Charlie Mitchell – Head of Performance Analysis at Pafos FC

Charlie Mitchell – Head of Performance Analysis at Pafos FC
Charlie Mitchell - Head of Performance Analysis

About Charlie Mitchell

Nationality: British

Current Role: Head of Performance Analysis at Pafos FC (started January 2020)

Residence: Cyprus & United Kingdom

Sport: European Football / Soccer

What are daily duties of the Head of Performance Analysis?

  • Assisting first-team coaching staff with game plan production
  • Tactically analysing upcoming opponents
  • Reviewing previous games with first-team staff to improve future performances
  • Undertaking individual analysis of players, distributing clips to aid development as part of their ILP’s
  • Producing pre & post-game statistical reports for the coaching staff
  • Managing a team of analysts within the department
  • Assisting the Scouting & Recruitment department with the management of the scouting database
  • Assisting the Sporting Director & other Senior Management with helping to make improvements to the organisation & develop the club
  • Inputting an analysis process that is coherent with the Pafos game model, working from First Team to Academy level

How does your role contribute to the overall goals at Pafos FC?

I’d like to think as a department we contribute in many ways to the organisation. It has to be understood that the coaching staff and players make the main decisions within the game but our main role is to aid the decision making processes of staff and players as much as possible through our analysis. Our main aim is to ‘make effective decision makers’.

Our other aim is to prepare the coaching staff as much as possible about what is expected from the next opposition so that they can make effective decisions about their game plan and translate that to the players on the pitch and in the meeting room.

How did you acquire the Head of Performance Analysis role at Pafos FC?

I was approached by the club Sporting Director whilst in my previous role at the Wales National Team and was excited by the plans for the club.

“..our main role is to aid the decision making processes of staff and players as much as possible through our analysis.”

What typical equipment, tools & technologies do you use to achieve great outcomes in your work?

For filming training & games we use standard tripods and cameras to film training. Now we are in conversation with a company that will supply us with a camera to film training that will take us to the next level in terms of what we will be able to see on the pitch.

We then use our laptops to do the bulk of our analysis. Using softwares such as Sportscode, FinalCut, Tableau, Numbers, Google Sheets, RTSW Tactic Advanced and our new Iterpro System to generate analysis. We then use WyScout and InStat to gain statistical data in other elements and also gain access to footage we can watch.

Are there any standards or methodologies you rely on to achieve positive outcomes?

For a Performance Analyst, your standards need to be high. Mainly because you are heavily relied on by coaches to produce quality work to inform them of how the next opponent will play.

This means you need to leave no stone unturned in your approach to how you work – but also producing a quality of work that can be interpreted well by your coaches. The coach-analyst relationship is key to being successful.

What are your favourite or go to sports brands for your role in sports?

I’ve been lucky enough to have a variety!

Adidas & Nike mainly but I do like a wide range.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to be in your role in the future?

Understanding your context is a big one, you have to remember you are not the coach. You help guide the coaches and players to make effective decisions on the field and executing the game plan. You have to be good at building relationships and trust, be reliable and work as hard as you can no matter how small the task it.

Organisation and communication is also key to success in the role. Finally, approach the role with a growth mindset – have a hunger to learn, reflect on your practice regularly and be proactive in your professional development.

“You help guide the coaches and players to make effective decisions on the field and executing the game plan.”

What are some key successes or personal milestones you’ve achieve in your career?

  • Being head of department at a football club in a first team environment aged 24.
  • Helping Wales Women to their highest ever world ranking and best ever qualification campaign
  • Qualifying for the elite rounds of UEFA Women Youth tournaments with Wales’s U17s & U19s
  • Achieving my UEFA B Licence
  • Achieving my BSc & MSc Sports Coaching from Leeds Beckett University
  • Winning the WSL 2 title with Doncaster Belles

What’s some advice or knowledge you wish you had been aware of earlier in your career?

The amount of sacrifice of time you have to make in order to get the best out of your work in football. I’d have also made changes in my approach at University with regards to how I went about my coaching badges – I think I could have progressed on these earlier.

From your perspective, who are some success stories you look up to and why?

My main aim in the game is to become a full time coach at first team level. I look to Christoph Buhler, Joao Sacramento & Aaron Briggs who have held similar roles in the modern game.

“Having moved to Europe to work, I now see there is a wider world of opportunities outside of the UK.”

What types of roles would you like to be doing in the future during your career?

The dream is to manage/head coach role – I’ve had a taste of coaching in the game at Wales and also in Non-League as an assistant and it’s fuelled my passion to continue on. At 25 I am learning an awful lot and want to complete that transition in the next 10 years.

What regions of the world and specific organisations you’d like to be part of during your career?

Having moved to Europe to work, I now see there is a wider world of opportunities outside of the UK. I’d love to go back to work for my hometown club, Huddersfield. But I would welcome opportunities to work anywhere in the world because the journey at Pafos FC so far has been a fantastic experience.

I have a lot of aspirations that can be fulfilled in either the women’s or men’s game having experienced both contexts.

More about Charlie Mitchell

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