Manchester United Scout Among Speakers at Upcoming Webinar
Performance Analysis often gets associated with trying to figure out how to achieve maximum performance from an athlete. But there are many more professions where the disciplines of performance analysis are very useful. One of those is scouting.
When teams send out scouts to look for their potential next big star, they need to be able to observe and identify the key characteristics that would make a player a good fit for their club or, as it may be the case, not a good fit.
This is something that Manchester United scout, Danielle Prescott, will discuss at Portobello Institute’s upcoming webinar, How to Become a Performance Analyst. You can sign up here.
Danielle grew up watching and playing football in her native town of Blackburn. While a career as a player never really presented itself, Danielle was still very much interested in pursuing sport professionally.
She attended the University of Lancashire where she earned a degree in Sports Coaching in 2008. While there Danielle developed a keen interest in performance analysis. With a background in IT already, the two were a good match and with performance analysis still a relatively new industry, she says that she was ‘jumping on a wave’.
Through the university, Danielle was able to enter the football industry and follow her passion, landing a role with Bolton Wanderers as an Academy Performance Analyst. With the academy season ending in April, a month before the first team, she was able to provide assistance to the first team in their bid to avoid relegation and stay in the Premier League, which they did.
From there, Danielle went on to work in roles across multiple football clubs. It was at Fleetwood Town that she would meet Mickey Mellon, who was the manager at the time. She joined Mickey’s set-up as a performance analyst.
However, it would be at Mellon’s next club where Danielle would get her first taste of scouting. While at Shrewsbury Town, Danielle would move to an opposition analyst role, helping Mellon and his players prepare for games by watching and analysing upcoming opponents.
It wasn’t a role that she had predicted to be working in but more so something she developed an interest in over the course of her career.
“It wasn’t anything I asked for. It was more opportunistic. Being asked to look at particular players at a game. That’s where it was highlighted to me that that’s a side of performance analysis, scouting and recruitment, that I had never thought about.
“The skills I acquired as an analyst can be transferred into scouting and recruitment. You’re essentially looking at the strengths and weaknesses of players, just not from a team perspective anymore,” she said.
After another role under Mellon at Tranmere Rovers that saw her move into the recruitment side, Danielle then applied for a job as a scout for one of the biggest teams in the United Kingdom and indeed the world, Manchester United.
She was successful in her application and has been working with United since 2017 and works mainly in her native Northwest of England, helping United to discover the latest emerging talents in the area.
Danielle will be speaking about how performance analysis aids her daily work for Manchester United and more at Portobello’s upcoming webinar on How to Become a Performance Analyst. You can sign up for the event for free here.
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