Football managers, scouts and coaches from around the world gathered in Liverpool this week to discuss ways of identifying and developing young talent within the sport.
Keynote speakers at the event included Ray Hall, who helped to unearth and develop youth players such as Wayne Rooney, Jack Rodwell and Leon Osman during more than 20 years as head coach at Everton’s academy.
He was joined at The Old Hall in the Cotton Exchange building by former Aston Villa and Leicester City manager Brian Little and Dr Les Parry, a qualified physiotherapist and former manager of Tranmere Rovers.
The conference was organised by Tempus Sports Management and attracted 100 delegates including heads of recruitment, first team coaches, managers, assistant managers and scouts from the Premier League, Championship, Football League and National Leagues.
Ian Seddon, director at Tempus Sports Management, said: “The most successful footballers are not only talented; they are elite athletes with a positive attitude, courage and the confidence to become leaders.
“This conference explored how those responsible for spotting and developing young talent at football clubs can find and nurture the top players of the future.
“There were some excellent insights from our three speakers and a number of lively discussions about issues such as recruiting foreign talent, the growing role of data analysis within the profession and the opportunities to develop players from the lower leagues.
“Liverpool’s credentials as the UK’s football capital is almost beyond dispute and it was the only real choice for this event - the first of its kind not organised by the FA. The number and calibre of delegates gives us great confidence about returning here in the near future for an even larger conference.”
Tony Reed, head of sales at Bruntwood, which owns the Cotton Exchange, said: “The Old Hall has become a recognised and popular venue for all manner of events since it was launched just a few years ago.
“To attract such a high-profile event, with so many well-known speakers and delegates, is testament to the venue’s flexibility and quality and we look forward to welcoming them again soon.”