From the publisher:
The call is made: "Get down here quick. This is something special". Another boy is 8, going on 28.
His name is Jack Wilshere. The referee, an Arsenal scout, spirits him away from Luton Town. A young goalkeeper struggles on loan at Cheltenham Town in League Two.
His name is Jack Butland. Within months he will be playing for England. Welcome to football's hidden tribe.
Scouts are everywhere yet nowhere, faceless and nameless, despite making the informed decisions worth millions. Award-winning sportswriter Michael Calvin opens up their hidden world, examining their disconnected lifestyles, petty betrayals and unconsidered professionalism of men who spend long, lonely hours on the road.
Michael Calvin is one of the UK's most accomplished sportswriters, having worked in more than eighty countries. He has covered every major sporting event, including seven summer Olympic Games and six World Cup finals. He was named Sports Writer of the Year for his despatches as a crew member in a round-the-world yacht race and has twice been named Sports Reporter of the Year.
His book, The Nowhere Men, a study of football scouts, won The Times Sports Book of the Year prize in 2014. He became the first author to receive the award in successive years, when Proud, his collaboration with former Wales and British Lions rugby captain Gareth Thomas, was named Sports Book of the Year in 2015.
In the same year Living On The Volcano, which exposed the pressures on managers, was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize. No Nonsense, his collaboration with Joey Barton, was named Autobiography of the Year in the 2017 British Sports Book awards.
No Hunger In Paradise, an insight into youth football that spawned a widely-praised BT Sport documentary, was a Sunday Times bestseller. State of Play, a study of the morality and social impact of modern football, was longlisted for the 2018 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. He has been working closely with Thomas Bjorn on Mind Game to capture the unique nature of golf, and the principles and philosophies of the world's best players.