Training Ground Guru | First Team Lead Data Scientist

Leicester City Football Club is recruiting a First Team Chief Data Specialist to lead the club in its use of advanced performance data. Reporting to the Director of Football, this role will manage the collection and architecture of multiple sources of raw data, create mathematical models and provide insight and advice to coaches, analysts and other relevant stakeholders.

Qualified at MSc or PhD level in a quantitative discipline (e.g. statistics, economics, applied mathematics, engineering, etc.), the successful candidate will have extensive experience in statistical modeling techniques with an emphasis on sources and data formats prevalent in professional level football/sport analysis.

Desirable prior experience includes:

  • Work in a professional sports organization
  • Knowledge of performance data products (e.g. StatsBomb, Opta, Second Spectrum)
  • Managing large datasets
  • Proficiency in R/Shiny or Python (or Tableau) programming languages ​​and database tools such as MySQL

The ideal candidate will excel at developing close working relationships with key club stakeholders, have a proactive and structured approach to problem solving, and be comfortable working under tight deadlines.

Knowing some of the history of Leicester City Football Club helps you appreciate the sense of community, spirit and family that the Foxes are renowned for.

Formed in 1884, the Club has been in the Premier League since 2014 when the Foxes were promoted to Championship winners. In 2016, Leicester City became Premier League champions. This remarkable feat qualified them for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in Club history, and the Foxes went on to reach the quarter-finals of the competition. The Club continues to build on this success and celebrated the lifting of the prestigious FA Cup in May 2021.

Under the leadership of King Power and club CEO Susan Whelan, Leicester City Football Club is deeply committed to the local community and its supporters and continually strives to ensure that every point of engagement with supporters is truly world class, including the game day experience. Meanwhile, investment in the club continues, with the opening in 2021 of a new state-of-the-art training ground in north Leicestershire.

Main duties:

  • Develop the integrated club-wide approach to provide data-driven insights for performance analysis, player recruitment, sports science and medical aspects of club operation.
  • Collaborate with appropriate staff members and develop strategies to raise overall levels of data literacy, analysis and reporting.
  • Manage the workload and development of PhD students in data science.

Key tasks:

  • Data modeling: Statistical modeling relating to match performance from a wide range of data sources, including summary, event and tracking data.
  • Database : Maintenance and development of cloud-based databases from a wide variety of sources.
  • Data visualization: Presentation of information based on team and player performance data.
  • Data translation: Ability to convey complex analytical concepts clearly and simply to stakeholders, explaining their relevance to field performance.
  • Identification of long-term performance trends: Data-based evaluation of field performance providing weekly and quarterly reports.
  • Product rating: Evaluate the suitability of all available data products/service providers to club requirements, and manage contracts and budgets for these services.
  • Education: Develop the application of data analysis in the different departments of the football club.

Must include:

  • The employee must undergo training and carry out an equality impact assessment of all policies, projects, strategies and plans in accordance with the equality standards.
  • The Employee must at all times fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with the values ​​and the policies and procedures of the Club, in particular Health & Safety, Equality and Diversity, Confidentiality and with regard to the Data Protection Act.

The above job description is not intended to be exhaustive, so duties and responsibilities may vary over time as the Club’s needs evolve.

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Leicester City Football Club is an equal opportunity employer, and we welcome applications from all applicants, regardless of age, disability, gender identity or expression, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and their maternity, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation.

Leicester City Football Club is committed to protecting and promoting the well-being of children and young people and expects all staff to share this commitment. As such, you may be subject to Satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure through the Disclosure and Barring Service and prior to assuming a role.

Suitable candidates will be interviewed as they apply, the position will be closed once a suitable candidate has been found.

Sean N. Ayres