WHILE most coaches had a break during the Christmas period, one man, in particular, was kept busy as part of his role as a scout.
Macroom man Paul Dunton is currently juggling a number of roles, all of which he believes compliment each other.
“I love both coaching and scouting as it gives me the opportunity to help develop players,” said Dunton.
“I’m kept busy at the moment and wouldn’t have it any other way to be honest. I have many roles between coaching and scouting so my days are definitely hectic.
"I am currently scouting for Glasgow City FC in Scotland. They are the 14-time Scottish Women’s Premier League Champions.
“I report to head of recruitment, Peter Caulfield and recently appointed manager, Eileen Gleeson.
“Glasgow City have Cork native Clare Shine with them, as well as Irish internationals Niamh Farrelly and Claire Walsh, both of who were signed from Peamount United.
“I also work as an independent opposition analyst for some League of Ireland clubs on an ad-hoc basis.
“This is a role I enjoy immensely as I love the detail required at that level and hope to continue in the months ahead.
“I will be speaking to Dave O’Connell [Republic of Ireland U19 manager and head of scouting] in the coming weeks about re-joining the FAI’s scouting network. I had stepped away last season but hope to make a return soon.
“I am the CEO of Pro-Scout3. This is an independent scouting and analysis service that focuses on three aspects of football. Professional, US colleges, and analysis.
“Our lead analyst, Glen Preston is an opposition analyst for Aston Villa FC Women’s team. His attention to detail and the breakdown of the game he goes into is absolutely incredible.
“He is incredibly professional. We also have Canada- based Cork native Stephen Neiland, who is our Pro-Scout3 academy director. Stephen is a UEFA A and UEFA A Elite Youth Licenced coach who will work directly with our clients and help them develop into better players ahead of any move to the pro level or collegiate level.
“Robert Oldham is our director of operations and works incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure we maintain a high level of professionalism.
“We have two tournaments planned for Italy this year. One for the men’s professional academies and later in the year for the women’s professional, collegiate and national level teams.
“We have a number of clients on board from Ireland, USA, Canada, and England. In essence, we aim to create an opportunity for players that may have not had an opportunity to be scouted as such.
“We do not host trials but work directly with the players themselves. We are honest with those who reach out in the sense that some are told they are not at the level required for let's say professional football.
“It’s tough but we wouldn’t be doing our job if we are sending everyone forward. Clubs will lose trust in us and we can not afford for that to happen.”
Dunton has coached in the men's and women’s games so is very familiar with the talent in Cork. And therefore, for anyone looking to make that step up to a professional setup, Dunton believes they should keep him in mind.
“I have a lot of experience having coached at Macroom, Riverstown, Douglas Hall, UCC, and Cork City with a lot of success along the way.
“Having taken on the role of scout, I have further developed my knowledge of the game.
“With coaching, being there on the ground, developing players to become better players and hopefully successful ones is what football is all about.
“I don’t care where they are either because being there, having some sort of impact on the players development. and the memories created along the way are worth more than any medal.
“With scouting, It’s almost the same. Watching players week in, week out and sending back my recommendations to the head of recruitment is ultimately rewarded when the player signs for the club so I look forward to continuing this role.”