Leyton Orient’s Head of Analysis, Nick Gearing, popped into the teaching suite situated on the 5th floor of the Matchroom Stadium and presented an interesting and informative insight into his career so far.
Not much older than the students in his audience, Nick spoke of his educational journey from school via university and ending up in his current role at the O’s.
“I wasn’t sure of exactly what I wanted to do,” said Nick, “just that I wanted to be in the sports industry. In fact at one point it looked as though I’d end up as a teacher.
“At Uni I researched and taught myself how to analyse sports specific data and this helped me when I looked for an internship. Initially this was at Gillingham [football club] and it was there that Andy Hessenthaller offered me a chance as they didn’t have an analyst at the time.
“When Andy moved to Leyton Orient and the job became available, I had no hesitation in applying as the O’s is regarded as a big club and I wanted to further my career.”
Nick also advised the learners to grasp opportunities with both hands and network as much as possible.
“You never know who may just be able to help you in the future”, he remarked, “and having even the tiniest experiences can add up to a lot on a CV.”
A fascinating statistic that brought raised eyebrows to all In the room was when Nick stated that out of 400 students studying sports and leisure in his years at university, as far as he is aware, he is the only one employed at a professional football club.
“There were many who wanted to get into football,” said Nick, “but as far as I know, I’m the only one at this level. I realise I’m lucky but I was determined so the extra work and effort needed to be put in – something I recommend!”
Nick had also prepared a Powerpoint presentation, explaining just what is needed when analysing match and player data.
Richard Steele, teacher at the Leyton Orient Trust, said afterwards: “We’re extremely grateful to Nick for giving up his time and coming to talk to the students. He gave an absorbing insight into just what is needed in his particular role but more than that, some great advice for the students to take them forward.
“We all really appreciate the club staff and player’s taking time out to visit the students as it really does inspire them and re-enforces the great opportunity they have of being part of a professional football club.”