#TDEU101 is a guide we came up with after hearing both good and the bad from coaches, players and teams. It's designed to be a helpful tool for everyone - domestic and import coaches and players, as well as organizations who are looking to hire coaches and players.
#TDEU101: Is The Work Really Done Once The Season Is Over?
Summary: In this article coaches and players who are looking to sign with a different team can find useful info on how to put their name out there, as well as how to collect valuable contacts and avoid being overlooked. This is just an introductory article. More details will be covered in the upcoming ones.
So your season is coming to an end or its already done. This is when the actual YOU work begins. Throughout the season you've been helping your team on and off the field, and now, it's time to give yourself some promotion. There's nothing wrong with that. And, if you think your highlight will speak for itself, and, that it will come into the right hands by just sharing it on Facebook - you're dead wrong.
"The first thing I do is I make sure I have my highlight video organized. I feel like that's the most important thing so the teams can see your progress. You can give all the stats and say what you did - but, the proof is in the pudding. I made a document where I labeled all top teams per each country, I had HC names and their e-mails, so I would message them. I try to be as detailed as possible. Then it's just cleaning up your page. My former team gave a great recommendation for me before I signed where they said I'm a very smart player among other things.
It's funny that nowadays a lot of the teams are not signing players via football sites that were meant for that, but they have imports/coaches scout for them, or come in via recommendations." says Brian Casey, import player/coach.
Most teams who take their organization seriously start re-signing or looking for new coaches and players as soon as the season is over. Give or take one month. Let's say September is the time when it starts getting busy for most. That's when teams start briefly looking at coaches and players before serious negotiations begin.
Whether it would be your first season as an "import" or not - you need to be on top of your game if you want to pursue a team that is on a higher level than the one you already played for. Remember, teams will talk to your former teammates, your former team, and anyone else they find who might know you in the football community. At least that's what your future team is supposed to do.
"I start with talks with my old team and see what interest they have in me returning, then I start by putting a list together of pros and cons about my old team." - says George Robinson, dual-passport import player.
Nowadays, since there's a lot more imports and eu players looking for new teams - the "offer" is not as high as the demand. There are just not that many teams out there, especially not the ones that will actually provide everything they promised during the negotiations. But, that's a story for the next round of #TDEU101.
You want to start making new friends. Connect with fellow players and coaches. They are all out there on Facebook. Ask around which would be good teams that will fit you and your level of skills.
Start making a list of teams where you could fit. Ask around. See who had a good experience with which team. Don't get discouraged if they're not looking for your position. If you're a dual passport - your chances are higher than anyone elses.
Is there some damage control that needs to be done? If you and your former team did not go in different directions peacefully, that's definitely something you should mention to teams you're starting serious negotiations with. If it was something you've done - be honest about it. Do not try covering it up. As long as you have learned from your mistake(s) - make sure to address the issue in a well-mannered way. No team wants to deal with any type of drama coming from someone they are ready to spend some money on.
Once you have your highlight ready to go, start getting recommendations from coaches on your (former) team as well as from coaches who are with the teams you played against. Have them analyze your on-field work. It's always good to see recommendations where someone actually put their time into.
"I start looking before my season is done to get a head start on the process, and I really just get a message ready with all my info up to date and express interest in playing for certain teams, being that I'm a small college player no one knows me or has even heard of my school, so I found it best just to mass message teams until I get a bite from another team. It's really hard for us small school guys." - says Oscar Vasquez-Dyer
Have you been a part of any media campaigns, school presentations etc.? Have couple photos ready, or links to some of the footage. Most teams will go for your personality as well. Teams are getting tired of players who would come in and just show up for practice and games. If you have a great charisma - don't be scared to show it.
You want to make sure people will remember you. There is no need to be super-professional, be respectful. Throw in a joke or two. Seize the moment. Because, in most cases, if teams have 5 different highlights - and they're not sure which one to pick, they will go for the player they feel they clicked with the most.
- Good Highlight(s)
- Good preparation before contacting teams, get some homework done on them before talking to them.
And most importantly, do not sound cocky or desperate. Show interest and don't give one word answers. Don't expect anyone to "hook you up" with a team, but ask for guidance from more experienced coaches and players.
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