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The life of a football scout

In my 18 years as a scout, I’ve travelled to over 35 countries, each of which posed its challenges, writes Tera Maliwa. At times, scouting, especially the travelling part, sounds like an exciting, easy job.
But the rigours of travelling across the world to places you don’t know isn’t as easy as it looks.
It means, at times, you’ve got to be available for seven days a week and ready to unearth the next best thing in football. That demands some serious commitment and a tremendous amount of passion.
As an international scout, it means much of my time is away from the comfort of my home. There have been times where I had to connect as much as three or four times going to a destination where there’s a talent I’m scouting.
In some instances, I’ve had to sleep at the airport terminal chairs for between 7-13 hours, waiting for the next connecting flight.
The most chilling incident I ever experienced was in a West African country when soldiers walked into a bus I was in and asked questions in their local language. I was lucky because the person next to me quickly told me how to respond. Otherwise, they would have shot me.
Then there are times where I’ve had to spend eight hours watching football non-stop and compiling a 12-13 page report, only finishing in the middle of the night at 2am. With an empty stomach and eyes screaming for some sleep, you keep pushing until you’re done. Such is the life of a scout.

It is, therefore, essential to do your homework well before travelling to a particular country.
Funny enough, when they notice you’re a foreigner in some countries, they increase the taxi or hotel prices hence the importance of thoroughly researching before a trip.
In researching, you want to know the street of the hotel you will be staying in, the distance you will be travelling between hotel and stadium, as well as the currency they use. You may want to learn basic things like greeting the locals. I will share my bad experiences in the different countries I’ve travelled to in one of the articles.

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