GETTING RESULTS: Computer student analyses a future in sport

Ben Maitland is on course for reaching his goal of being a Sports Analyst after studying for a degree in Computer Science at the University of Wolverhampton - bagging a job as sports analyst at Birmingham City Football Club.

Ben, 21 from Southampton, got lower A Level grades than he expected and accepted a place in Wolverhampton which was his second choice university.

Working with the Institute of Sport at Walsall Campus, Ben began to use his computer knowledge to analyse sport and lecturers put him in touch with Birmingham City Football Club where he worked as a volunteer sport analyst for Birmingham City Women Football Club for a year before being appointed Head of Performance Analyst.

He has also worked with the UEFA Women England Under-19 team.

Ben said: “When I came to the University it was with the intention of being a Computer Science software developer programmer but I met someone in the WLV Sport team who managed to take my love for football and turn it into a full time career by linking me with Birmingham City Women Football Club.

“There was little analysis being done at the club. Now we’ve got a fully-fledged programme that competes in the top end of the league.”

Working closely with Huddle, the software provider for football clubs, Ben’s dissertation covered data science and looks at applying computer science concepts and making them performance related – research that helped him secure the job at Birmingham City.

“There’s always someone to talk to at this University – whether it be a lecturer, a football coach, an administration assistant – there’s always someone to answer your question.

“The University sets you up to work, sets you up to get a full time job in whatever aspect you want to dream of. It really is the University of Opportunity.”

He said: “I’d like to go full-time and I haven’t ruled out the possibility of doing other things whether it be working for a national team or a first team in a high level academy set-up.  I want something to challenge me, test me to my limits. Computer Science and high performance sport can work together - it’s just how you manipulate one to work with the other.”

Ben, right, pictured with Kerys Harrop, Captain of Birmingham City Women Football Club, left.

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