Sunderland have confirmed the appointment of James Young as the club’s new Head of Data and Analysis as the Black Cats look to move forward with a new club strategy.
New owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has changed things at the club, including bringing in Kristjaan Speakman as sporting director months before his purchase of the Wearside club was finalised, and he also wants the club to be up to speed with the latest data models.
Many clubs around the world now have top-of-the-range data and analytics programs and a role immediately opened in February following Dreyfus’ confirmation as new owner.
And in line with one of Dreyfus’ five points for the vision of Sunderland – to use ‘evidence-based decision making embracing data and technology’ – the club have appointed James Young to head up their new data program.
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According to the club website, Young graduated from Loughborough University and has worked with both Stats Perform and Deloitte in senior analytics roles.
Young has also worked with Saracens in rugby union whilst winning multiple Premiership and Heikenen Cup accolades and he also worked with Team GB at the Olympics as they won five gold medals.
All the best clubs in the world have good data and analysis facilities, and with a club of Sunderland’s size and where they want to be it makes sense for them to introduce it now.
Louis-Dreyfus is a young man with a big vision and it looks like he has appointed a winner in the form of Young.
He has experience of working with different winning teams in multiple sports and if he can bring his insight into the Academy of Light on a daily basis and make the club a successful one, then Louis-Dreyfus’ decision will look a very smart one.