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‘Creative’ scouting can uncover the best Asian talent, says Gareth Southgate

The Football Association is marking South Asian Heritage Month by releasing videos aiming to inspire.

England manager Gareth Southgate believes “creative” scouting can help better identify and aid talented players in Asian communities.

The Football Association launched the second phase of ‘Bringing Opportunities to Communities’ in 2019, focused on ensuring more people from Asian communities play a bigger part in English football.

The governing body is marking South Asian Heritage Month by releasing videos aiming to inspire people within those communities with positive stories from Asian participants across the game.

The first video focuses on Swansea’s Yan Dhanda and West Ham Women defender Maz Pacheco talking about their path to the professional game, along with England boss Southgate speaking about the changing scouting.

“We should be looking at how we scout,” the Three Lions manager said.

“Historically there’s been a sort of unconscious bias, maybe a perception that some Asian players weren’t as athletic, weren’t as strong. Again, it’s just such a ridiculous generalisation.

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“In a lot of communities now football is being played in all sorts of varieties of areas, so I think in terms of scouting the Asian community we’ve got to be creative in getting into the places where some of these kids might be playing and encouraging them into broader leagues where they can be assessed more easily against other players and then making that step into the academy system.”

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