The good folks over at Atlanta United have a must read story on one of their best folks.
In this edition of their excellent “Behind the Stripes” series, Ryan Catanese sits down with Lucy Rushton, Atlanta United’s Head of Technical Recruitment & Analysis.
Rushton joined the Five Stripes before the club even had a name. In 2015, the former Reading FC footballer came to Atlanta after a stint as a Player Recruitment Analyst for Watford.
Rushton quietly became an instrumental part in building the club and continues to make a major impact behind the scenes. Catanese describes her role this way:
So what does a data analyst do? It’s about looking deeper into the game at the underlying statistics to gain every advantage the team can. Whether that’s scouting opponents or potential transfer targets, Lucy’s job is to give the coaching staff all the information they can in order to make the best decisions for the team.
She may be the only woman in world football in a position like this and if you’ve watched this team for more than a minute this season you can tell she’s one of best in world football in a position like this. She’s helped build a team that not only plays aesthetically pleasing, attacking football, but also a team where nearly every single player has connected with the fan base.
“For a prospective target, we go in-depth with the data,” Rushton says in the piece. “Then we watch them play, we look into their personal background and history, we look at their social media. That way we can gauge the player as a whole: their personality as well as what they’re like on the pitch. That’s massive for us."
The whole thing is worth a read and I can’t recommend following Lucy on Twitter enough.
I feel like I say this with every player, staff member, intern etc. associated with this club, but we’re lucky to have Lucy.