled with adventure and wisdom.
This season you can find him scouting for a number of lower division clubs. Even with his breadth of experience, he is still faced with his most difficult task-finding the right players at the right price.
For those players who dream to follow in Appleby’s footsteps, he has offered the following advice:
• Start watching games, of all levels, as many times as you can each week
• Watch individual players and watch teams (their formations etc.)
• Learn to take thorough notes. Appleby’s match reports are usually 10 pages long full report on all aspects of opponents, formation, set pieces etc
• In his player reports, he includes height/weight, details on passing, tackling and dribbling. He provides the statistics on number of good passes against bad passes in a game, their coverage of the field, and their position in looking for the ball. However in the end, Appleby finds a good player always stands out.
• Must be able to study the match without being distracted
• When watching players: If you see a good player in a game, watch him play multiple times. Talk to the coach and manager. Then mention the player’s name or stand next to bench and say something like, “They always take short passes.” Eventually, you will make contacts.