Fun Flair Festivals: A Free London Talent Identification Event

We Make Footballers
10 November 2023

We Make Footballers are already the leading provider of football training academies in the UK for children aged between 4 and 12. That success comes from not only providing football in a fun and safe environment, but also through the number of players who progress into professional academies.

Now, we are recommending a new form of talent identification - Fun Flair Festivals. 

Designed to give current Year 1 children aged 5 and 6 years old the opportunity to showcase their skills in a totally new environment, Fun Flair Festivals were launched in October 2023 amid much excitement from players, parents, the Chelsea FC scouts that attend each event and the coaches who operate the sessions.

Here is everything you need to know about Fun Flair Festivals – and how to get involved in future events.


What are Fun Flair Festivals?

Fun Flair Festivals are free events designed to find bright young football players who might otherwise go under the radar and never have their talent discovered. They take place over one day and are for children in Year 1 aged between five and six years old.

We Make Footballers have always believed that football is about skill, not just connections. By Fun Flair Festivals making these events free for any child to attend, they are giving the opportunity for players to showcase their ability directly to scouts from Chelsea FC in a manner which has never previously existed.


Data driven and AI supported analysis of talent

Data has never been a hotter topic in the world of football talent identification, thanks to the way in which clubs like Brentford and Brighton have broken into the top eight of the Premier League with modest budgets compared to the traditional Big Six.

An analytical approach can also be applied at grassroots levels. Fun Flair Festivals also incorporates a highly innovative sport tech platform aiScout to analyse players based on their performances in the three tests of skills at each event.

Each football drill generates a score for an individual child, input into a mobile app. These scores combined with what We Make Footballers coaches see with their own trained eyes help to identify emerging talent, who can then progress to the big final which for this series of events is at the Chelsea FC Cobham training ground in February 2024.

aiScout also allows children, parents and coaches to keep a track on progress and development. By practicing the skills relevant to each drill and then revisiting the tests over time, a clearer picture around a football player’s potential improvement rate is formed.

If a child improves their score by 20 percent each time, that underlines their ability to make huge strides with training and practice. Such data can highlight individual footballers who may not be top of the class at the minute but have the potential to learn and develop at a rate which can take them there far quicker than their peers.


The three tests of skill

The three tests of skill focus on agility, balance and speed. The dribbling diamond involves a child manoeuvring around a diamond-shaped course with the ball at their feet. They have to show close control at the same time as being able to move at pace and stay within the designated area. It is a drill which a professional like Lionel Messi would be rather good at.

Escaping into space is a sought-after skill in modern-day football and that is reflected in running and turning with the ball. Children are asked to sprint five metres in a straight line. They then pivot and sprint in another direction for five metres, turn again and then run with the ball for a final 10 metres. Think of the way Kaoru Mitoma has lit up the Premier League with his dribbling since arriving at Brighton a year ago.

The sprinting and turning drill is designed to showcase just how quick a player is out of possession. Working without the ball, the child will be asked to accelerate, sprint and show nimble footwork. Think the evergreen Kyle Walker rampaging up and down the right. 


The next stage after a Fun Flair Festival

What comes next? Well, once all the data has been crunched and the coaches compile their own findings, the top performers from each Fun Flair Festival will be invited back to the Fun Flair Festival Final.

Held at a prestigious professional football training facility, those children selected will take on some of the very best Under 6 talent in London.

Watching on will be Chelsea FC scouts and decision makers who sign players for the Blues, giving every child present the chance to impress and get noticed by experts from one of the best academies in the world.

Of course, a professional contract may not come from this unique trial. But the experience alone can be game-changing for a young football player, not to mention putting them on Chelsea’s radar. And who knows where that might lead down the line?

To discover more about upcoming Fun Flair Festivals or sign your child up for a future event, please see the Fun Flair Festivals website.