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board of directors

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Dr Daniel Parnell
CEO and Managing Director

Dr Daniel Parnell
CEO and Managing Director

Dan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Sporting Directors. He is the Director of Studies for the globally renowned and only Football Industries MBA (FIMBA) and an Associate Professor in Sport Business at the University of Liverpool, where he sits within the Centre of Sport Business as part of the Management School. Dan has extensive experience developing, leading and delivering executive education and applied consultancy, alongside providing mentorship and research supervision for executive level leaders in football.

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Mike Rigg
Director of Football

Mike Rigg
Director of Football

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Alistair Milner
Managing Director

Alistair Milner
Managing Director

Alistair is a Partner with the international search firm SRI. He has spent 10 years working with Ownership Groups, Professional Football Clubs, National Associations and Olympic sports on a range of technical and leadership appointments.

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Joel Roberts
Managing Director

Joel Roberts
Managing Director

Joel is a UEFA A licensed coach, FA qualified Academy Manager and experienced Educator, with a Masters in Sport Directorship, he possesses a range of executive skills gained through various senior roles in football and education.

He is a Director of a football and educational consultancy specialising in football related academic programmes and delivery, leadership initiatives and strategic development to positively impact upon a variety of organisations and institutions.

Joel is also an experienced football practitioner as a FA Premier League and National Team Senior Scout, with elite coaching experiences as a Premier League Academy Head Coach and with England Women U23’s.

Management Committee

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Iffy Onoura
Head of External Partnerships

Iffy Onoura
Head of External Partnerships

Iffy Onuora is currently the Head of Race Equality and Inclusion at the Premier League, having joined
in April 2021. This ground-breaking role comes with the huge responsibility of coordinating EDI
policies and programmes as well as embedding best practice across Premier League clubs.

Before joining the PL, he spent 9 years at the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) as a Regional Coach Educator and Equalities officer. He is a UEFA Pro Licence holder and his coaching career saw him manage both professional football clubs and national teams, including – Swindon Town
(2005–2006), the Ethiopia national team (2010–2011) and was part of the Coaching staff for the
England Under-21s (2018). He’s also a Match Delegate for referees in the Premier League.

Over a 15-year playing career, the forward played for Huddersfield Town, Mansfield Town,
Gillingham, Swindon Town, Sheffield United, Grimsby, Wycombe Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers where he cumulatively made over 450 appearances before moving into coaching and management.

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Paul Musa
Head of Content

Paul Musa
Head of Content

Paul is the Host and Founder of the What The Footie Podcast, the football business podcast that goes behind the scenes in football. From the backroom staff to the board of directors, Paul speaks with the biggest agents, directors, deal-makers and decision-makers in the game. Outside of hosting his podcast, Paul is a Trainee Solicitor. He previously completed a 6-month secondment in the legal team at adidas where he worked on high-profile player, club and sponsorship agreements. He is also a Guest Lecturer at Solent University where he delivers sessions and online seminars to the Football Business and Sports Management students.

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Professor Barry Drust
Head of Research and Development

Professor Barry Drust
Head of Research and Development

Barry is an Industrial Professorial Fellow at The University of Birmingham.  He is an experienced academic specialising in the area of sports performance. 

Barry has a particular interest in the development, preparation and performance of elite footballers. Published over 150 peer reviewed research articles and is invited regularly to speak at national and international conferences. Barry is also interested in the development of individuals working with scientists and industry practitioners to develop skills associated with problem solving and critical thinking. 

He has successfully supervised around 40 doctorates using both traditional science-based models and more contemporary applied practice based strategies. Over a period of 20 years, Barry has also been involved in providing scientific support and expert consultancy services to elite football organisations.  These include roles within teams within the English Premier League, Scottish Premiership and national football associations.

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Colm Hand
Head of Communications and Development

Colm Hand
Head of Communications and Development

Colm recently completed the Football Industries MBA at the University of Liverpool and currently works with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) on a freelance basis supporting their communications team. Prior to returning to education, Colm worked in operations, projects and communications with the FAI, CBF Dubai and Anthony Travel in the USA.
Colm has also completed the UEFA Certificate in Football Management (CFM) and the FA Talent ID Level 1 and Level 2.
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Gaynor Crompton
Head of Operations

Gaynor Crompton
Head of Operations

Gaynor is the Director of a training and educational consultancy specialising in football related academic programmes, first aid training and safeguarding.

