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Advice needed re Children's football

edited June 2011 in Troubleshooting
My son who is 6 was asked to play in an under 7 tournament today and after they had won it I had 2 academy scouts from Arsenal and Chelsea ask me to see if Alfie would like to train with them!! Has anyone had any experience with scouts from prem teams?? Is it worth it?


  • Not got anything to offer to help you I'm afraid but well done mate even hearing that must make you proud as punch
  • crayford arrows tournament ? I would be interested to know whether they were aware of scouts being there ? As I'm led to beleive they have to notify the club they are on the premises. 
  • Try a phone call to Paul Hart ? ;0) seriously though, well done to your son. Long and hard road but what an opportunity. Good luck. Sorry no practical advice.
  • Get him an agent and take them for every penny you can.
  • you cant win a under 7's tournament, non competitive
  • If you go to a pro club you will see that the kids are treated like pieces of meat they will disregard you without a second thought. If i could give you one piece of advice let your boy enjoy his football if he's good enough let him go when he is a bit older. My boy was let go by Charlton you tell your boy that the club he has supported all his life doesn't want him anymore.
  • you cant win a under 7's tournament, non competitive

    I know Steve I meant they won the league they were in! It was at Teviot in plumstead
  • What fatrob said mate.....

    Let him enjoy it, if he is good enough when he's 13 he WILL NOT miss the boat.

    Lots and lots of strain on family life specially getting to cobham or east London twice a week let me tell you!!!!

    Up to u though pal.
  • Personally I would check their credentiails first. As NSS says very strict rules on that sort of thing at such a young age...

    But assuming its legit I would say give it a try but don't commit until you are sure.

    And I'll ring someone at Charlton if you want me to.
  • scouts watching 7 year olds??

    you gotta let the lad stay where he is if he's enjoying his football. last thing you wanna do is taking away from a friendly enjoyable environment and he stops playing all together.

    when he's 13/14 and someone comes in for him...thats when to think about taking the offer.
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  • Are they going to charge you a fee each week to let him train?
  • Fatrob, has put a decent slant on youth football. I've been involved with numerous teams since the mid-seventies. My last involvement being with my Grandsons team. I have had, and still have dealings with scouts from all over the country, including our own club. Generally, they trawl youngsters and build up their expectations to a level that is far beyond the young players true ability. There was some succeses-one played for Man Utd, others played non-league, and one is currently part of Fulhams Youth set up, but, none were picked up until their teens.

    They have been far outweighed by the number jettisoned, and have had their confidence destroyed. Therefore, my advise is be patient, don't worry, if your boy is as good as they are intermating, there's plenty of time, and they will come back.

     Incidently, we have applied this patient approach to my grandson, who was watched regularly. He is now 16, and is about to enter an Academy, having had years of enjoyment, plus success with his club, and has developed into very strong player.  

  • edited June 2011
    My son was spotted by Spurs during a mini tournament a few years back - wont do any harm to go and have a look but I can testify that they have so many kids and the quality of coaching isn't better than what you will probably have available locally for your sons age. They play a numbers game -catch a thousand fish and one might be a salmon. My son now does something linked to Norwich City in collaboration with the local university - gets much better coaching  IMO and definately more attention- he also does brazillian soccer schools who are very anti academies and what they do I think is brilliant. I'd say try it but always compare with the other alternatives- realise that the odds are against yours or my kid making it- don't get starstruck and ensure the coaching he is getting is the best he can get - then maybe it could happen. Best of luck.
  • edited June 2011
    And very importantly, make sure he is enjoying it - don't push him - so many kids rebel if the pressure is too great too young. I think a kid enetring an academy at 15 or 16 like the post above is pretty much the best way it can happen.
  • Tel


    Steer clear for a while mate keep him where he is dont let him even know. I have had 3 prem clubs and 2 championship 1 now 3rd division club aswell (wonder who they are) take a total of 9 boys from my club all but 2 have had their hearts broken before they even turned 9.


    the set ups are great, the coaching is top draw 9 times out of 10 but it is the heartless business like manor that a kid that young will struggle to take.


    leave Alfie play and enjoy playing for his club with his mates you will know when the time is right for you to look at anything further.



    and if one of them was chelsea then run a bloody mile

  • Tel i know the Chelsea scout his son played in my team lovely bloke but as i said before let him enjoy it.
  • from what ive seen u need to be six foot have an eight pack 
  • Thanks fellas for all the advice!

