Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp admits the battle for young talent has never been so intense - even at the U10s age group!
In his column for The Sun, Redknapp wrote: "The competition for young talent is enormous, with clubs putting them on their books at nine to 10-years-old in the hope they will come good.
"It's not so much fishing with a rod and line but going out there with a great big trawling net, scooping up the lot and hopefully finding something tasty.
"You also need patience because kids develop physically at different speeds.
"It was a case of waiting for Michael's body to catch up with his brain and, when it did, bingo. It was worth the wait for the Hammers. You have to be able to look beyond what is standing in front of you and back your judgment. So many kids are turned down simply because they are not big enough but, for some, that kind of rejection can be the spur needed to fight on.
"Take Alan Ball. He would go on trials but was rejected by every club because he wasn't big enough. He'd go home, his dad would get the ball out and it was left foot, right foot, control, pass and move.
"Bally eventually got taken on by Blackpool and was so proud when he knocked on his house and his dad answered the door that he said: 'Dad, dad, I've made I've made it. Blackpool have given me a contract.'
"Back came the words: 'You've not made it son, you are merely on the first rung of the ladder. Now get out there with a ball.'
"For Bally, it paid off spectacularly with a key role in England's World Cup winning squad.
"He was prepared to work because he wanted to be a pro but so many go through the motions. It's only a job for some, not a real passion."