UK SEG Player Agent Weighs in on US Soccer
SEG International is a well recognized Agency in the football world. They started in 2000 and now have agents in over 25 countries. They represent many top talent as well as local players.
Craig Watson, one of the SEG International Player Agents and teams Leaders was good enough to answer some questions for me regarding agents.
The views and opinions he expresses are his own, and do not necessarily represent those of SEG
You can learn more about Craig by visiting his LinkedIn profile at Craig – SEG UK
In your experience, should young athletes reach out to agents and heads of talent or will they be found organically if they excel?
Due to the nature of the business of an agent, the player will be approached by many agents, assuming he is playing at a high standard and within a professional structured environment.
Heads of talent at a club will head a recruitment team, whos job it is to find talent and introduce them to the club, but there are many factors to consider before a player is offered a contract. It would not hurt to make approaches to a club for interest.
If an athlete decides to seek out an agent or recruitment Specialists, how can they determine who would be at the right level to help place them?
An agent should display time served experience, and a track record of supporting a player during key stages of his career path, Academy, professional development and professional contracted employment.
Do you see an increase in the amount of players from abroad joining top teams?
There has always historically been lots of movement of players from one country to another. With regards to England Brexit has and will have a huge influence on players moving here. The new rules dont allow any players under the age of 18 into the country, and a points system has been implemented for senior players where they must score above 15 points GBE to qualify for entry.
Is There a Difference in Players from United States or Canada vs UK
If yes to above, what do you see as differences between players trained in the US or Canada, vs players trained in the UK?
The USA will be a world force in mens Football within the next five years, their infrastructure and application to sports has always been exceptional. I think in the past the general acceptance of Football (soccer) in the USA by the general public was not there. Recent years we have seen a lot of high profile European coaches moving to the USA which is starting to impact player quality and game understanding.
Do you think players such as Tim Ream who trained and played in the US, then were able to successfully join Premier league teams are the exception or do you think this is a trend that may grow?
There are already a lot of American player in the UK, and Germany have a trend of bringing through American players through there clubs and then into England Pulisic, Dempsey, Howard, Donovan, Otasowie and many more American players have made the transition, and many more I believe will come in the future.
What is your role at SEG as an agent for a young player?
The agents role for a youth player has a little more emphasis on support and mentoring as well as working with the family. This is an important time to raise the players profile. Once a player reaches senior status the club take a more active role in this and the agent relationship leans towards more corporate dealings.
What services does SEG provide? Is it purely contractual or do you assist in other areas of the players life as well?
This would come down to the player and agent relationship, Me personally I cover all aspects of the players life on and of the field and offer support on every level.
Do you look at a potential clients social media accounts prior to signing them?
Yes, and we offer advice on the pros and cons, but ultimately the content is down to the player.
Does your company assist with managing social media?
We handle every aspect of the players social media, depending on the level of the player we do on occasion contract out content.