“Let your talent define you.”
This is a phrase that aspiring footballers will soon hear frequently if Febian Brandy, the 30-year-old striker who came through the ranks at Manchester United, succeeds with his exciting new project.
Keen to ensure fewer talented youngsters slip through the net, lost to the sport forever, Brandy is part of a team poised to launch a brand new app with the intention of helping the next generation realise their dreams of playing professional - or even semi-professional - football.
“I realised there was a massive gap between players and clubs,” Brandy, who has devoted his time to working on the soon-to-be-launched ‘Skouted’ app since leaving Ebbsfleet in 2017, tells GIVEMESPORT.
“There’s so much talent out there and there’s just not enough eyes or time in the day to see everyone, which means players fall through the net.”
Brandy spent a total of 13 years with United and witnessed a host of promising youngsters fall by the wayside because clubs at lower levels weren’t aware of their talents.
“Some that got released had the ability to go to a lesser club than United - a Blackburn or a Burnley - but didn’t have the connections,” Brandy continues.
“Because they didn’t have those connections they slipped through the net, fell out of love with football and ended up doing something else.
“If Skouted was around, they could upload their clips to it and then a team like Blackburn or a Bury could see these players.”
Once players sign up to the Skouted app - described as ‘LinkedIn for football’ by Brandy’s co-founder Keita Orelaja - they fill out a detailed form which provides scouts and clubs with information about their attributes including age, location, height, position and top three traits.
After that stage is completed, players are then invited to upload a main highlights video, as well as any supporting video in different categories, such as defensive clips or set-piece clips.
Those registered with Skouted can also catch the eye of scouts and clubs by winning the app’s Goal of the Month and Player of the Month competitions.
It will be available for players of all ages and at all levels - not just those released by Premier League academies - and even includes a handy 5-a-side feature for those frequent occasions when you need someone for your local league at short notice.
The concept has already been backed by several high-profile current and former players, including Jay Rodriguez and Rio Ferdinand, although Brandy and Orelaja are quick to point out that not every talented footballer on the app will end up becoming a multi-millionaire Premier League star.
“It allows you to play at the highest level that your talent will allow you,” Orelaja adds. “For some people that will be a Premier League academy. But for some 16, 17-year-olds, that might be a first team at a non-league club, where they’re getting a little bit of money weekly and that’s great for them.
“It bridges that gap so you can now be seen by a wider array of clubs and your talent will define where you land.
“You cut out all the jargon and it literally comes down to your talent - how talented you are and what level your talent will allow you to play. You can be 22, 23, 24 and people are like ‘it’s too late’ - and it might be too late *now* because of how the system works in regards to how you get seen by these people, but if you’re now on a platform where people can see you and be like ‘wow, this is a really impressive player!’ then of course it’s not too late.”
This is an app with the potential to unearth not only the next Wayne Rooney but also the next Jamie Vardy.
It’s an innovative idea and one that Brandy hopes will ultimately help raise the standards of football in England - and beyond - as a whole.
“It could help the development of English football,” he concludes. “A player could upload their clips and you never know where it might take them.”
Indeed, give it a few years and the stars of tomorrow may look back and thank Skouted for changing their lives.
Skouted.co.uk - Sign up and you never know, you could be the next big thing!
They are currently running a competition where you can win tickets to watch England v Czech Republic in the UEFA European qualifiers. Information is on their Instagram @skouted_uk.News Now - Sport News