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Academy News

Bogus scouts

17 July 2023

Academy News

Bogus scouts

17 July 2023

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It has come to the club’s attention that a small number of individuals are attending grassroots football games across the county pretending to be Lincoln City scouts.

One person had gone to some length to learn the names of some of our staff and approached parents and the team coach, and even told the young boy that he was being offered a contract with the club.

Fortunately, the parents raised concern with the club who were able to alert Lincolnshire FA - who then contacted the police. Sadly, the player was hugely disappointed to be told that the person in question was, in fact, a fraud and potentially a very dangerous person.

At Lincoln City we place the safety of children and young people at the top of our priorities, and we would like to clarify how our scouts make approaches to grassroots clubs when we want to watch a young player.

Lincoln City do not use scouts that use social media to recruit players, our recruitment staff always follow correct procedures and will never ask for money in return for a 'trial'.

The scout will always contact the grassroots club secretary prior to the visit as a matter of professional courtesy, the coach of the young player will then also be informed of the visit. The scout will always introduce themselves to the coach and the family, they will always be in club kit and will be able to show you their club ID badge. If the scout feels that a trial is going to be offered, they will then invite the family to the club at an agreed time - scouts will never offer lifts to the child.

Pictures of City’s club scouts and their names are to be found on our website HERE. The Lincolnshire FA contact is Mark Johnson who can be contacted on 01522 596580 or via email at mark.johnson@lincolnshire.com.

Lastly, everyone at City appreciates that grassroots football clubs run on the hard work and dedication of volunteers to allow opportunities for children and young people to play football. Sadly, a very small number of people will seek out such environments to make approaches and use the name of a professional football club to gain status and trust.

Hopefully this article has provided some guidance about how the club hopes to ensure that young footballers can play safely. If you are approached by anyone and you don’t feel confident that they are who they say they are, or have any doubts about them, it is advisable to end the conversation immediately and then contact your grassroots welfare officer in the first instance.


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