The aim of the Academy Talent ID & Recruitment Department is to identify players with the potential to progress through the Academy to a career in professional football by using modern scouting and recruitment measures, employing experienced staff, and by fostering positive relationships in the local community.
We recognise that of paramount importance to the long term success of the Hibernian Academy is to develop a robust and organised Talent ID programme. Of particular importance is to ensure that all avenues are explored to identify and to recruit the best talent. Whilst the main focus will always be on the recruitment of players in the local area of Edinburgh and the Lothians, the Hibernian Academy will continue to look to recruit the best talent available in other areas in Scotland which lie within a reasonable driving distance of HTC. Principally, these areas will be Scottish Borders, Fife, Forth Valley, and the West of Scotland.
Particular focus will be given to work in the ‘Pre-Academy’ (7s – 9s) and the ‘Junior Academy’ (10s – 12s). This helps us ensure that the Academy continually has a strong base of talented and motivated young players to retain and develop throughout the structure. Each year the U11 Academy squad will comprise a small number of players at U11 age, and players aged to play at U10 level who will ‘commit’ to the Club for 4 training sessions and 1 match per week. This has proved to be a positive development over the last 3 seasons as it accelerates the development of the younger players, and ensures only a very small number of players are recruited and registered each season at the youngest age level. It is key to ensure constant communication throughout the structure so a pathway exists for the most talented players to be continually challenged throughout their time in the Academy.
In conjunction with the technical coaching and football medicine & science departments, we have a thorough and robust assessment process for players of all ages to ensure players with ability and – most importantly – potential to develop are recruited into the Academy. The Club also considers other factors in its assessment process – for example the Relative Age Effect (RAE) – meaning players with a birthday later in the year can be assessed against players of equal biological maturity.
Our recruitment team will work closely with all schools and youth clubs in the area and seek to develop lasting working relationships based on trust, respect and the aim of ensuring that our very best and most talented young players are given the opportunity to develop locally in a professional pathway.