How to Recruit your First Client as a Football Agent


One of the most challenging phases of being a football agent is securing your first client, especially if you are working independently and not affiliated with a larger agency. This period can be stressful, demanding patience and dedication to identify and seize the right opportunity, ultimately establishing a successful agent-client relationship.

In this blog, we will explore strategies for finding your first client and the steps to take in this crucial process. Additionally, we’ll discuss the progression towards signing a representation contract and outline essential dos and don’ts for aspiring agents.  

Select Your Client Niche

In today’s modern world of football agents, it’s possible to represent a variety of clients across different niches, including clubs, players, sporting executives, and coaches. Each niche offers unique challenges and opportunities, allowing agents to specialise in areas that best suit their skills, networks and interests. However, for the purpose of this blog, we will focus on arguably the most common type of agent: those who aim to recruit and represent players. This specialisation involves understanding the nuances of player recruitment, contract negotiation, and personal career management, providing an overview for aspiring agents looking to break into this particular field and recruit their first player.

Finding the Opportunity

Depending on your age and prior experience in the football industry, finding an opportunity to recruit a player can vary in difficulty. For younger agents, such opportunities are more likely to arise from attending as many games as possible. By identifying your target clientele and other specifics, you can narrow down the types of fixtures to attend. For example, a young agent might focus on academy fixtures to engage with scouts and parents of players below the first-team level. Attending younger academy games is crucial as it allows you to build relationships with parents and others over time, which can be valuable when they start looking for an agent

According to the vital FIFA Football Agent Regulations on the protection of minors, agents cannot enter into representation agreements until the player is within six months of being eligible to sign their first professional contract. This age varies by country. In Germany, players can sign professional contracts at 16, so agents will try to represent them at 15 and a half. In other countries, agents must wait until the players are 17 and a half before signing a representation agreement. Attending fixtures before this age gives you the opportunity to establish the foundations of a relationship for when the time comes and it is permitted.

Football fixtures can sometimes be an intimidating environment. Many new agents struggle with approaching parents or scouts and initiating conversations. It’s crucial for an aspiring agent to become comfortable with making initial contact and striking up conversations in these settings.

This comfort comes with repetition. The more you put yourself in uncomfortable situations and force yourself to speak directly to people, the easier it will become. Although not every conversation will go as planned, the worst outcome is failing to build a relationship. However, most conversations will lead to future interactions and could open up possibilities, including signing your first client. The goal of these initial conversations is to leave a good impression and obtain contact details to keep in touch.

Over time, with persistence and effort, an opportunity may arise where you learn of a player seeking representation. If you have built a network of contacts, you can reach out to the player’s parents or the player directly if they are over 18. The next steps are critical and often involve avoiding certain pitfalls rather than focusing solely on what to do.

It’s important to note whether you are working alone, as part of a smaller agency, or as a recruitment employee of a larger agency. Each setup has its own advantages and disadvantages. Those in larger agencies have access to a broader network and can involve senior agents in discussions, showcasing the services provided to star players. However, they are typically salaried employees. Conversely, agents in smaller agencies may work on a commission-based partnership, granting them more power and influence. Your working arrangement will influence your methods for identifying opportunities and how you work with players.

What Not to Do

When an opportunity arises to sign your first client, it’s crucial not to become overly excited and rush the process. Some agents may try different tactics to speed things up, but acting unprofessionally will likely hinder your success.

Here are some key things to avoid, followed by advisable alternatives later in the blog.

  1. Do Not Use Social Media to Approach Players or Their Families

While social media can help identify players and their relatives, directly approaching them through these platforms is unprofessional and often unwelcome. Instead, use social media to gather information discreetly and look for more appropriate ways to make contact.

  1. Do Not Abuse the Contact Information

If you have identified a player’s parents or another contact method, don’t abuse it. Repetitive pestering and impatient messages will likely irritate them and damage your chances of building a relationship. Avoid making them feel pressured by insisting on spending entire games with them. Instead, present yourself as a supportive and professional figure.

  1. Do Not Make the Family Feel Alienated

For younger clients, it’s important to integrate yourself as part of the player’s support team, almost like an extended family member. Offer your expertise and broader encouragement to foster a sense of teamwork, rather than giving the impression that you are „taking them away“ from their existing support network.

  1. Do Not Approach Underage Players

If a player shows great potential but is not of legal age, do not approach them. This violates FIFA and National Association regulations and demonstrates unprofessional behaviour. Families and players will likely exclude you from future consideration in favour of more professional agents.

  1. Do Not Misrepresent Your Credentials

Since the new FIFA Agent Regulations came into force, there has been confusion about when agents can approach players or families. You must not present yourself as an agent if you have not obtained your FIFA licence. While you can attend games and talk to people, do not do so in the capacity of an agent or discuss your intentions as one.

