Simply watching games is not enough, however, and Barnes and his colleagues have worked hard to develop Palace’s relationships across the catchment area.
“We’re becoming more strategic with our scouting,” he explains. “We had a talk with Cray Wanderers, who have 35 teams. With them being on board with us, it means another 35 pairs of eyes who can say: ‘We played so and so and they’ve got a really good Under-10s left-winger.
“It’s also the goodwill you create with them. It’s about building relationships, which we’re striving to do – getting in with schools and top grassroots clubs.”
Once again, despite working in the Academy the focus is on getting players over the road. But most won't make it in such a competitive industry.
“The buzz is seeing somebody walk across that white line at Selhurst Park,” Barnes admits. “We want to see the first-team win, and our job is to produce players, either to play in the first-team or to get a residual sale so they’re an asset to the club.
“But it’s never nice letting someone go. That’s the horrible part of the job. We’ve got relationships with lots of other clubs at different levels, and so we always try to place a boy if we’re releasing him.