Burnley’s Turf Moor and Barnfield Training Centre are closed dur­ing the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, but as the trans­fer mar­ket nev­er sleeps, club scout­ing process­es must go on. Here’s how this Premier League main­stay use Wyscout to con­tin­ue scout­ing oper­a­tions while work­ing remotely.

Burnley FC tech­ni­cal direc­tor Mike Rigg will be the first to tell you that foot­ball nev­er shuts down. Even dur­ing a glob­al pan­dem­ic, Rigg’s duty to lead a team of inter­na­tion­al scouts does not cease as plans for the next trans­fer win­dow and beyond are hatched.

Two key parts of the tech­ni­cal direc­tor role are identifying tal­ent and play­er acqui­si­tion. In terms of tal­ent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, Rigg explains that it is actu­al­ly much more time effi­cient to scout using video than it is to scout live from a venue.

“And you could imag­ine, we want to go see a play­er in Brazil, you can imag­ine the time, the cost and the effort that takes, which nat­u­ral­ly you have to do to get over to see a play­er, which I have done in pre­vi­ous lives,” said Rigg. ​“And I’ve gone over to South America to watch a play­er and he’s got injured in the first five min­utes. So you can imag­ine that kind of chal­lenges that come with watch­ing play­ers. And then you turn up to see a play­er and he’s not quite doing what you want him to do.”

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The solu­tion to the prob­lem is video scout­ing, some­thing that the Burnley scout­ing team have are uti­liz­ing now while work­ing remote­ly and not being able to scout at live match­es due to social dis­tanc­ing pre­cau­tions. Rigg goes on to explain how Wyscout is the key video plat­form for his team’s scout­ing needs.

“We can go and have a look at full games, so here’s all the his­to­ry of Bayern Munich’s full games,” explains Rigg. ​“So their last match against Augsburg, which they won two-nil, we click on this, then obvi­ous­ly it breaks it down.”

With over 270 com­pe­ti­tions cov­ered world­wide, Burnley can scout both local­ly and abroad. ​“We’ve got every­thing from the National League, FA Cup, the Checkatrade Trophy. We’ve even got some footage from the Premier League Under 18s.”

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The Wyscout Scouting Area com­bines scout­ing reports, curat­ed video clips, as well as per­for­mance and career data to pro­vide a 360-degree view on tar­gets to pro­vide evi­dence on poten­tial sign­ings. Rigg goes on to explain this func­tion­al­i­ty in the con­text of his role.

“If I click on teams in the Premier League and click on, to be non-con­tro­ver­sial, if I click on just Burnley, then obvi­ous­ly all our play­ers come up, what they’ve played, where they’ve done and then we can just do some in-depth analy­sis of, say, look at Woody (Burnley strik­er Chris Wood) and then we can look at the analy­sis of the goals that Woody scored,” said Rigg.

“We’re prob­a­bly using this oppor­tu­ni­ty now to do a lot more analy­sis on play­ers that we nor­mal­ly wouldn’t get to see. And we’ve got a team of scouts now that are spend­ing all day work­ing on this.”

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Once upon a time, the role of tech­ni­cal direc­tor was a much more labo­ri­ous task. With no dig­i­tal plat­forms to view and ana­lyze play­er footage and sta­tis­tics, the abil­i­ty to share scout­ing infor­ma­tion was com­plete­ly different.

“You know, this sounds mad, but it wasn’t that many years ago that we didn’t actu­al­ly have a plat­form to look at play­ers with the lev­el of these that we have now,” said Rigg. ​“I remem­ber many years ago in a dif­fer­ent job, in order to see a play­er, if we couldn’t see them live, we had to send off a request to a guy who lived in Bulgaria who man­aged to have good access to video record­ings of play­ers who would then burn onto a DVD and then post it to us. Which would prob­a­bly take a week to 10 days for us to then sit down and ana­lyze the player.”

It’s unknown when the foot­ball world will kick back into gear as nor­mal, but as a scout­ing and recruit­ment depart­ment, Burnley are giv­ing them­selves every chance of being up to speed by using a dig­i­tal scout­ing platform.


Learn more about the Wyscout Scouting Area HERE

Check out our Pro Tips for Remote Scouting arti­cle HERE