Sebastiano Pochettino: Premier League's youngest sport scientist
Written by Simon Austin — October 21, 2017
MOST sports science graduates could only dream of a career trajectory like this: job with a top Premier League side within two months of leaving University and promotion a year later.
But that's been the journey of Sebastiano Pochettino, son of Spurs manager Mauricio. The 22-year-old is the youngest first-team sport scientist in the Premier League, having been promoted to the role by the club this summer.
He is a prominent figure during Spurs training and sits in the dugout on match days. When Pochettino Snr visited the Aspire Academy in Qatar last summer, he took three key members of staff with him - his assistant, Jesus Perez; the Head of Medical & Sport Science, Dr Shabaaz Mughal; and Sebastiano.
During a press conference last January, the Spurs manager was asked about the presence of his son on the bench for the Premier League game against Crystal Palace.
“He loves Tottenham and all the players because he has a very good relationship with them,” Pochettino Snr explained.
“But the players don’t see him as my son, he’s Sebastiano and this is the important thing. I know some say, ‘He’s the gaffer’s son’ but the players trust him. Maybe one day he works for me or maybe for another manager, we’ll see.”
At that point Sebastiano was still a student at Southampton Solent University, where he was studying Sports and Exercise. The course involved components in Strength & Conditioning, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Sports Psychology and Performance Analysis.
He was also part of the High Performance Academy Strength & Conditioning staff at the University as an intern, “contributing part-time to the planning and delivery of individual strength and conditioning sessions throughout the educational season”.
In July 2016 he was employed as Spurs’ first team sport science assistant, before being promoted to first team sport scientist in June this year. Sebastiano’s younger brother, 15-year-old Maurizio, is in Spurs’ Academy.
James Grant, who taught Pochettino Jnr at Southampton Solent University, defended him against charges of nepotism, pointing out that he had graduated with first-class honours.
"Seb is a top SS & top man," tweeted Grant, who is a sports science lecturer at Southampton Solent University and head physical preparation coach at Southampton.
"Put some serious work in during his time @solentofficial finishing with a 1st and a shed load of exp! Deserved!"