Monday, November 23, 2015

Steve Jones Scouting Report from "The Nowhere Men" and comparing basic data from Colchester United 2011-2012 season

I been reading the book - The Nowhere Men - The Unknown Story of Football's True Talent Spotters by Michael Calvin - A good book that I would recommend, that gives you a great insight on Football Scouting in England. It talks in chapter 6 about scouting a game for Colchester United so I thought I compare the report with basic statistics I produced for the club that season. I might take goal, assists and shot detail for the club that season to get more insight.

Steve Jones scouting analysis of Colchester United 2011-2012 starting eleven from English League One

Colchester United finished 10th with a 13-20-13 record

Non bold information taken directly from the books Chapter 6 - Mileage Men
Final 2011-2012 league one statistics with Colchester United from my data in Bold

1 Ben Williams Age: 29 Height: 183cm / 6’ 0"
Position: GK Rating: C Foot: Right
Not the biggest. Kicks well hands and floor. Comes for crosses. Wasn’t tested enough.
2011-2012            36 games, 3240 minutes, 1 yellow                                                

20 Brian Wilson Age: 28 Height: 178cm / 5’ 10"
Position: RB Rating: D Foot: Right
Didn’t want to join in. Stood off marker. Over-covered, and allowed play to get in behind him. Lacked pace. Weakest full back.
2011-2012            46 games, 4127 minutes, 3 assists, 5 shots on target, 5 yellows                 

4 Magnus Okuonghae Age: 26 Height: 189cm / 6’ 2"
Position: CH Right Side Rating: C Foot: Right
Big, strong, athletic. Competes well in the air. Good upper body strength. Strongest CH. Threat both boxes.
2011-2012            42 games, 3705 minutes, 4 shots on target, 8 yellows, 1 red                                       

18 Tom Eastman Age: 20 Height: 191cm / 6’ 3"
Position: CH Left side Rating: D Foot: Right
Weakest CH. Competes well in the air. Got pinned, rolled and moved about too easily. Lacks recovery pace. Threat both boxes.
2011-2012            25 games, 2157 minutes, 3 goals, 4 shots on target, 2 yellows                   

25 John White Age: 25 Height: 182cm / 6’ 0"
Position: LB Rating: C Foot: Left
Sat in rarely got on. Long throw final third. Got caught with pace down the side of him. Experienced at this level.
2011-2012            26 games, 1998 minutes, 3 shots on target, 1 yellow                              

16 Ian Henderson Age: 27 Height: 179cm / 5’ 10"
Position: RM Rating: D Foot: Right
Poor game. Didn’t get around marker. Played out/in. Can play better.
2011-2012            46 games, 3905 minutes, 9 goals, 3 assists, 35 shots on target, 8 yellows       

10 Kemal Izzet Age: 31 Height: 173cm / 5’ 8"
Position: Holding Mid Rating: C Foot: Right
Busy. Tenacious. Holder. Lacks presence. Moves the ball sideways.
2011-2012            34 games, 2421 minutes, 1 assist, 4 shots on target, 7 yellows                  

17 Martin Rowlands Age: 33 Height: 175cm / 5’ 9"
Position: CM attacking Rating: C Foot: Right
Experienced. Tenacious. Sees a pass. Patient. Disciplined in role.
2011-2012            9 games, 554 minutes, 2 goals, 1 assist, 2 shots on target, 1 yellow            

22 Anthony Wordsworth Age: 23 Height: 185cm / 6’ 1"
Position: LM Rating: C Foot: Left
Good size. Good range. Can be a threat if in the mood. Lacks pace. Plays out/in. Quite happy to play at this level. Good left foot.
2011-2012            44 games, 3863 minutes, 13 goals, 5 assists, 51 shots on target, 9 yellows      

9 Steven Gillespie Age: 26 Height: 175cm / 5’ 9"
Position: CF Rating: B Foot: Right
Good work ethic. Chased lost causes. Worked there [sic] back four. Gambles off well. Decent in the channels.
2011-2012            33 games, 1878 minutes, 11 goals, 5 assists, 28 shots on target, 6 yellows      

