The Rookie Makers

Scouting for Young Talent for the Federal Soccer League

After the European Championship, it’s more urgent than ever to find young talent for the German Soccer League. Mario and Dominic, Freddy and Manuel are all fifteen years old. They are second stringers for the South Baden Soccer Association. For them it’s clear, they want to become professional soccer players. At the Duisburg soccer camp they have to and want to show that they have the stuff for a great soccer career. The annual Duisburg scouting match is THE talent showcase for upcoming German soccer players, a must for all federal league clubs. Even Manchester United has sent a scout. Every game, every player is closely watched: What is the kid’s developmental potential, which club will sign up the most talented youths this year? The scouts don’t miss a kick, nor fail to note a pass. Every evening they put their heads together and come up with hot tips. In these five days of the youth matches, the die is cast. Even if, from the 340 players, only a handful make it to the federal league, Mario and Dominic, Freddy and Manuel want to be in it. In Duisburg it’s not only important to become the German champions with South Baden, but also to make it into the U-15 national team.

We observed the four South Baden second stringers and their parents during the five days in Duisburg. Will they manage to get the attention of the national trainer, the scouts, the agents? Will they perhaps even win the German championship? At the same time, we watched the scouts – what criteria determine their choices? How do they recognize the most talented players? Is an end to the decline of German soccer anywhere in sight?

Press Review:

Women in the Protestant Rural Church in Württemberg:
It is to the credit of the editor that this side of professional soccer is illuminated, without expressly harping on it. Also interesting is that the film was directed by two women.

More on co-director Reinhild Dettmer-Finke:

Produced by

SWR / White Pepper

A film by

Reinhild Dettmer-Finke and Sigrid Faltin



Running time

30 min.


  • Camera: Ingo Behring, Holger Schüppel
  • Sound: Matthias Thomae, Herbert Hanisch
  • Editor: Mike Schlömer

„We produce documentary films - it's real life that interests us.“
Sigrid Faltin, white pepper films


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