Bedfordshire alumnus shares journey to FIFA football role

Fri 24 February, 2023
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A University of Bedfordshire alumnus has shared his inspirational story of working as a football analyst for the sport's governing body FIFA.

Matty Mortimer studied on the BSc Applied Sport Science and Coaching top-up course with the School of Sport Science & Physical Activity (SSPA) and graduated from Bedfordshire in 2019.

SSPA students have access to specialist sports science labs, based on the Bedford campus, which give students a fantastic environment to develop their research skills and expertise. These facilities include equipment for research such as assessing human health risk and studying the biology of an elite athlete.

Read Matty’s Q&A to find out more about his academic journey and what life has been like since starting work with one of the largest sport organisations in the world.

I am a football analysist for FIFA. My primary role is to collect and analyse data based on FIFA’s footballing language. This language aligns technical expertise and the data itself to produce insights and to understand trends within football at all levels of the game. We look at all age groups as well as men and women’s football. The data is combined with observations from technical experts such as Steve McClaren and Arsene Wenger with the aim of understanding the game better, while hopefully improving fan experience and football as a whole at all levels of the game. It’s amazing - to watch football every day, it’s the dream.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Don’t assume the top-up is not for you. It provides a good opportunity for exposure to a wide variety of units. The tutors and staff will support you in a number of ways and it gives you an alternative route to achieving a Bachelor’s degree. The course helps you to find your own path in the sporting industry as well and gives you the freedom in your dissertation to choose a topic that you are keen on. You also get to work alongside people on other courses as well. Finally, take all the opportunities you’re offered in the time you are at university. I did my dissertation on performance analysis, and it gave me the hunger to go on and achieve a Master’s in this topic.

The work experience unit was a key turning point in my journey as I was able to look at all the different careers and pathways in sport science and choose one that best suited me. It also gave me my first exposure to performance analysis. There was a guest lecture from Luton Town Football Club which gave me the inspiration to pursue a career in the field. The other units were performance coaching and coaching in context, which introduced me to the research behind the coaching cycle models. Those units helped me understand what it is like to work in a multidiscipline environment and the demands coaches face - which is really important in analysis because it is based on relationships between the players and coaches.

Being able to use all the facilities and the elite-level equipment, which gave me the opportunity to develop my knowledge of both the equipment and its application.

Click here to find out more about courses available in the School of Sport Science and Physical Activity. If you’re interesting in learning more, come along to one of the University of Bedfordshire’s upcoming Open Days.


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