She has extensive experience working within HM Justice Service and in Senior Leadership roles within Further Education, specialising in Team Management, Quality Assurance, Training and Development and Safeguarding.

Gaynor is Head of Operations for Ahead in Sport, working globally with organisations and academic institutions to provide industry expertise and support curriculum development.

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Dr Alex Bond
Head of Knowledge Exchange

Dr Alex Bond
Head of Knowledge Exchange

Alex is the Head of Knowledge Exchange at the Association of Sporting Directors and a Senior Lecturer in Sport Management at Leeds Beckett University (LBU).

He is an experienced academic passionate about data and analytics applied to decision-making, specialising in the role of networks, relationships, and connections leading to decisions and outcomes. He also leads Research and Knowledge Exchange for Sport Management at LBU, directing a team of researchers to deliver high-quality research and knowledge exchange projects with various levels of stakeholders.

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Dr Ed Cope
Head of Learning and Development

Dr Ed Cope
Head of Learning and Development

Dr Ed Cope is a Lecturer in Sport Coaching at Loughborough University.

Ed has published widely in the fields of sport coaching, and coach education and development, and supports a range of National Organisations, both in and out sport to design world-leading, evidence-informed educational provision.

He leads the executive  professional development and learning programme.

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Sofia Ceballos Infantes
Social Media - Insights

Sofia Ceballos Infantes
Social Media - Insights

Sofia is part of our social media team.

Sofia recently graduated with an MSc. Sports Business and Management at the University of Liverpool.

Before returning to education, Sofia worked in finance, accounting, and management areas in the energy sector.

Sofia has completed the Football Association Talent ID Level 1.

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Niamh Doran
Social Media - Insights

Niamh Doran
Social Media - Insights

Niamh is part of our social media team.

Niamh recently graduated with an MSc in Sports Business and Management at the University of Liverpool.

Niamh is also the Social Media Editor for Managing Sport and Leisure Journal.

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Roberto Pedroso Saquel
Social Media - Insights

Roberto Pedroso Saquel
Social Media - Insights

Roberto is part of our social media team.

He is a recent University of Liverpool graduate from the MSc Sports Business & Management.

Prior to that, he graduated from International Business Administration, with a minor in Sports Management, at the Rotterdam School of Management in The Netherlands.

Roberto holds the PFSA’s Level 2 Talent Identification in Football certification and the NYU and Yellowbrick Fundamentals of Global Sports Management certificate. He has previous experience working in marketing and social media both in Spanish and English.

Technical Committee

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Polly Bancroft
Technical Committee

Polly Bancroft
Technical Committee

Polly has worked in football for over 15 years holding senior roles at The FA, UEFA, Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United.

She was also on the Women’s Board at Nottingham Forest FC and a Trustee of Albion in the Community.

She was responsible for developing Brighton and Hove Albion’s first Women’s Football strategy and is currently Head of Women’s Football at Manchester United.

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Ross Wilson
Technical Committee

Ross Wilson
Technical Committee

Ross currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He has previously held Sporting Director roles at Watford, Huddersfield Town, Southampton and Scottish Giants Glasgow Rangers FC.

Ross is currently Chief Football Officer at Nottingham Forest FC.

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Nick Hammond
Technical Committee

Nick Hammond
Technical Committee

Nick sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

Nick is an experienced Sporting Director and football consultant who is currently working with Leeds United FC,

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Rebecca Caplehorn
Technical Committee

Rebecca Caplehorn
Technical Committee

Rebecca sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

Having spent numerous years working in Tennis, and football at Queens Park Rangers, Rebecca now operates as Director of Football Administration and Governance at Tottenham Hotspur and has been a key member of the executive team since 2015.

Furthermore, Rebecca is also a chartered accountant and holds a joint honours degree from Loughborough University.

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Mark Cartwright
Technical Committee

Mark Cartwright
Technical Committee

Mark currently sits on the technical committee that represents Sporting Directors

He has previously held the role of Technical Director at Stoke City, and has over 30 years of experience in the game as player, agent and Technical Director.

