Manchester United hire Southampton's Lead Data Scientist
Written by Simon Austin — March 6, 2023
MANCHESTER UNITED have made a major addition to their new data science department by hiring Southampton’s Lead Data Scientist Alex Kleyn.
As TGG reported last November, United have embarked on the process of recruiting data scientists, machine learning scientists, analysts and engineers as they bid to become “dominant” in data science.
Director of Data Science Dominic Jordan, who was appointed in October 2021 with the remit of "driving forward the club’s use of data to help players and staff deliver success on the pitch", is heading up the department and leading the recruitment drive.
Jordan did not begin his role role until March 2022 because he had to serve a long period of notice with his previous employer, the retailer N Brown Group, for whom he was Director of Data Science and Analytics.
Kleyn joined Southampton as a Data Analyst in September 2017 before being promoted to Lead Data Scientist in January 2019. Prior to this he worked for Norwich City for three years, first as a statistician and then as Technical Scouting Data Analyst.
He is highly respected within the industry and presented at TGG’s Big Data Webinar in December 2020, explaining how Southampton used data to align their first team and B team. Kleyn will remain with Southampton to the end of the season.
Meanwhile, there has been another exit from Southampton’s data department, with Data Analyst Harriet Eastham leaving to become a consultant. Eastham, who delivered a PowerBI Masterclass for TGG last year, had joined Saints in January 2018.
Writing on LinkedIn, Eastham said: "After five wonderful years at Southampton, I have taken the decision to embark on a new adventure. Can't thank enough those that I worked with for their support and friendship - what a ride it's been!
"It's not a complete goodbye as I'm thrilled to stay on as a Non-Executive Director for the Girls and Women's Programme to ensure the progress continues to ensuring the team lead the charge for being one of the best in the rapidly growing women's game.
"For now though I will be takings some time to relax and recharge, but will be available for freelance data analysis work - with specialism in Sports Science and Medical Data."