  1. Do Not Offer Financial Incentives

Never offer money to a player or their families to encourage them to sign with you. Occasionally, parents might ask for money, but if a player initially signs for financial incentives, they may leave for another agency offering more money. Building a professional relationship on financial rewards is unwise. The only exception is partnering with a licensed family member-agent, where financial details are based on agreed shared commissions.

By adhering to these guidelines and maintaining professionalism, you can better position yourself to build strong, lasting relationships and successfully represent players. 

The Essentials

On the flip side of what not to do are the essentials:

  1. Initiate Professional Conversations

Instead of using social media, the professional way to initiate a conversation with a player or their family is to approach them appropriately at a game. In-person interaction is the most effective method for making a positive first impression. Introduce yourself and briefly explain your role as an agent. Over time, you’ll recognize each other at future games, allowing for casual greetings or more in-depth conversations when appropriate. Judging the right time to engage in conversation versus simply saying „hello“ is crucial. Eventually, you may obtain their phone number or other contact details, allowing for more formal discussions, such as phone calls or video meetings, about representing the player.

  1. Assess Timing Carefully

Timing is essential. Discussing representation prematurely can harm your relationship. Focus on building a good and trusting connection with the player and their family before bringing up the possibility of representation. In some cases, agents have entered into commercial agreements, such as securing boot deals for players, before they are eligible to sign a representation deal. Ensure this complies with regulations, as it can be a way to strengthen your relationship until the right time for a representation contract.

  1. Follow a Professional Recruitment Process

Once you’ve made initial contact and broached the topic of representation, move on to the stages of recruitment. While the exact steps may vary, here’s a typical outline of an appropriate recruitment process:

  • The Approach: Introduce yourself to the player and/or their family, making initial contact and starting to build the relationship.
  • Organised Meeting: Arrange a meeting in a comfortable, neutral environment like a cafe or restaurant. This is your opportunity to showcase your value as an agent and present a personalised assessment of the player. The goal is to generate interest and engagement, leading to further conversations. This is not a contract signing meeting but an introduction to your services.
  • Continued Engagement: Attend games regularly to interact with the family and further assess the player. Your presence demonstrates dedication and interest, which can impress the player and their family. Throughout this process, consistently highlight how you can add value to the player’s career.
  • Closing: The entire recruitment process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year, depending on the player’s situation and the relationship you build. When you feel the time is right, or if the player and their family express interest, discuss the representation contract. Insist that they seek independent legal advice and be ready to answer any questions. Remember, patience and professionalism are key. Do not rush them into a decision; assist them as needed, but respect that the final decision is theirs.

By adhering to these principles and maintaining professionalism, you can establish strong, lasting relationships and successfully represent players.

Signing a Representation Agreement

Once a player decides to sign with you as an agent, both parties will execute a representation contract. This contract establishes a legal and enforceable agreement between you, outlining specific clauses that you both must adhere to. It’s crucial to ensure the terms are favourable and agreeable for both the player and for you as the agent.

The representation contract provides legal safety and security for both parties. By including all relevant information and requirements, it helps prevent any misconduct within the relationship. A breach of contract can lead to termination with just cause, protecting the player if the agent acts unprofessionally. Conversely, the exclusivity clause offers protection for the agent, ensuring the player does not engage with other agents during the contract period. You can read more about representation agreements in our blog here.


Securing your first client as a football agent is a significant milestone that requires patience, dedication, and professionalism. By focusing on building genuine relationships, understanding the regulations, and following a structured recruitment process, you can effectively navigate the complexities of the industry. Avoiding unprofessional behaviours and emphasising in-person interactions will help you leave positive impressions and develop lasting connections. Remember, each step you take in establishing trust and showcasing your value can pave the way for successful representation. Stay persistent, maintain high standards, and you’ll be well on your way to a rewarding career as a football agent.

This brings us to our next question of what to do once you have signed your first clients? Next week we will answer exactly this and ensure you’re well equipped to provide the best service possible to your very first playing client!


by Dr. Erkut Sogut & Jamie Khan

1 Comment
  • Bonjour Mrs
    Je tiens à vous remercier infiniment pour votre soutien car grâce à vous j’ai obtenu ma licence FIFA en passant l’examen du 22 mai 2024 .
    Franchement vous êtes formidables vos examens blancs m’ont donné toutes mes questions à l’examen.
    J’ai fait Tous les examens blancs vos 10 examens blancs m’ont aidés sincèrement je vous tire le chapeau.
    je ne finirai jamais de vous remercier vous êtes formidables.
    Je profite de cette occasion que vous m’offrez pour vous demander de me permettre d’avoir un accord de représentation bien détaillé si vous me le permettez.
    Je suis Assale Ebrottie Armand.
    Agent FIFA.

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