HALF/TIME EP. 2: Zeb Jacobs

In our weekly talk we discuss a relevant football topic with the greatest football professionals out there.
Take a seat, sit back, relax, and level up your knowledge in the world of football

Zeb Jacobs (Royal Antwerp FC) gives a unique view on what the differentiation is in talent recognition.
Zeb Jacobs is Talent Coördinator at Royal Antwerp Football Club and is an expert in developing the new future football geniuses.


"I think there are two main questions in the whole process and question one of is what is a talent today. Let's take what we have at the age of 10, and question two is: how will football be played in ten years? Because if we bring a 10-year-old talent into training today, we have to prepare them for the future in ten years. That the football of the future will only be faster, more intense, with more speed, with more power, in even smaller spaces, that is certain, that is clear. We also see that today when we look at the highest level at Champions League level, and it's up to us to prepare boys for that, and also to select boys on that basis. And the speed of action or the process of recognising situations to solving them and therefore performing skills, if we can make that measurable, I believe we can gain a lot. So, we should develop a test battery or make something measurable that we can add to the selection process, which includes also physical tests, but also simply a piece of experience. Because I also believe that people today who have a lot of experience, who have a lot of knowledge, who have been in the business for a long time, simply have added value in selecting talent. So, for me, it's a total package where we can start adding batteries or testing tools to the things we already have today from experience, from physical testing and from what is already there. If we take the total sum, I believe we can make the margin of error smaller, because we will continue to make mistakes and select the wrong guys, that will always be the case. It is just a matter of keeping that margin as small as possible. And everything that contributes to that is welcome in the football landscape. Be it people with a lot of knowledge, test batteries, you name it. If we can combine all of that to get to a certain potential score, I believe that the profit will be huge and we can only increase the level of football."

It is just a matter of keeping that selection-error margin as small as possible.
Zeb Jacobs