15 Kayode Odejayi Age: 30 Height: 190cm / 6’ 3"
Position: CF Rating: D Foot: Right
Target. Nothing sticks. Poor technically. Poor when back to goal. Strong, athletic. Lacks mobility.
2011-2012            43 games, 3118 minutes, 4 goals, 6 assists, 13 shots on target, 4 yellows       

Thursday, November 13, 2014

2014 NASL Prospect Handbook

Click on above title to view book

The third part of my 2014 North American Soccer Prospect Handbooks after producing the 2015 Top 100 MLS Homegrown Signings and Draft Prospects. The 2014 Top 50 USL Pro Prospects including top 25 players currently under MLS contracts in USL Pro. This handbook covers the 2014 NASL Top 25 prospects who I feel are the most ready for MLS.

I covered the second and third tier of American soccer since 2004 but have had a relationship with the league 10 years earlier. I also wrote articles on the top via and included some relating to NASL within this handbook. I also added the final statistics and depth chart for all 2014 NASL clubs to further evaluate the players in my list as well as giving a complete perspective of the league.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A tribute to my Grandfather

The Doctor says my Grandfather might die tonight. He is 86 has pneumonia currently sedated and on oxygen. Although I think he get a kick out of me posting this well he's still alive.

From Maclean's - June 10 - 2002

Richard Nielsen is no stranger to conflict. It has dogged the native of Plaster Rock, N.B., throughout what he refers to as his "checkered" career. As a 18-year-old steelworker in Hamilton, Ont., he took part in a groundbreaking, 81-day illegal strike at Stelco. Turning to journalism soon after, he was fired for a scoop about dishonest mine inspectors in Kirkland Lake, Ont. (mining dominated the town's economy). Then, as an organizer for the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway, Transport and General Workers - the job he held before becoming a program organizer (and eventually an executive producer) at the CBC in 1961 - Nielsen helped drive out of the country Hal Banks, the American union boss imported by the Liberal government in 1949 to rid workplaces of Communist agitators.

It's no surprise, then, that during his 30, post-CBC years as an independent television producer and scriptwriter, he has drawn on those experiences creatively. Both Banks and the Stelco strike figure among his lengthy list of drama and documentary credits. But the conflict the Toronto filmmaker keeps returning to is one he has no personal experience of - war. Beginning with Billy Bishop Goes to War in 1982, Nielsen has churned out one documentary after another chronicling Canada's military history. Following his more recent, critically acclaimed series on the world wars, Far From Home and No Price Too High, there is some credibility to his joke, "I practically own Remembrance Day." And his latest creation, Test of Will: Canada in Korea, continues the tradition, throwing light on a less familiar chapter of the country's wartime experiences.

What draws Nielsen, 74, to war is not so much a fascination with military conflict itself as with the fodder it provides for storytelling. "I've found so many untold stories" which, because they involve "sacrifices where sincerity is proven by action," he says, hold tremendous dramatic potential. It is his talent in portraying those incidents through the thoughts and feelings of ordinary Canadians that makes Nielsen's work so compelling. Using reports, reminiscences and letters written to and by soldiers at the front, he and his crew at Toronto's Norflicks Productions foster an intimacy between the viewer and the films' subjects that eludes many documentaries.

The portrait Nielsen draws in Test of Will of the 26,791 men, most of them Second World War veterans, who volunteered for the early-1950s Korean conflict is no exception. Moving stories - such as those about Canadian troops discovering a unit of American GIs killed in their sleep, and a Canadian battalion adopting a seven-year-old male Korean refugee - effectively humanize a war that many today believe was fought without this country's involvement. The film also develops a case for the critical contribution Canadians made in key battles. At Kap'yong, for instance, after witnessing the retreat of first the South Korean army, and then the Australian battalions, and vastly outnumbered by an advancing Chinese army, Canadian troops under the command of Col. Jim Stone dug in and held their ground. The Chinese were never able to penetrate further south. This stand earned the Second Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry a U.S. Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation, the first and only such honour awarded to a Canadian unit.

