One of the most frequent questions our community members ask is, how can I get a professional or semi-professional football trial?
Although there is no definitive answer to this, we’ve helped enough player and attended enough trials over the years to have a good idea of some of the best practices to increase your chances of making it.
Below you will find a list of trial resources, from trial nutrition, to improving your chances of getting a trial.
What is a football trial?
We’ll start with the basics and explain what a football trial is and why professional, semi professional and amateur clubs use them.
Football trial and talent days are becoming a lot more rare, as professional clubs tend to opt for a larger scouting network for talent identification. These scouts have great relationship with local grassroots coaches and schools so are able to build a database of players with potential.
This is why you will not really see top clubs holding open trials, leading to players having to be a bit more creative in looking for trials and opportunities.
Selected for trial…what next?
The majority of trials take place over a 2-6 week period, in which the player will attend training and play in matches. During this period the coaches will assess the player across all areas of football development, but generally looking into the technical, tactical, physical and even personality traits.
Let’s be honest, all a manager wants to see is CAN YOU HELP HIS or HER TEAM, can you immediately or at least over the short term impact and help his or her team. This is what a coach or manager first looks at. Secondly they will assess that if your not quite ready now! can you have an impact in the medium to longer term, (i.e. are you worth sticking with and waiting for you to come good).
The trial process is different from Pro to semi-professional football teams. At semi pro level players are often invited to train and play in matches being assessed over a shorter period of time by the manager and coaching staff. SO BE READY TO HAVE AN IMPACT!
These sessions will usually take place in the evening, at anti sociable hours and often involve travel and financial outlay on; trains, buses, petrol. Also, plan your time, this needs to fit round work, college, university or any other commitments (even relationships). All these things need to be taken into consideration, a player cannot be securing a trial, but then not turning up, or arriving late.
Planning and preparation is everything.