Too many players are being lost at crucial stages of their development, according to a former Red Devils player, who is trying to help

Former Manchester United striker Febian Brandy is bringing his expertise and know-how to a new app called Skouted, which will level the playing field between the top level of football and those players looking to make it in the professional game.

Skouted will be launched later in April and will provide a platform for players to get noticed, and for clubs and scouts to find the players they seek.

Brandy’s experience at United, where he played for 13 years as a youth and reserve-team player, gives him a unique perspective into the difficulties some players have in making their way in the game having been let go by clubs at crucial stages of their development.

Skouted is a way for those players, who might not have easy contacts at clubs or with scouts, to come to the notice of recruiters and find their way in the professional game.

“I was at Man Utd from the age of eight to 21, 22,” he says.

“I was fortunate to be there for a long period of time but as I was there I developed friendships with players there. They didn’t get contracts, but they didn’t really have the connections to go to another team in a lower league than Man Utd.

“They might not have had the ability to stay at Man Utd but they would have had the ability to go somewhere else and make a career out of football. Then they would think what happens next. Because they didn’t have the connections they would fall out of love with football.”

Users can simply upload their details to the Skouted website or app and immediately start making connections and attracting interested clubs.

“With Skouted they would be able to upload their clips and let other teams see their talent and teams would approach them,” Brandy says.

“You sign up, you create your profile, you can jazz yourself up a bit with it. Once you’ve created the profile the aim of it is to upload your clips and let clubs see you. There’s going to be loads of fun features, there’ll be goal of the month, you can win player of the season, little things like that.”

Clubs using Skouted will have the benefit of seeing players without having to make expensive, and often fruitless, trips to see prospective players in action.

“From a club’s perspective, if they wanted to see a player miles away, they would just use the search bar,” Brandy says.

“The club would be able to see all the videos of that specific player that they put into the criteria bar.

“We are not trying to eliminate the human element of scouts going to watch players. Sometimes you need to see someone on a personal level.

“But it would help clubs save money but get a wider vision of what type of players they can get. It’s to make life easier for clubs getting players and for scouts getting to know players as well.”

When the time came to leave United, Brandy benefitted, however, from his high standing in the game following a stellar youth and reserve career at one of the world’s best teams and under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson and current United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He is quick to recognise, however, that the same is not true for large quantities of players who leave clubs at the end of their contracts.

“I was quite fortunate at Man Utd to have the reputation I had from a young lad growing into a man,” he says.

“I was quite well known in the football industry. When my contract ended at Man Utd I had clubs saying: ‘We’ll take him’.

“There are players who have not been as fortunate as me, who have not had the reputation growing up. For them when the contract’s finished it’s: ‘What now?’

“They don’t know who to contact and there’s no one contacting them. In football when your phone’s not ringing it can be a bit of a nerve-racking experience.”

Brandy has seen many talented players go by the wayside because they did not match up to a club’s expectations at a certain age, despite their potential to eventually go towards a professional career.

“We’re losing a lot [of talent],” he says. “When a player is growing and gets released at the age of 16, he’s not fully developed yet. You see players who are now playing in the Premier League who no one really knew about when they were 16, 17.

“For a player to drop out of the game when they are 15, 16, 17, we’re wasting talent. I’m not saying everyone’s talented [enough] but the talented ones who do get released and have not got anywhere to go.”

Furthermore, Brandy, along with co-founders Keita Orelaja, Raj Sharma and Harjot Singh, hopes to make Skouted the go-to football community app for players at all levels of the game. 

“You can either go from the top into the Skouted world or from the bottom into the Skouted world,” he says.

“From the top level it would be like players who have not got a contract at a pro level and fell out but who want to stay in the game and help themselves get a club.

“From the bottom it’s a platform for players in Sunday leagues and non-leagues who wouldn’t really get the exposure to the teams at the top level. We’re trying to bring the top and the bottom closer together, to bridge that gap.

“We’re trying to make it the home of football for everyone. If you’re a player, if you’re a scout, if you’re someone who just wants to come on and see a player do a nutmeg or a stepover. It’s going to be the platform for the home of football.

“Skouted is a platform that me and my team have created, to bridge the gap between clubs at the elite level to players from grassroots. So, players from all ages – boys and girls – don’t fall through the net and fall out of love with football.

“The football industry has changed massively. There are a lot of things in football that relate to the social side of things. It was a good time to bring something like Skouted to the football industry to connect everyone together. Fans, football clubs, players at all levels, just kind of make it one family.”

Febian Brandy is the co-creator of Skouted – the social network that bridges the gap between aspiring players and clubs, levelling the playing field for the football industry.