Jobs4Football meets Steve Shea
Jobs4Football spoke to Leicester City’s 1st Team National Scout & Head of European Operations for IPSO (International Professional Scouting Organisation), Steve Shea. He has been involved with the footballing world since his days in the defensive line at Everton FC as a youngster, Steve has played around 800 Semi-pro games in his career and has taken his past experience into his current endeavour, scouting. Steve heard about Jobs4Football through IPSO via one of our collaborators.
I was eager to know how Steve had transitioned from Footballer to Scout, and if he had always imagined Scouting to be the next step forward in his career; “I just fell into it by chance, I played with Iain Dowie from a young age in the non-league days and when he became a manager he asked if I was interested coming onboard as a Scout. Back then we used to do player recruitment scouting along with opposition team assessment scouting.” Steve played alongside Iain at St Albans City as well as Hendon FC and were reunited during Iain’s time managing Coventry City in the 07-08 season.
Being the 1st Team National Scout for Leicester City, showcases that Steve has a good judge of character and knows what to look for in a player. I was intrigued to hear Steve’s process and just how he breaks down a player’s demeanour. “I tend not to sit on the fence, once I make a decision it’s final. There is no right or wrong in scouting because a lot of what you scout is what goes on during 1 day or 1 game. Working for a club, the superiors above you like the chief scout and the manager like you to be decisive. When I was working for Iain Dowie, part of my remit was to go to Walsall FC to follow up on a centre back called Anthony Gerrard, cousin of Steven Gerrard. In the same game there was a left back called Dan Fox and another centre back called Scott Dann, who both went on to pursue better careers. I relayed back and offered them my opinion and they ended up signing them both!”
Through my research I saw that Steve had completed his UEFA Licence B and FA level 1 & 2, this naturally captivated me as it showcases Shea’s determination to progress and manufacture his profile into achieving more in football. “For me to coach at the level I would like to coach at, I would need my (UEFA) A licence, which I would be very willing to do, but it would need to be funded by a club. It would be something that I would be massively interested in, but I think my time for coaching may have past, but never say never.” Shea believes his time for coaching has past due to the time consumption and affordability, but he knows that in his line of work anything is possible.
Staying motivated as a player or a coach has the same cycle, because I feel that the coaches motivate the players to play well, thus motivating the coaches as well to do stay on top of each player to keep them performing at a high standard. For Scouts, I was intrigued to hear how Steve keeps motivated; “My dad and a past manager I had said to me ‘Who motivates the motivator?’ I motivate myself to be motivated. Scouting is a big responsibility that you need to be organised and dedicated.” Steve gained his passion alongside his dad and from an early age, after moving to Luton in the 60s they went to Luton games up until Steve started to play himself. “Luton is in my heart from a young boy and to get rid of that is an impossibility. I take my job very seriously, but its more nerve racking watching Luton play than Leicester City.”
Looking to the future I wanted to know if Steve had any plans out of football or to delve deeper into scouting for the foreseeable future. “Scouting is where I see my living coming from moving forward, I believe with my age, experience and interpersonal skills I would make an excellent Chief/Head Scout. I have brilliant game knowledge and I know what to look for, I think I would be an asset to any club on a full time basis.”
Steve is interested in working anywhere that is offering a full-time position as Chief Scout or Head of recruitment. Shea resides in Coventry making it an ideal location all of the UK along with Birmingham, East Midlands and Luton Airport is within easy reach for international travel. Steve definitely has the credentials and proven track record for a Lead role in the Scouting process in any club. “I’ve been with Leicester 12 years, and in that 12 years Leicester City have been League 1 champions, Premier League champions, FA Cup winner, Champions League quarter finalists to name a few.”
Steve has a long history within the game and loves being a part of the football community. He has lived and breathed this game and his knowledge is beyond astounding, with an abundance of achievements on and off the pitch under his belt Steve Shea is looking to continue on his expedition through the world of football.