Football Data Analytics: Understanding football player and team performance through the combination and relationship of technical (event/ball) and physical (player) tracking data

  • Loughborough University
  • 30th June 2019

Employer: Loughborough University
Reference: SSEHS/JPF
Bursary: £15,009 per annum
Contract type: Full time, fixed term
Start date: October 2019

Applications are invited for the above studentship commencing October 2019. This is an exciting opportunity to study for a PhD at Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise & Health Science whilst working with leading football data analysis company OptaPro to investigate the performance insights available from combining technical and physical data.

OptaPro provides detailed performance data, analytical insight and cutting-edge technology to support over 350 professional teams from the world of professional sport. Working across football, rugby and cricket, OptaPro’s bespoke tools, platforms and resources are used to inform and enhance decision-making across performance analysis, recruitment and strategic planning.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. Find out more:

The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences has been ranked 1st in the world for Sport-related Subjects (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, 2018 and 2019).

Full Project Detail:
Football analysis data tracking the movements of all the players (physical data), and their interactions with the ball (technical data) are increasingly available. However, the way in which physical and technical components interact and combine to influence the performance of players and teams is poorly understood. Given that team success is known to be multifactorial this would seem to be an important step in understanding football match play. The aim of this project is to combine physical and technical data to generate performance insights.

Find out more:

About the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences:
About OptaPro:

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have a good first degree (and preferably an MSc) in Computer Science, Data Analytics, Statistics or similar. Graduates in Sports Science (or similar) will need to demonstrate substantial and specific data analysis capability and experience (see Further Information). A good understanding of the current state of sports analytics, in particular football (soccer) would also be valuable.

Contact details:
Further Information on this PhD position is available from: Miss Jo Bebb, PhD Administrator
For specific queries: Professor Jonathan Folland

How to apply:
All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select “School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences”.

Please quote reference number: SSEHS/JPF

Package description
This studentship is for four years starting in October 2019 and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will cover the International tuition fee only. 


BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.



Contact us
  • Rooms G07 and G08 Fairfax Hall, Leeds Beckett University, Headingley Campus. Headingley, Leeds LS6 3QT
  • 0113 812 6162