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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

James Brayne

BSc (Hons) Football Studies
Graduated 2014

Headshot of James Brayne

Why did you choose Solent?

A Football Association (FA) tutor recommended the course to me when I was studying for my UEFA B License. I felt I needed a degree to help with my next steps in the industry.

What was the best thing about your course lecturers?

The flexibility and understanding from the tutors allowed me to complete my degree and work full time at Birmingham City FC in years 1 and 2 and Manchester City FC in year 3. I was able to graduate with a 1st Class Hons degree, while accruing experience full time in the industry.

Do you feel like your studies helped you prepare for a career in the industry?

My studies helped me prepare well for a job in the football industry. I use on a daily basis the critical thinking skills that I’ve acquired during my course, whether that be through planning and preparation for working sessions, managing meetings with staff or presenting to senior club staff.

Working for Manchester City at the time, I was fortunate enough to draw Manchester City v Barcelona in the analysis task and attended both legs of the fixture.

Tell us a little about your career so far.

I have been fortunate enough to work across two clubs in my first 12 years in professional football. I have worked as a performance analyst, coach, head of analysis and now in my current role as head of coaching and player development U15-U21.

A typical day involves practical delivery of a coaching session with our U21 group, game preparation or review and meeting with our coaching staff to ensure we are upholding processes deemed important to the team and overcoming any issues that staff may have.

What’s your career highlight so far?

Leading the academy coaching programme where we achieved 1st place in the EFL productivity scores out of the 72 football league clubs.

I also work with players who are now playing at the highest levels of the game in the Champions League, La Liga, Premier League, or Championship alongside international football duties.