    The Chelsea scout basicly said just come for a nights training and see? He said at Alfies age he would never pull a player away from the team he is with.

    At the moment Alfie is loving playing football with his pals and I would never take that away from him!

    He went on a Charlton challenge course last week and won the overall player of the week trophy and I was told that sooner or later scouts would be sniffing around I just didnt know it would be as soon as the next day!!!!

    For Alfie who is only 6 playing in an under 7 team and more then holding his own and then being asked to play in another compertition next saturday is a complement by its self.

    I've known Fatrob,NLA and CPL for at least 20 years and I know you have all been involved with Boys football so I will take your advice fellas.

    I hope in 7 or 8 years time when Alfie is 14/15 the same scouts will ask again!

  • Personally I would check their credentiails first. As NSS says very strict rules on that sort of thing at such a young age...

    But assuming its legit I would say give it a try but don't commit until you are sure.

    And I'll ring someone at Charlton if you want me to.

    If you could Henry?

    I have the fellas card, so it does look OK?


  • Terry, inbox me your contact details, team details and the competition next week and I do what I can.

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  • It's always fooking chelsea they drive me nutts,

    Tel avoid them mate alfie will get picked up in a few yrs if he maintains the required standard . At this age some boys are head and shoulders above others but they learn at different stages , a proper baller will never ever stop learning and developing it is what will separate him from others,

    You will know

    for now jumpers for goalposts is all he needs

    Not some prem club that will make football more serious than he needs

    Goodluck mate
  • Cheers D
  • I'm sure you can get the picture from some very informed postings here. I am aware that they pack in a lot of youngsters and then wait to see who survives. In the meantime someone has to get him there every week. I was told this weekend ( only hearsay ) about a 13 year old who is being approached by several London Premiership Clubs who are already talking money !

    With the arrival of Paul Hart, if I were you I would have an informal chat with Charlton before you do anything else. Good luck.

  • My son was at the CAFC Academy between 2000 and 2002. He was let go at aged 16. During the two years I got to know many parents of players at the 'big' clubs - they were all disillusioned. If you're going to go anywhere wait until your lad is at least 12 and then get along to CAFC...........they really are terrific
  • Although you shouldn't push him, I would suggest that you at least allow him to go allong for a few sessions with these clubs (it will give him a massive boost in confidence, which could help him develop further. As for the "wait until he is 14 thing", I do agree with that in principle, however its not always that simple. Many friends of mine were asked to join youth teams when they were 9/10 and there parents rejected it saying they would come back when they were 15 etc...but it never happened, and now they often wonder "what if?"

    Football clubs want players younger and younger (although, 6 is very young) as it means they can develop them and mould them into better players while they develop. And just because he is playing for a club, it does not mean he wont enjoy his football...

    If i was you, I would allow him to go to some training sessions, see how he enjoys it, and go from there...

    Good luck to the lad

  • Really is a double edged sword  being picked up at this age Terry!.
    When the clubs come calling it takes a brave parent to say no, but at this age it seems to end in dissapointment!, and I knew quite a few!
    Been a few years since I was involved with this, and Charlton had a very good set up!. 
    So you have no need to look any further have you!.
    Let the lad enjoy his football, try and resist the temptation at present, plenty of time to play at district and county level at school and there are some good clubs already 
    mentioned on here who can advise. I used to love my lads playing in football tournaments, and we had some great family times, both socially and in competitive terms!
  • Thanks fellas!!

    I'm going to take him tonight to the Chelsea Acadamy as its the last session until September.

    At the end of the day Im not pushing Alfie into anything he wouldn't want to do and I know at 6 he is far to young to know what is going on saying that he did say would he be playing with Drogba and Anelka?

    At the moment he plays for a cracking team and has a superb manager who is a Charlton coach and he has already said what will happen as he could see that Alfie had a lot going for him, so we have taken everything on board.

    Henry I'm about to send you my details.

  • good luck mate


    hope it goes well

  • Oh, and by the way, WTF is that profile picture about you unshaven git!!!!
  • LOL

    Charity day at my work!

    Everyone goes in fancy dress I went as Alan in the hangover my beard was the only thing that was real!!!

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