With preparations well underway for our second National League season, Maidenhead United are pleased to announce the appointment of 22 year old Luke Couchman to a new role at the club, that of First Team Data Analyst.
And the new man is already well familiarised with the National League. Luke explains: "In 2016/17 I worked with Billy Heath at my home town club FC Halifax Town. This was only post match analysis but during my time at the club we achieved promotion into the National League through the play offs. In 2017/18 I was approached by Silsden AFC in the North West Counties League Division One to provide post match analysis, but with more input that would be valued and more interaction with players so I knew how much was and wasn’t being used. We started the season with a 17 game unbeaten run which culminated in being title winners.
It wasn't long until Luke's skills were noticed elsewhere: "During January of that season, I was approached by a former coach of mine from my youth playing days asking if I’d like to join Shaw Lane. They invested in the software analysis so my input stepped up again, but then the manager left. Around the same time I was approached by Halifax again through people behind the scenes to help Jamie Fullarton push on to survival. I have since decided I wanted to go to Uni to enhance my prospects, and Maidenhead gives me the opportunity to gain some great experience alongside my studies."
Luke went on: "From September I am attending University at UCFB Wembley. I wanted to work for an ambitious club, and somewhere I could put my own stamp on things and really try and develop the analysis “department”. I took to LinkedIn to find members of staff to contact directly where I connected with Ryan Peters. From there, I met with Ryan and Lee (Devonshire). I showed them example work and they said they’d like me to come on board!" And what does Luke envisage his responsibilities at his new club to entail? "I will be watching lots of football! My aim will be to provide useful data and information about our upcoming opponents so we can know their game as much as possible and prepare for what they might throw at us. I will also provide stats to Alan on our own players and give them feedback and video analysis of themselves."
And as for Maidenhead United, it is clear that keen-eyed Couchman has already done his research on the Magpies: "After finishing as the in-form team and in the top half, the play offs are a realistic aim. There’s 7 places up for grabs so I don’t see why not! The club is part time, but I know it is run as well, if not better than other professional clubs in the division behind the scenes." And Luke has seen us at close hand, albeit in a rather different role which shows the hard-work ethic which will fit in well at our club: "When Maidenhead played at The Shay, I was stand in kit man for Halifax as all the backroom staff were elsewhere on that day!"
Luke and the backroom staff are excited about this new post which we are sure will help us gain an extra advantage as a part-time side in this league. We look forward to welcoming Luke in pre-season and wish him good luck in this vital role.
Updated 08:38 - 12 Jun 2018 by Steve Jinman