News | October 12th, 2021
Malachi Nsiah: Sports Agent?
Integral believes strongly in recruiting the next generation of talent, both on and off the field.
We are specialists in identifying and developing up-and-coming talent in football and other sports. And we have two very effective university students, in Matt Davenport and Alfie Bobbins, doing player recruitment and business analytics respectively.
I recently met Malachi Nsiah from Birmingham City University’s Global Sports Management programme. He wants to become a top agent. Malachi has kindly shared some of his thoughts with us below.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am 18 years old, from Telford in the West Midlands. My Mum’s a probation officer and Dad is a truck mechanic.
Football is all I’ve ever been interested in. I’ve been playing it all my life and made tons of friends through playing the game.
My mates would describe me as a very outgoing and gregarious individual, who loves to travel, try new things, better myself, is courageous and prepared to take risks. I’ve also learned to cope with disappointment.
When you chose your degree course, how much was that influenced by your interest in becoming a sports agent?
I picked global sports management simply because I want to become an agent. The curriculum will give me a lot more technical knowledge and insight on how to get there, and also more connections. And with the Commonwealth Games coming up in Birmingham, there is a lot of energy around the BCU sports programme right now.
We look at all aspects of the sports business. I just completed a module on marketing where I delivered a presentation to staff and peers on Manchester United’s branding operation. There are also options to study abroad, so if I pick that up I will choose the US.
Why might you be an effective agent?
I have built up a good number of contacts at a young age, which is vital. I’m good at forming and keeping relationships with people: most of my best mates from school have managed to sign professional contracts at different teams and I still manage to keep a very close bond with them as I see weekly. I am close with Zac Ashworth (Dan Ashworth’s son) at the Albion, Jack Hodnett and Chem Campbell at Wolves, Jack Broome at Watford and Arjan Raikhy at the Villa.
I check up on them and see how their games have gone. And they trust me: a very big thing that all agents need. Also, I have experienced disappointment, as my experience with Port Vale shows (see below). I think that’s helped me to empathize more.
What do you think younger players want from an agent?
Here’s my list:
- Keep watching all the client’s games and always keep an eye on the wider market to see what teams need what players. Doing this can lead to a loan move which is a great opportunity for young players. My mate Arjan Raikhy was loaned to Stockport recently and it has done him the world of good to be playing there at 18.
- Always chat to the player regularly and see if they are not only physically but also mentally fit.
- Create a bond with the family so they feel comfortable around you.
- Support them and give them feedback on the games and how they can improve themselves.
- Constantly negotiate with the player’s club so they can get the best deal possible. Don’t just make them sign a deal and forget it for three years.
What was the experience of not making it at Port Vale like? How did you handle that?
I was at the Vale from Under-13s to the start of the Under-16s. It didn’t work out for a variety of reasons.
At the time I was suffering from Osgood – Schlatter Disease in my knees. So I wasn’t playing, as I was often injured and my heart wasn’t in the game at all. Then I was training three times a week and I was getting back at late times. My parents thought this was bad due to the fact it was my GCSE year, and they wanted me to focus more on academics. Also my dad was at a new job so he couldn’t always balance the times to take me with that. So we decided to leave Vale and I trained with Shrewsbury for a bit.
When I left Vale all my friends from school were getting offered their pro scholarships and sponsorships from Nike and Adidas, so in my head I knew I wasn’t going to make it as a pro and had to find plan B. I wanted to stay in football so being an agent is perfect for me.
Many thanks indeed Malachi for that
Enjoy your week everyone, and thank you for your engagement with Integral