From Salford to the World of Football

Meet Dan Towers, BSc (Hons) Sports Science (Performance Analysis) graduate; U21 Performance Analyst, with Blackburn Rovers; and U19 Performance Analyst for Iceland's National Team. 

Dan Towers graduated from the University of Salford in 2023 with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science (Performance Analysis). During his time at university, Dan got involved in various activities, like working with Oldham Athletic, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, and the England Amputee Football Association. 

We spoke to Dan about these experiences and what advice he has for students interested in Sports Science. 

What experience did you gain while studying?

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“I went to the University of Salford with a clear plan of how I was going to attack my studies. I gained hands-on real-life experience with a role at the England Amputee Football Association in my first year as a student, which spanned my time at Salford. During this, we travelled Europe and won the EAFF Nations League in 2023, the first major international tournament for over 20 years.

“In my second year, I joined Oldham Athletic as a First Team Analyst Intern to gain exposure to the relentless schedule of the English Football League. In my third year as a student, I joined Manchester United as an Assistant Academy Performance Analyst on a casual basis while also linking up with Iceland as their U19s Performance Analyst, qualifying for the European Championship Finals in Malta for the first time in the nation's history."

What have you been up to since graduating?

“Once I had graduated from Salford, I gained a full-time role with Blackburn Rovers as their U21s Performance Analyst while also working remotely for the Icelandic men’s side Breiðablik UBK, covering their Europa Conference League campaign. I believe my role with the U19s Iceland National Team really helped propel my analysis career, rounding off my analysis experience on an international level, and working with highly qualified coaches and players speaking a different language. 

"This added another string to my bow in terms of communication with the coaches and players and tied a lot of experiences already gained together for me."

Do you have any advice for students?

"My advice to students would be to not think that the University and the tutors will do it all for you. Tens of thousands of people graduate each year with sports science degrees. It's not always easy to volunteer your time, but it's essential to gain a job at the end of it.

"I believe it's important to stay on top of learning in sport and football specifically. Things in the industry move quickly, and you can never stand still. I've recently completed the Talent ID Level 2 course with the  Professional Football Scouts Association (PFSA) and will look for further qualifications/opportunities to improve further.

“Upon joining the University of Salford, I looked at the past alumni and graduates and what roles they have gone on to, to help me with my choice around studying there. I wasn't let down by the humbleness and experience of the tutors who helped get me started in my analysis career. Having amazing tutors at university on the Sports Science programme helped me immensely, providing me with placement opportunities, support with assignments and work where necessary, and the confidence to kickstart my career in analysis."

What makes you proud as a Performance Analyst?

“It always makes me proud seeing the young footballers sign professional contracts or being given opportunities to play/train with the first team, as this is a journey I went on but was never good enough, so I feel like this is giving something back. My goals are to just continually improve and get better and work in a supportive multidisciplinary team.”