What do football scouts look for in Goalkeepers?

23 March 2024 4 minutes

Being a goalkeeper is arguably the most difficult job on a football pitch. You are the last line of defence so any mistake you make is usually punished. It’s often said you need to be a certain level of crazy to want to play in net! If that’s you then this article could help inform you of the things a scout looks for in a goalkeeper! Let’s delve into the intricacies and uncover the key attributes that make a goalkeeper stand out from the rest.

Goalkeepers are tasked with the monumental responsibility of preventing opposing teams from scoring goals. They must possess lightning-fast reflexes, impeccable positioning, and unwavering concentration to keep the opponent at bay.

Shot-Stopping Ability

At the core of a goalkeeper’s skill set lies their shot-stopping ability. Scouts closely examine a goalkeeper’s agility, reflexes, and bravery when facing shots from opposing players. Whether it’s a close-range strike destined for the top corner or a powerful long-range effort, a top-tier goalkeeper must possess the agility and reflexes to make crucial saves and keep their team in the game.

Command of the Penalty Area

One of the key qualities scouts look for in goalkeepers is how they command their area. A goalkeeper must be assertive in claiming crosses, punching away dangerous balls into the box, and organising their defence during set-piece situations. Their ability to dominate their penalty area instills confidence in their defenders and provides a solid foundation for the team’s defensive efforts.


The role of a goalkeeper has changed over the decades, in modern football, goalkeepers are not just shot-stoppers; they are also integral to their team’s build-up play. Scouts assess a goalkeeper’s distribution skills, including their ability to accurately distribute the ball with both feet, initiate quick counterattacks with long throws or kicks, and play out from the back under pressure. A goalkeeper with excellent distribution can act as the first line of attack and help their team maintain possession in key areas of the pitch.

Communication and Leadership

Beyond technical skills, scouts value goalkeepers who demonstrate effective communication and leadership on the field. A vocal goalkeeper who organises their defence, directs teammates into position, and provides encouragement that can motivate players to dig deep in moments of holding on.

Presence and Mental Strength

Last but certainly not least, scouts assess a goalkeeper’s presence and mental strength. A goalkeeper must have great self-confidence, remain composed under pressure, and bounce back from setbacks with resilience. Their ability to stay focused and maintain concentration throughout the game can make the difference between victory and defeat.

In conclusion, football scouts seek a combination of shot-stopping ability, command of the penalty area, distribution skills, communication, leadership, presence, and mental strength when evaluating goalkeepers. While each goalkeeper may possess different strengths and weaknesses, those who excel in these key areas are more likely to catch the eye of scouts and secure their place as the last line of defence for their team. So whether you’re a budding goalkeeper looking to showcase your talent or a passionate football enthusiast eager to understand the intricacies of scouting, remember that the journey to becoming a top-tier goalkeeper begins with mastering the essential attributes that scouts seek between the goalposts.