Manchester City create new first team data science role

Lee Mooney (right) is City Football Group’s Director of Data Insights

Lee Mooney (right) is City Football Group’s Director of Data Insights

MANCHESTER CITY are advertising for their first dedicated data scientist to work with Pep Guardiola's team.

The club already has a data insights team, headed up by Lee Mooney, but it works across the entire City Football Group, which owns five teams and has investments in four others.

This new Data and Development Performance Analyst will work solely with the men’s first team, “creating data driven insights… through exploration of complex data sets”.

Sevilla Sporting Director Monchi recently said “Big Data is the future of football” and Liverpool have stolen a march on their Premier League rivals in this area.

They have a four-strong research team, headed by Ian Graham, which analyses big data sets and uses computer modelling and machine learning to help turn them into actionable insights. Graham was important in the decision to appoint Jurgen Klopp as manager in 2015.

Arsenal have two first-team data scientists - Mikhail Zhilkin and Susana Ferreras - and Leicester City recently appointed their first Head of Football Analytics, Mladen Sormaz.

Mooney, City Football Group’s Director of Data Insights, has been in post since July 2018. He joined the club in 2014 as Recruitment Analytics Lead.

His background before that was in industry, having worked for United Utilities, Barclays and Deloitte. His number two at City is Brian Prestidge, the Football Insights Data Scientist.

Prestidge has held the role since June 2017 and was previously a football analysis pioneer at Bolton. He joined the Trotters in July 2006 as Head Academy Performance Analyst and worked his way up to Head of Player Recruitment and then Head of Analytical Development.

The new Data and Development Performance Analyst will work closely with Mooney and Prestidge, but will report into Senior Performance Analyst Aaron Briggs, who has been with the club for almost eight years.

City are also advertising for a first team set piece performance analyst internship, and the successful candidate will again report into Briggs.

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