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New staff profile: Sam Barrell

1 August 2022

We kick-off our articles profiling new staff who have arrived at the club this summer by speaking to Sam Barrell, who arrived at the club as Head of Football Analysis early this summer.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I've come from Guernsey and then went through university doing an undergraduate and masters degree, with roles at Stevenage, MK Dons and Kidderminster - two academy placements and then a first team. Following the masters degree I went into a full-time role at FIFA as a data collection analyst, and now I've moved into this role. I am going into my fifth year in analysis with vast experience in a number of different roles. 
 
What was it like working for FIFA?
It was a remote job and it gave me a completely different insight into football analytics. There was a lot of individual player analysis, what they do with the ball and without it. It was every fine detail you can get in football analysis covering every single aspect of what a player does during a game. It was also valuable to be able collect data for major tournaments including previous World Cups, FIFA Club World Cup and the most recent European Championship.  
 
How has it gone so far then?
It has been going really well. I was in frequently during the closed season helping with recruitment and profiling players based on what the manager wants using data and video to highlight how they fit the playing style. I also created an analysis provision for the first team ready for the players return into a seamless transition into the new season.
 
How have you found the players and coaching staff?
They've been very good. It's been a very positive start so far and everyone's been really welcoming from day one. We are setting high standards and it's the same with the analysis, you want the players to engage and take in all the information we give them to then be prepared for matchday and to be able to support the coaching staff in the messages they want to deliver to the players. As a player, you see the game from a first-person point of view and have to make split-second decisions, but with the use of video analysis it can help players look at things from a different angle with the opportunity to review performances.

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