Football agent, Jessica Bent, discusses how to break into the industry
Jessica Bent is the latest guest, as part of series three of the PitchTALKS Podcast. Find out her story of how she became a registered football agent and much more in her discussion with us below.
Jessica Bent is a registered intermediary, with the Football Association (FA). Alongside studying at university, she is currently trying to forge a career for herself in the world of football agency.
She sat down with Mitch and Sam on the PitchTALKS podcast, last week, to discuss everything from how she became an agent to advice for anyone who is looking to break into the industry themselves.
Lockdown pushed me to change careers
When the COVID-19 pandemic sent the United Kingdom into lockdown, in March last year, Jessica wasn’t even pursuing a career as an intermediary.
She was in fact in the middle of her first year studying law, at Liverpool John Moores University.
However, lockdown gave her the opportunity to re-evaluate her life ambitions. Indeed, she eventually decided to take the plunge and switch to studying at the University Campus of Football Business (UCFB).
She said: “If lockdown hadn’t of happened, I don’t think I would be sat here now, and I don’t think I would be doing the things that I am doing.”
At UCFB, Jessica is currently studying for a Batchelors degree in Sports Business and Sports Law.
Her decision to switch courses gave the self-confessed Manchester City FC fan the chance to be educated, at the club’s own Etihad Campus.
Becoming an agent
Jessica’s path to becoming an agent stemmed from a chance conversation with a friend, whilst she was preparing for her studies at UCFB.
One whom recommended she sign up for a course, being held by the ASA Football Agent Education programme.
After several months Jessica had completed the first three levels, that the ASA offer.
The programmes gave her the basic skills and knowledge to take her first tentative steps into the industry.
Just last month, she reached a new milestone in her career when she was became an FA registered intermediary.
As a relative rookie to the scene, she acknowledged it would be easy to “build up the numbers” and take on as many players as possible.
Jessica though says she will only work alongside players she believes she can help to progress in their careers.
She said: “Personally, I would try and look to take on people that I really did think and believe that I could help.
“You’ve got to do the things that are morally right. Not everyone is going to be for you.”
In recent years football agents have been painted, by some sections of the media, to be shady characters who are out to only benefit themselves.
Whilst Jessica accepts those individuals do exist, she says the agents she has dealt with are “great people” with a “genuine passion” for the game.
She said: “Those people do exist. That is real life but on behalf of the agents that I know, and I’ve had dealings with I have met some great people.
“People that are in the game for the right reasons and who like myself I suppose they’ve got a genuine passion for the game.”
As a young woman entering a historically male dominated industry Jessica concedes she is also contending with the sexist stereotypes, that can follow woman in sport.
For those who doubt her ability because of her gender she has a very simple message.
She said: “I think the best thing that I have learnt is that you can prove people wrong with action.
“I would like to think that as a woman coming into football, I can do everything a man can do and I am confident enough of that.”
Before winding things up Mitch and Sam asked Jessica what her advice would be for anyone who is looking to become a football agent. Her guidance was succinct but clear.
She said: “It is so cliché but if I can do this anybody can. The biggest thing is believing in yourself and having the self-belief that you can do it.”
Jessica was speaking as part of series three of the PitchTALKS podcast, hosted by Mitch and Sam. The series is helping to answer the question of how to break into the world of sport.
If you want to find out more and listen to the full podcast, with Jessica, you can do so by clicking the link below:
Acast - https://lnkd.in/d-RD8Pb
Spotify - https://lnkd.in/dxni5QC
Linktree (Apple, Google, Youtube) - https://lnkd.in/dC9kNtd
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