Richard Allen – A performance analyst

Richard Allen – A performance analyst My name is Richard Allen and I oversee performance analysis for U9-16s at Nottingham Forest Academy. I have been in this role since June 2016 after previously being an analysis intern for 2 years whilst studying a coaching and sport science degree at Nottingham Trent University.

My background is balanced between coaching and analysis, as I also coach within the foundation phase (U9-12) at the academy and have previously held coaching roles full time with The FA skills programme working with 5-11s. In addition I have coached in the women’s game with Nottingham Forest and Derby County ladies, coached county representative squads and now I have my own coaching business as well, so there’s a lot going on!

My route into performance analysis was initially contacting as many academy managers and coaches as possible all over the country as I desperately needed the experience to complete one of the modules on my coaching degree. It would also allow me to gain insight into an elite coaching environment whilst I was still doing my coaching badges. On my internship I mainly worked with the U18s basically trying to film as much as possible in training and games so we could relay this to the players. It was a great environment to work in and we had some very good players that season too.

In between those two years I spent a month at Prozone sports, one of the leading statistics and analysis companies in the country. What they gave me was an excellent insight into what all the elite teams do as I had access to everything imaginable from where goals are scored in the premier league to what a strikers conversion rate was. All stuff which is pretty accessible now, but 3 or 4 years ago this was a massive eye opener for me. I did projects during Euro 2012 and had the opportunity to provide analysis for the England team and BBC Sport as well as profiling players for clubs on the verge of making transfers. No pressure then!

When I came back to Forest for the following season I was invited up to the first team to film all training and games under Sean O’Driscoll. I was present in the team meetings and it was an excellent insight into what teams do at the top level. My role now at Forest is far more diverse than it was before. My primary role is to give the best support to coaches and be an off the field coach for the players, giving them lots of resources and things to consider when they’re away from the club. We have considerably more resources available along with the developing syllabus which is now in its 2nd season.

This has enormously benefited all of the players coming through right from U9s to U16s pursuing scholarships as well as those at the top end with lots of players gaining opportunities with the 1st team. Between the foundation (9-12) and youth development phase (13-16) the analysis feedback is slightly different.

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