Donald joined us in the summer of 2018 and has a wealth of applied experience, having worked in professional football for over ten years. He worked in the Premier League and the Football League Championship with Leicester City, Coventry City and Norwich City and was part of the support staff when the Canaries achieved promotion to the Premier League at Wembley in 2015. Donald’s roles within football involved working as Head of Performance Analysis and Head of Technical Scouting, where he utilised innovative processes and technology to provide elite support within the 1st team environment.
These senior roles have provided him with a detailed knowledge of pre-match, live and opposition analysis and the key role it plays in the coaching process. He also has extensive knowledge of working in and playing a leading role in a modern scouting and recruitment department. He has in-depth knowledge of the due diligence that goes into identifying key targets, monitoring their performance and the final decision-making process surrounding multimillion-pound transfers. During his time in elite sport, Donald had the opportunity to work with a number of highly respected Managers and coaches such as Chris Hughton, Chris Coleman and Aidy Boothroyd. He has also worked with, and has been involved in transfers for, players such as Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson and James Maddison.
In recognition of his work in elite football he has the highest accreditation level available from ISPAS, Applied Level 5 Performance Analyst, an award given to staff working at a world class level in performance analysis. He has also obtained the High Performance Sport Accreditation from BASES due to his extensive experience of working with high performance athletes in professional football. His experience and broad skill set has also led to him being invited to provide presentations on behalf of the Premier League, Scout7 and OPTA to share his knowledge and insights from professional football.
Alongside his experience in analysis and scouting, Donald has also obtained an MPhil from Nottingham Trent University for his research into Artificial Neural Networks and Player Recruitment in Professional Football. The research focused on applying modern machine learning techniques to predicting and evaluating players’ performances for scouting and recruitment purposes. He is now working on getting his research into player recruitment published, developing a new application of machine learning in sport and is working towards a PhD.