Megson has spent the last month checking out the talent of clubs as far west as Las Vegas and San Francisco and as east as Oshawa. Megson, along with his partner Kevin Noteman, were in the Forest City from Friday to Sunday (July 25 to 27) looking at roughly 100 players, ages eight to 21 years old, from the North London Soccer Club (NLSC). The younger the better, Megson admits.
“There’s certain kids over here at seven, eight, nine that showed immense ability,” he said.
By the end of Megson’s North American trip, he’ll have seen about 500 players and will invite about 100 of them to England in March to learn the game from Sheffield’s coaches. Megson expects 10 of those players to be handpicked to train in Sheffield’s academy. Sheffield plays in the Football League Championship and is one of the oldest professional soccer clubs in the world.
With all the talent he’s seen, Megson equates a lot of the local skill he’s evaluated to being on par with the soccer ability back in his home.
The difference he sees between the two countries is the way players are nurtured. Opportunities are endless overseas for youth and things are vastly different in the way young athletes are prepped.
NLSC president John Dreliozis said Megson and Noteman were telling him about how they’ve sold 10- and 11-year-old players to big name clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.