In conversation with Indian Football Agent Wilbur Lasrado

Wilbur Lasrado

In a quick chat, Inventive Sports UK’s Wilbur Lasrado talks about his love for the game, how he went into being a football agent and his relation with players.

“Football is more than a game to me, having been a player myself I knew what it would take me to fit in these players shoes. It has been a great personal challenge so far where every day I continue to learn and grow.” says Wilbur

After completing his bachelor’s in management studies, towards the end of 2017, Wilbur was introduced to Baljit Rihal – CEO of Inventive Sports, a Licensed English Football Agent, ECB Cricket Agent, FIFA Match Agent and Founder of Asian Football & Cricket Awards. “The transition was never easy. I realized many of these individuals face unique challenges as they tried advancing through their careers and would benefit with trustworthy agents to help them transform their talent into opportunities at a professional level.” Says Wilbur on his first exposure as an agent.

“I share a very close bonding with my players. That’s my style of working and the relation I share with my players from the younger players I manage like Zayed, Johnson, Nikhil Pal to foreign players like Iain Hume, Lucian Goian, Raphael Augusto, Nerijus Valskis, Andy Keogh to Indian internationals like Sahal Abdul Samad, and Jobby Justin. None of my players treat me like an agent. I always felt like I have been treated as a brother or as a part of their family. If they have any problems, they always count on me and ring me up. I am very open and honest with them.” adds Wilbur

“During off season we often train together or catch up for a 5 A-Side game and when work is over, we all chill together. They treat me not like an agent, but like family. And when they needed someone they could trust, they approached me.” Today, Wilbur not only handle his players contracts, public image, marketing and brand endorsements, but also advise them on investments that they could make, which will help them in the long run and secure their family and future.

For Wilbur, his Clients image is important, giving them attention to every detail that he even invest in styling them for match days or public functions. “If my athlete has a game to play or has an awards function to attend, I get him for a hair-cut from my professional stylist, or anything that is required- it gives him confidence and changes the way he carries himself, which pays dividends in the end.”

Talking about his relationship with players, Wilbur adds, “Over the years, I have formed a close personal bond with the players I manage. At times it backfires But you can’t help getting close to the players as ours is a relationships business. Honesty & Integrity plays a vital role here. If either party is not honest, then it can be a dirty business.”

He further adds, “There are agents who just do deals and disappear and there are agents who really look after their clients with everything. That is why I separate these two categories of agents. Either you are just a deal broker who leaves the player to one side and only appears when there is a contract renewal or deal to be done or you do what we do, be there for them in every phase of their career, even when the going isn’t easy.”

Emphasising further on the company limited players, Wilbur adds, “We have fewer clients but we give our hundred percent to our players. That’s why we can give them a really good service with everything. We can focus on them. I do not believe in an agency with 100 players. How can you give them the services? It is impossible. The primary responsibility of agents is to find their players a club and negotiate the contracts. The negotiation does not involve just the player’s salary, but also aspects such as game time over the season. If the player is signed by a club for a high fee but then is made to sit on the bench for most of the season, it does not contribute towards his development.”

Before the endorsements and sponsorship come in, one must carefully craft a player’s image, turning him to someone people respect which comes from how he carries himself on and off the pitch. Wilbur states, “This is what I want to do, and I tell every player I work with, the process takes time. With the ISL and I-League running in parallel this season, the talent pool of Indian footballers has increased, this has led to a boost in business for player agents. More players mean’s more opportunities for agents, who have expanded their portfolio.”

Currently, working at Inventive Sports UK as a Player Relation Manager whose roster includes quite a few big players in the names of Iain Hume, Raphael Augusto, Lucian Goian, Andy Keogh, Nerijus Valskis, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jobby Justin, etc. “We are looking forward to working and growing with all of them together.” Wilbur signs off.

Also Read: Vikram credits coach Venkatesh for helping him ‘mature’ as a player

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football 

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