But Nielsen isn't simply a cheerleader for the home team. Although he doesn't question the premises of the Korean conflict, or ask if prime minister Louis St. Laurent was justified in following the lead of the U.S. in supporting president Syngman Rhee's corrupt South Korean regime (Nielsen believes he was), he does raise some disturbing questions about the way the war was fought, and the response of those back home. In a scene that recalls recent events in Afghanistan, viewers learn about squadron leader Andy Mackenzie, who spent two years in a POW camp after being shot down, as he later learns, by an American. Fearing the effect such news would have on the war effort, his Canadian superiors ordered Mackenzie to "forget the whole thing."

Keeping the public ignorant about what is really going on, says Nielsen, is typical in wartime. War "gives people an excuse to lie." Nielsen also argues in the film that the Canadian contribution has never been properly commemorated. The civilians back home showed little interest in the Korean conflict, paying scant attention to the returning soldiers and the 529 who died on and off the battlefield. Moreover, until 1991, the federal government denied the PPCLI veterans the right to wear the medals they had been awarded, and it has never officially recognized the Wall of Remembrance that veterans erected in 1997 in Brampton, Ont. Ottawa's explanation? According to the United Nations Security Council, which sanctioned it, the Korean conflict was not a war but a "police action" - a stance that the filmmaker dismisses as "fiction."

As for the public's apparent lack of interest in Canadian military achievements, he suggests another reason: "We're determined not to have greatness thrust upon us, particularly in an area that is morally ambiguous, like war." Uncomfortable with the notion that Canadians are, in fact, accomplished warriors, we stick instead to the national conceit that we are, in our most essential aspect, peacekeepers. "Nonsense," Nielsen insists. Not only was the country at war for 13 out of 39 years in the early part of the last century, but called to battle Canadians are virtually alone in volunteering in large numbers. Nielsen rattles off a host of statistics he came up with in his research: 70,000 Canadians signed up to fight in the American Civil War; next to the French, we boasted the largest per capita foreign presence in the Spanish Civil War; twice as many Canadians per capita served in Israel in 1948 than Americans; and we sent more volunteers than any other country to Vietnam. Canadians, particularly the young men among us, says Nielsen (who was one month short of reporting to the navy when the Second World War ended in August, 1945), "want war. There is a hunger to prove something."

And once Canadians take up arms, he continues, they often enjoy it. "The reason vets talk so little about war is because they're ashamed of how exciting they found it." Nielsen has in mind men like Ernie Glover of Niagara Falls, Ont., who, at 29, was a star fighter pilot in Korea. "Adrenaline flows very quickly and the heart is pumping a mile a minute," recalls Glover in Test of Will. "If you get a strike, you feel like walking on water. You want to talk, talk, talk. You're laughing, joking, really high."

Korea, argues Nielsen, marks a watershed in Canadian military history. Insofar as Canada deployed seasoned veterans who saw themselves as resisting yet another incarnation of evil - Communism - Korea can be seen as a sort of coda to the Second World War. But he says the Asian conflict also represents a departure from the past as Canada, without explicitly acknowledging as much, "segued out of the British empire and into the American" - thereby laying the ground for "a reinvention of war." Led by a superpower whose weaponry and aircraft are vastly superior to those of its foes, Nielsen says, "modern wars are obscene." In both the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan - the two wars since Korea in which Canadian troops have participated - the U.S. and its allies sweep down and decimate whole villages without substantial risk to their own troops. "Our vision is of a knight fighting another knight. We don't reserve much honour for knights who beat up people on the ground."

Such views may not be popular with the army and navy officers who advise Nielsen on his military films, but the producer doesn't worry about speaking his mind these days. "Old age," he says, quoting Bette Davis, "is not for sissies," adding, "you learn to overcome your fears." For a man who has courted conflict both personally and artistically - and who, with a book and more films in the works, is showing no signs of battle fatigue - that is good news indeed.


