Donald Barron

Pronouns: He/him
  • Doctoral Researcher
Start date: October 2023
Primary supervisor: Dr Laura Barrett
Secondary supervisor(s): Dr Keith Tolfrey

Donald is the Applied Performance Analysis Lead for SSEHS and is also the Programme Leader for the MSc Applied Sport Performance Analysis course at the university and therefore plays a key role in the education and professional development of applied performance analysts at the university. He has a unique blend of academic and applied insights and experiences that will inform his PhD. He previously worked in professional football leading the performance analysis and technical scouting departments at Leicester City, Coventry City and Norwich City from 2005-2017 and completed an MPhil with Nottingham Trent University in 2018. He has two publications to date focusing on the use of artificial neural networks to identify, profile and predict career progression in professional footballers.


An exploration of the professional practice of analysts and their use of performance analysis and sports analytics within opposition scouting, talent identification and player recruitment in elite sport. Expanding upon Martin et al’s (2021) framework around the nine components of practice within performance analysis, the project will critically review the development and use of sports analytics and technology in key decision-making processes around post-match analysis, opposition scouting and player recruitment. The project aims to inform evidence-based decision making which is essential for improving working practices and how we develop the next generation of performance analysts within higher education.