Profile picture of Alex Tilson.

Performance Analyst, Bradford City Football Club.

After graduating I secured a role at Bradford City Football Club with their Elite Football Development Programme as a Performance Analyst.

Why I chose to study at Leeds Trinity

Leeds Trinity wasn’t initially my first choice, but it did appeal to me as I preferred to go to a smaller University. This was down to my lack of confidence and anxiety; the bigger universities just did not appeal to me. I had to choose between moving away and only coming back on the major holidays like Easter and Christmas or I could stay in Leeds and go to a university and receive a lot more support from staying in my hometown. In the end, I definitely made the right choice because it was a lot more supportive than I was expecting and it helped me get my degree and my first graduate job.

Amazing placement opportunities

The placement that helped me the most was during my second year when I was doing a volunteering module. I ended up volunteering overseas in Saint Lucia for four weeks, working with United Through Sport charity as a football coach. We worked in deprived areas trying to get kids into sport rather than gangs. This really helped me build more confidence, pushing me out of my comfort zone. It allowed me to understand how to work with people better as well, whether this be coaches, parents, or the players. It also helped me with my communication skills and how to get my points across better, so people knew what I was talking about - which was crucial to the role I secured at Bradford Football Club.

Alex Tilson Team picture Bradford FC.

Utilising support from the myFuture Team

After graduating I secured a role at Bradford City Football Club with their Elite Football Development Programme as a Performance Analyst. I got the role through the myFuture team, who initially helped me with my CV. They subsequently promoted the vacancy, which I applied for and was successful in getting.

Working for Bradford City Football Club

This was an exciting challenge as when I joined them my role was completely new to the programme. We worked hard throughout the 2019/20 season, putting solid foundations in place for what we want to get out of the players. My top highlight though had to be when we went to Spain for four days in February 2020, working with FC Malaga City Academy. It was an experience I will never forget, which allowed me to see how other teams and countries operate in terms of the role I do. It allowed me to learn some new things and help increase my knowledge more as well.

My biggest Challenges

I have faced a few challenges along the way. The first one was when I first started University, I nearly dropped out in the first two weeks due to my lack of confidence and self-belief. I was also unsure if I had chosen the best course for me. However, I managed to get through this. I spoke with family and friends and managed to find another course which suited me much better.  I really enjoyed it and persisted with it, even when I found something about it too difficult - this made me more prepared for working in the sporting industry.

The second one was when I first started my performance analysis role, I felt like I was in way too deep, because of the things that were expected of me. I hadn’t really worked in an environment of a professional club before, so I felt very awkward and anxious. But I as soon as I got on with the work, this all melted away and I managed to get on well with everyone. I really enjoy working with Bradford Football Club - the experience is incredible.

Alex Tilson Bradford Fc analysing match .

Continuing links with Leeds Trinity

I contacted the University in 2020 about bringing some extra students on board as we are wanting to expand our Analysis Team so that we can work with more age groups on this programme. It was just me working with our U18s. But we have grown a lot in a small time, so there is an opportunity for students to help us out with our U15 and U16 age groups.

My advice to prospective students thinking about doing a similar course

The advice I would give to students is to make sure the course you choose to do is something you really want to make a career out of. Find something you enjoy and something you are really passionate about.

Build up your connections along the way too and utilise the support that is available to you. I did this with the myFuture team and it helped me secure a fantastic job, I was also able to utilise these contacts again for mutually beneficial opportunities.