My Grandfather Richard Nielsen passed away at 1pm on Saturday October 25, 2014, The most intelligent person I have ever met and a great example of how the "Canadian Experience" influence us as human beings.

His parents immigrated from Denmark, He was born and grew up in the Maritimes, moved west for work, was upset with how workers were treated so he joined the Union, then a journalist including in Kirkland Lake, Ottawa and London England, then the CBC, then as an independent film, television maker and writer and president of the company Norflicks ( supporting the Canadian ideas and protecting them all the time.

I was with him in the hospital on Thursday he was on oxygen but we had our normal conversation even to the point that two days before his death he called up his assistant to manage work issues. He has a new Military documentary that was to be aired amongst dignitaries in Ottawa and has a new show on Jean Vanier who will probably be Canada's next Saint and passes away with over 10 projects still in development.

This at 86 years of age and if the body didn't fail he would be like this for the next 20 years, Richard will have an influence on my life and I know others going forward and with all talk of staying healthy, being financially secure for when we are older it is also important to be motivated and use our minds. Richard was married for 60 years, my incredible Grandmother who is still alive, had three daughters, 8 grand kids and now 6 great grand kids and starting on his parents farm worked for over 75 years.

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014 USL Pro Prospect Handbook

Click on above photo or title to view book

USL Pro Prospect Handbook with the top 25 prospects currently connected to an MLS club and the top 25 players who are not. I also included articles I wrote about USL Pro over the last year giving my opinions on the MLS/USL Pro alliance. Finally I added the final statistics and depth chart of all clubs during the 2014 Regular Season.

The 2014 USL Pro Championship will be held on 09/27/2014 between Sacramento Republic and Harrisburg City Islanders and Kamal Hylton (@kamalhlyton) and I will be doing a Gaffer & Hooligan podcast special next week.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2015 MLS Top 100 Prospect Handbook

Click on above photo or title to view book

Showcases the top 100 prospects for the 2015 MLS Draft and Homegrown signing period at the beginning of the 2014 NCAA College Soccer Season. I also added “a scout’s view” further information on some players based on the view of a North American Soccer Scout and, a recap of the 2014 prospects and a companion piece rating the top 100 players in World Soccer under the age of 20 years old.

We also did a Gaffer & Hooligan Podcast on the topic

It’s our MLS prospects special!

We kick off the show in Segment 1 “The First Round” looking at the Top 100 MLS prospects list, talking about amongst other prospects Canadian international Cyle Larin, Jamaican international Omar Holness and newly called up US international Jordan Morris

We wrap up the show with Segment 2 “Last Call” looking at a few teams position of need and suggest a few players.

As always you can let us know your thoughts by tweeting us directly@KamalHylton & @ENBSports, leaving a comment underneath this post or on the Gaffer & Hooligan Facebook Page and find us on the War Room Sports Podcast Network and

Open Player in a New Window | Subscribe | iTunes | MP3

Friday, August 29, 2014

Top 100 players in World Football under the age of 20 - 8/29/2014

In the upcoming Gaffer & Hooligan podcast Kamal Hylton (@KamalHylton) and I plan to talk about the 2014 American College Soccer season including the top prospects for the 2015 MLS Draft/Homegrown signing period. As a companion piece for our upcoming Gaffer & Hooligan European Podcast on War Room Sports Radio Network we will be discussing the top prospects in European football. 

I produce prospects lists and videos for each world soccer league I cover statistically although the definition of the term prospect varies on awareness of the player so some players might be as young as seventeen well others can be as old as twenty-four also there are large differences in the quality of leagues.

In January of 2013 I put together a list of what I felt were the top 100 players in World Football under the age of 20 - and for our European Podcast I updated this list for 8/29/2014. As I mentioned in my previous list, statistically I don't have as much information on a younger player compared to a player who has played a number of seasons. Although I did cover major youth tournaments over recent years and have recently added the UEFA Youth League and English Premier Under 21 League to leagues I cover statistically.  

