Read on for a look behind the scenes of a Premier League football club, and read advice for breaking into the sports industry.
Watford Football Club.
Lead Academy Performance Match Analyst.
Class of 2013
Bsc Sports Science & Coaching Studies
What does your job involve?
As the Academy’s match analyst I record fixtures then clip them to the coach’s request post-match, based on what he would like to have another look at. This could be what they have worked on during previous training sessions, or depending on how the game has gone a focus on attacking/creative play such as final third entries or shots on goal, or something as small as how many passes are made in a game or how many crosses have been put in.
I clip all players from the game who had been given set targets, for the coaches and individual player feedback, to help the player’s development by analysing their positive and negative contribution to the game.
I am also responsible for obtaining past footage of our future opponents, and present it to the coach, allowing him to adjust the team and tactics for that match based on the styles and patterns of play that the opponents employ.
I use a wide angle camera which allows you to see the whole pitch all at once, so you can analyse a player’s movement off the ball as well as on it. It gives you a better perspective of the whole game and allows the coaches to judge more effectively how a player has performed in different situations. I also produce a DVD of the whole game for each player – as well as members of the coaching staff – which allows the players to analyse their own performance in their own time.
Another fantastic element of my job is that I get to travel when the team plays abroad, which is always a fantastic experience.
How has your qualification from Bucks helped your career?
Completing the Coaching Module gave me an insight of what it is like to work in a professional environment. I also learnt a huge amount from the many industry related guest lecturers we had.
Developing my presentation skills whilst at university has proved to be extremely useful, allowing me to deliver feedback and understand and adapt to different athletes and leadership styles. All of this was learned from the coaching module of my course.
Also during my time at Bucks I was able to attend a Prozone course in Liverpool which gave me a stepping stone to learn extra skills to help me in my career development. I would highly recommend this type of extra-curricular training, and work experience, as it will show future employers that you have taken time out off your own back to further your knowledge and understanding of your chosen career field on top what you’ve learnt at University. These are also very good networking opportunities.
What advice would you give to a student who is about to graduate into your role/industry?
Get as much experience as you can, put yourself out there, volunteer and enroll on any extra training courses to develop yourself, and get in contact with people (including Bucks New University graduates and mentors) in the industry to ask them questions and find out how they got to where they are.
Are there any misconceptions about your role/industry that you would like to address?
There is that common phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” – which isn’t exactly wrong, but you still need the knowledge in your head. I prefer “It’s not what you know, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.”
You need to work hard and make a lasting impression and people will call you back again and again.
How did you get you secure your current job?
Whilst in my final year at Bucks New University I was offering my services as an analyst, voluntarily providing clips and stats for local clubs. It was during this time I managed to get a voluntary role at Watford FC, which was an incredible experience. I was based at the Watford FC training ground working as a Video Analyst for their academy filming games (home and away) on the weekend and analysing the games during the week. After volunteering for three months I managed to secure a full time role and became their Lead Academy Analyst.
What advice would you pass on to your first year self?
Get an idea of what you want to do, and sit down with your tutor and/or a career adviser and discuss your options. If you can get work experience, even its only a week in different industries, you can get a feel and idea of what the job actual entails to see if you will like it. As I was told, first hand experience is the best.
Other related links:
- Daniel Bedeau – LinkedIn
- Sports related articles on this blog
- Bsc Sports Science & Coaching Studies