Reece Land: day one of the transfer window – a 5am start and a potential flight
The first day of the transfer window is always busy, but this has been the busiest one I’ve known by far. After going to bed at 1am following a two-hour conference call with a club in the National Women’s Soccer League, I was awakened by a 5am phone call.
A club from mainland Europe was interested in one of my players and wanted to know if she was available and, if so, how much money she’d want, if she’d need accommodation, if she has a job, if she has a family, and various other things that would need to be built into any prospective deal.
It was the kind of day where I’d be on the phone to someone for 20 minutes, and when I put the phone down I’d see I’d missed two other calls in that time.
At 6.30am the phone rang again; this time it was another club in Europe calling to talk about a deal a bit further along – one which will hopefully be confirmed by next week. The next call at 8.30am was one of our player’s clubs calling to let me know they were planning to send her out on loan for a few months to the club that called at 5am.
The day continued in that fashion: back to back calls about various potential moves. It was the kind of day where I’d be on the phone to someone for 20 minutes, and when I put the phone down I’d see I’d missed two other calls in that time.
At 6.30pm I was sat waiting to find out what was next: would I have to board a flight that evening to get a deal across the line in time for Monday, or would I be waking up at 3am for a four hour drive across the UK to discuss a different deal?
Months of work coming to fruition
I’m not sure if I’ve explained the day very well, or if that timeline makes sense to you, but to be honest it all moved so fast it’s a bit of a blur. When it comes to the summer transfer window there are so many spinning plates and so many moving parts – and most of them have been spinning and moving since the previous January at least.
More often than not, clubs will be in touch with us in January to talk about their plans for a specific player, or the options they’re considering for the summer. Managers will have looked at their squad, they’ll know who’s out of contract in the summer and who’s likely to sign an extension or move on, and as a result they’ll know if they need to source certain replacements.
More often than not, clubs will be in touch with us in January to talk about their plans for a specific player, or the options they’re considering for the summer.
It’s always my preference to get deals done in January or February where possible as it provides certainty and stability for the club, the player, and us as agents. The clubs know what players they’ve got in pre-season ahead of time, the players know where they’re going so can start thinking about housing or jobs if needed, and we can start thinking about the support they’ll need from us.
Looking after the player
Whether a player is signing an extension at their current club, moving to a club 20 minutes down the road or relocating to somewhere 2000 miles away, it’s vital that they feel comfortable and confident in their surroundings.
Some of you might be wondering why I was waiting to find out if I had to fly across the continent to finalise a deal when I could have just done it all digitally, but that’s exactly why. I need to know that my players will be living, training and playing in adequate and safe places. The only way I can truly know that is by conducting due diligence myself.
I need to know that my players will be living, training and playing in adequate and safe places. The only way I can truly know that is by conducting due diligence myself.
At Next Gen Sport Solutions we conduct all of this due diligence before we even get the player involved. We consider the deal, get our legal team to agree on the contracts, verify proof of funds, check out the location and do whatever else needs to be done so that we know the move is the right one for our player. Once everything’s in place we’ll then get the player involved and let them know the kind of deal they’ve got on the table. We’ve worked in women’s football long enough to know just about everything a player’s going to want to ask a potential club. By asking those questions for them we remove stress and complication so they’re free to concentrate simply on their football.
Being a football agent is always a juggling act – trying to balance the wishes of players with the needs of clubs – during the transfer window you’re just juggling a bit faster than usual.
Individual relationships with our players also mean that we tend to know whether or not they’d be interested in a move, so we only pursue those that we know the player would want.
Being a football agent is always a juggling act – trying to balance the wishes of players with the needs of clubs – during the transfer window you’re just juggling a bit faster than usual. If the first day of this transfer window is anything to go on, this could be the fastest I’ve ever had to juggle, but if some of these prospective deals come off it’ll make for one of the most exciting seasons of women’s football yet. Make sure you're following @ReeceLand__ and @FROMTHEOFFvlog on Twitter and @rl796 and @fromtheoff_womensfootball on Instagram to find out what happens with these deals and others over the course of the transfer window.