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Performance Analyst Matt Thriving in Professional Sporting Environment

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The domestic cricket season got underway in the spring sunshine earlier this month, and while the glorious weather is far from guaranteed to last throughout the summer, one Worcester graduate is hoping to make the most of the on-field action this season.

Matt Lewis, who is from Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, graduated with a degree in Sports Coaching and Development last November, and has since seen his early career as a Performance Analyst go from strength to strength.

Having initially studied for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Sports Coaching, Matt progressed onto the University of Worcester’s degree programme, where he was taught by Kelvin Beeching, Senior Lecturer in Performance Analysis and Sports Coaching.

Matt explains: “Thanks to the experiences that I gained during my early studies, I was able to identify particular areas that I wanted to focus more on, which included performance analysis.

“Kelvin explained to me what the University had to offer in terms of external opportunities; I was very keen to pursue these opportunities, and was able to complete internships with Birmingham City Football Club and Warwickshire County Cricket Club. These internships were perfect for me whilst at university, as they enabled me to pick up the key principles and processes involved with being a performance analyst in professional sporting environments.”

After finishing the second year of his degree, Matt secured a Performance Analyst role at Bristol Rovers Football Club, where he was already coaching within the club’s advanced development centres. A job covering the first-class cricket season for Opta - the world’s biggest sports data company - has followed, and Matt is currently enjoying balancing both roles as he continues to build his professional experience.

“At Bristol Rovers, I tend to look at more technical and tactical analysis and critique through video clips,” he explains. “A coaching syllabus is set at the beginning of the season, and the analysis that we conduct is in line with that syllabus, showing good examples and things that didn’t quite go so well, things that can be improved upon.

“With Opta, I work more with statistics – the data is then passed to Opta’s Head Office and can be distributed to their partners, which include the likes of Sky Sports, the BBC and the International Cricket Council.”

As a keen fan of both sports, Matt – whose dissertation focused on the role of analysts within elite football academies - says he is thoroughly enjoying combining the two jobs, and is hoping to return to Worcester to complete a Master’s degree in the near future.

“I believe that further academic study will enhance my knowledge as an analyst,” he continues. “Longer term, I would love to work in a first team environment and on the national scene, being able to influence decisions and work with some of the best coaches in the world.

“Worcester gave me the second chance I was looking for, allowing me to progress through the HND to degree pathway. The opportunities and guidance that Kelvin then gave me were brilliant. I would advise all students to take up any opportunity that the University has to offer – there are so many, and it’s about finding the right one for you, which I was fortunate enough to do.”