  1. Raheem Sterling, Wg, Liverpool(Eng)/England
  2. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fw, Anderlecht(Bel)/Serbia  
  3. Timo Werner, Fw, VfB Sturgart(Ger)/Germany
  4. Adnan Januzjaj, Mf, Manchester United(Eng)/Belgium
  5. Luke Shaw, Df, Manchester United(Eng)/England
  6. Domenico Berardi, Fw, Sassuolo(Ita)/Italy
  7. Max Meyer, Mf, Schalke 04(Ger)/Germany
  8. Kurt Zouma, Df, Chelsea(Eng)/France
  9. Leon Goretzka, Mf, Schalke 04(Ger)/Germany
 10. Zakaria Bakkali, Wg, PSV Eindhoven(Hol)/Belgium
 11. Saul Niguez, Mf, Rayo Vallecano(Spa)/Spain
 12. Keita Balde Diao, Fw, SS Lazio(Ita)/Spain
 13. Divock Orgi, Fw, Lille OSC(Fra)/Belgium
 14. Richairo Zivkovic, Fw, Ajax Amsterdam(Hol)/Netherlands
 15. Oliver Torres, Mf, Atletico Madrid(Spa)/Spain 
 16. Leandro Paredes, Mf, Boca Juniors(Arg)/Argentina
 17. Calum Chambers, Df, Arsenal(Eng)/England
 18. Angel Corea, Mf, Atletico Madrid(Spa)/Argentina
 19. Serge Gnarby, Mf, Arsenal(Eng)/Germany
 20. Adama Traore, Wg, FC Barcelona B(Spa 2)/Spain
 21. Munir El Haddadi, Fw, FC Barcelona B(Spa 2)/Spain
 22. Bruno Fernandes, Mf, Udinese(Ita)/Portugal
 23. Imbrahima M'Baye, Df, Livorno(Ita)/Senegal
 24. Bruma, Wg, Galatasaray(Tur)/Portugal
 25. Benjamin Mendy, Df, Marseille(Fra)/France
 26. James Ward-Prowse, Mf, Southampton(Eng)/England
 27. Doria, Df, Botafogo(Bra)/Brazil
 28. Marcos Lopes, Mf, Lille OSC(Fra)/Portugal
 29. Antonio Sanabria, Fw, AS Roma(Ita)/Paraguay
 30. Youri Tielemans, Mf, Anderlecht(Bel)/Belgium 
 31. Julian Green, Wg, Bayern Munchen(Ger)/United States
 32. Wallace, Df, Sporting Braga(Por)/Brazil
 33. Agustin Allione, Mf, Velez Sarsfield/Argentina
 34. Nathan Ake, Df, Chelsea(Eng)/Netherlands
 35. Bjorn Engels, Df, Club Brugge (Bel), Belgium
 36. Kingsley Coman, Df, Paris St-German(Fra)/France
 37. Carlos Gruezo, Mf, VfB Stuttgart(Ger)/Ecuador
 38. Tiemoue Bakayoko, Mf, AS Monaco(Fra)/France
 39. Andre Silva, Wg, FC Porto(Por)/Portugal
 40. Federico Bernardeschi, Fw, Fiorentina(Ita)/Italy
 41. Tin Jedvaj, Df, AS Roma(Ita)/Italy
 42. Rochinha, Mf, Benfica(Por)/Portugal
 43. Ricardo Horta, Wg, Vitoria Setubal/Portugal
 44. Jordi Hiwula, Wg, Manchester City (Eng)/England
 45. Simone Scuffet, Gk, Udinese(Ita)/Italy
 46. Luis Pavez, Df, Colo Colo(Chi)/Chile
 47. Anthony Martial, Fw, AS Monaco(Fra)/France
 48. Josh Murphy, Wg, Norwich City(Eng)/England
 49. Will Hughes, Mf, Derby County(Eng)/England
 50. Junior Malanda, Mf, Zulte-Waregem/Belgium
 51. Alen Halilovic, Mf, FC Barcelona B(Spa 2)/Croatia
