We outlined how Managers build their squads in the first Insight and now we look at what they will want to know when considering new players. How can you best present yourself when the right opportunity turns up? There is no single answer, as all managers are different, but the more relevant information you can provide about your playing ability and personality strengths, the better.
Building a Profile
The women’s game is becoming more professional, which means that every player wishing to influence her career path should build a player profile. And take the time necessary to keep it up-to-date. Players need to ensure they profile themselves in a compelling and concise way, providing all the key pieces of information that a manager or recruiter will want to see. The aim is simply to enhance your chances of being seen, and subsequently signed.
A good profile document will include the following:
A good hook sentence at the beginning will attract a manager’s interest and encourage him or her to read on. There then needs to be a short opening statement about you, including what experience you have, and what positions you can play. It’s worth mentioning your preferred kicking foot here - and if you are good with both feet it will show that you are a versatile player.
Remember to keep the wording short and to the point. Less is always more!
The prime objective in this section is to describe which clubs you have been with, and the level of coaching you have received. Your history will show if you are a player who stays with one team; whether you have a range of experiences at different locations, and if you are open to new opportunities.
It is important to highlight your playing level and to name all, or some of the coaches you have been coached by - it will help benchmark you against others. You should mention any notable achievements in this section also.
This is all about demonstrating your suitability for selection, so it is important you list accurate statistics that are up-to-date. Managers will have specific requirements for each playing position and the metrics they are looking for, and will assess you against these. So make sure you list all the relevant ones, starting with the most important. Be sure to give specific information from actual results.
The key factor here is that measurements of performance are common criteria for assessing all players – current and future. They will include:
- Speed / Distance / Timing
- Agility / Distance / Timing
- Change of Direction
- Aerobic Endurance
- Anaerobic Endurance
- Strength and Power
- Skill – Technical
The information you provide here can demonstrate that you understand the value of looking after your well-being. It is important because it informs managers that you are disciplined away from the game. Things to mention here are specifics on:
- Your nutritional intake, and the choices you make to help enhance good health
- Extra fitness routines you do, such as extra running or weight training
- Other activities such as yoga, pilates or swimming
What you do in your spare time will show what type of personality you have, and might be a factor a manager will consider in assessing your fit into their team’s culture.
A short footballing highlights video is a great way to showcase your skills and ability! This is now common practice; when you make a highlights video it should include:
- Introduction: your name, and position(s) you play
- Clips: a selection of clips showing you performing various aspects of your position. These should be short and well-edited for clarity
- Music: (optional) choose as background only, so it doesn’t detract from your highlights
Data Science and the Future
Most elite football clubs will have some form of data-driven player analysis to help managers assess and improve players’ physical, mental and technical performance.
This usually comprises of assessment and statistics to help:
- Develop existing players
- Identify future opponents’ weaknesses
- Assess new potential signings
Data science for performance analysis is growing in importance in women’s football and you will have probably experienced some form of this already through observation, video or wearing a tracking device.
To give yourself the best chance of getting signed, you will need to understand the technical and tactical demands required in elite football so that you can prepare and practise and be ready to perform well on assessment days.
A player’s profile is an essential part of the tool kit and how you are ‘packaged’ could have a huge impact on the direction of your career when presenting yourself to a new manager.
If your profile looks professional and is concise and compelling, it will say much about you as a player and person. By investing time in preparing a good profile you will show a manager that you are keen to progress within the game. And that you respect the recruitment process by including all the essential information they need to help them make an informed decision.
Keeping your profile up-to-date for key times in the season will help you be ready for the opportunities when they occur.