 52. Jonathan Tah, Df, Hamburg SV(Ger)/Germany
 53. Ante Rebic, Wg, Fiorentina(Ita)/Croatia
 54. Rodrigo Aguirre, Fw, Udinese(Ita)/Uruguay
 55. Franco Acosta, Fw, Sporting Braga(Por)/Uruguay
 56. Niklas Sule, Df, TSG Hoffenhiem(Ger)/Germany
 57. Lewis Baker, Mf, Chelsea(Eng)/England
 58. Ryan Gould, Mf, Sporting Lisbon(Por)/Scotland
 59. Cristian Cueves, Mf, PSV Eindhoven(Hol)/Chile
 60. Leonardo Bittencourt, Wg, Hannover 96(Ger)/Brazil
 61. Tonny Vilhena, Mf, Feyenoord(Hol)/Netherlands
 62. Marian Sarr, Df, Borussia Dortmund(Ger)/Germany
 63. Jean Dongou, Fw, FC Barcelona B(Spa 2)/Cameroon
 64. Bilal Basacikoglu, Mf, Feyenoord(Hol)/Turkey
 65. Pione Sisto, Mf, FC Midtjylland(Hol)/Denmark
 66. Tim Holscher, Mf, FC Twente(Hol)/Netherlands
 67. Luke Williams, Fw, Middlesbrough(Eng 2)/England
 68. Adrien Rabiot, Mf, Paris St-Germain(Fra)/France
 69. Jack Grealish, Mf, Aston Villa(Eng)/Republic of Ireland
 70. Naby Keita, Wg, RB Salzburg(Aut)/Guinea
 71. Gennaro Tutino, Fw, Napoli(Ita)/Italy
 72. Diego Rojas, Mf, U. Catolica(Chi)/Chile
 73. Devante Cole, Fw, Manchester City(Eng)/England
 74. Mouez Hassen, Gk, OGC Nice(Fra)/France 
 75. Andreas Pereira, Mf, Manchester United(Eng)/Brazil
 76. Muamer Tankovic, Fw, AZ Alkmaar(Hol)/Sweden
 77. Nathan, Mf, Athletico Paranaense(Bra)/Brazil
 78. Joachim Andersen, Df, FC Twente(Hol)/Denmark
 79. Kelechi Iheanacho, Fw, Manchester City(Eng)/Nigeria
 80. Davie Selke, Fw, Werder Bremen(Ger)/Germany
 81. Georgi Kitanov, Gk, Cherno Mere(Bul)/Bulgaria
 82. Lucas Evangelista, Mf, Sao Paulo(Bra)/Brazil
 83. Nemanja Maksimovic, Mf, Domzale(Ser)/Serbia 
 84. Pedro Azogue, Mf, Oriente Petrolero(Bol)/Bolivia
 85. David Costas, Df, Celta de Vigo(Spa)/Spain
 86. Juan Fuentes, Mf, O'Higgins(Chi)/Chile
 87. Ivan Ochoa, Fw, Pachuca(Mex)/Mexico
 88. Artem Radchenko, Mf, Metalist Kharkiv(Ukr)/Ukraine
 89. Dele Alli, Mf, MK Dons(Eng 3)/England
 90. Hany Mukhtar, Mf, Hertha Berlin(Ger)/Germany
 91. Otavio, Mf, International(Bra)/Brazil
 92. Takumi Minamino, Wg, Cerezo Osaka(Jap)/Japan
 93. Sinan Bytyqi, Wg, Manchester City(Eng)/Austria
 94. Sardar Azmoun, Mf, Rubin Kazan(Rus)/Iran
 95. Ramzi Safouri, Wg, Hapoel Tel Aviv(Isr)/Israel
 96. Mats Daehli, Mf, Cardiff City(Eng 2)/Norway
 97. Ebenezer Ofori, Df, AIK Stockholm(Swe)/Ghana
 98. Alexsis Zapata, Mf, Sassuolo(Ita)/Colombia
 99. Dorin Rotariu, Wg, Dinamo Bucurest(Rom)/Romania
100. Moses Simon, Wg, Trencin(Slo)/Nigeria


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