Mark was most recently the first ever Sporting Director for the United Soccer Leagues in the USA.

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Matt Jordan
Technical Committee

Matt Jordan
Technical Committee

Matt currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He is currently Vice President of Global Football for Trivela Group, an American based multi-club investment firm. 

Trivela Group recently acquired Walsall Football Club in the English Football League (EFL).

Prior to joining Trivela group, he worked in various front office executive leadership roles in Major League Soccer for 11 years.

He previously served as Vice President & General Manager for the Houston Dynamo, and Technical Director for the Montreal Impact in the MLS.

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John Thorrington
Technical Committee

John Thorrington
Technical Committee

John is currently Co-President and General Manager of Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer, who he joined in 2016.

Following his playing career, John worked as an Executive with the Major League Soccer Players Association and graduated with an MBA from Northwestern University.

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Zoran Krneta
Technical Committee

Zoran Krneta
Technical Committee

Zoran is currently the Sporting Director at Charlotte FC, the newest Major League Soccer expansion club.

Previously Zoran was Owner and Director of a global sports agency based in London, Star Sports and Entertainment

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Bruno Costa
Technical Committee: Abex Futebol Representative

Bruno Costa
Technical Committee: Abex Futebol Representative

Head of Scouting and Recruitment for the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS).
CBF Academy course Instructor, former General Manager, Assistant Sporting Director and Academy Director.
Key note Speaker.
Extensive scouting and management experience, spending  more than two decades in the Brazilian top flight (Série A), the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and the MLS (Major League Soccer), USA.
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Lee Darnbrough
Technical Committee

Lee Darnbrough
Technical Committee

Lee currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He is currently Head Of Strategic Analysis & Recruitment at Hull City Football Club, a club recently acquired by Acun Medya, a Turkish media company founded by Acun Ilıcalı.

He’s held various roles at Norwich City, Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, and has 30 years of experience in the game, including being a graduate on the 1st cohort of the The Master of Sport Directorship in 2017.

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Paul Mitchell
Technical Committee

Paul Mitchell
Technical Committee

Paul is the currently the Sporting Director of AS Monaco.

Paul has held senior positions at Southampton, Tottenham and RB Leipzig before joining the Ligue 1 side in 2020.

Prior to that Paul was an English professional footballer who played as a defender or midfielder.

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Stuart Webber
Technical Committee

Stuart Webber
Technical Committee

Stuart currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents the Sporting Director members.

He has previously held the Sporting Director role at Huddersfield Town and recruitment positions at Wolverhampton Wanderers, QPR and Liverpool.

Stuart is currently Sporting Director of Norwich City FC.

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Dan Ashworth
Technical Committee

Dan Ashworth
Technical Committee

Dan has been a Technical Director for over 15 years at Club and National level at WBA, The FA and Brighton and Hove Albion. He was responsible for introducing formal qualifications for Recruitment and Technical Directors whilst the Technical Director at The FA and is currently the Sporting Director at Newcastle United.

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Julian Ward
Technical Committee

Julian Ward
Technical Committee

Julian currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He has worked across international and club football for Preston North End FC, Manchester City FC and the Portuguese National Team.

In 2012 Julian joined Liverpool FC’s football operations team to support the club’s scouting, recruitment and player development strategy. 

After over a decade at the club, Julian was appointed Liverpool FC’s Sporting Director.

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Gareth Jennings
Technical Committee

Gareth Jennings
Technical Committee

Gareth currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.
He is the Technical Director of the UAE Pro League, a member of the FAW Technical Advisory Board and a Non-Executive Director (Football) of a Club in English Football League.
He’s held various roles across the professional game, including Head of Technical Leadership at FIFA and GM for High Performance at New Zealand Football. As technical advisor to clubs globally Gareth is also one of the authors for FIFA Technical Directors handbook.
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Richard Hughes
Technical Committee

Richard Hughes
Technical Committee

Rich currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He is currently Sporting Director at Portsmouth FC.

Previously worked as Director of Football at Forest Green Rovers and differing levels of the English Football Pyramid, working with Tamworth, Macclesfield Town, Burnley, Wigan Athletic and Everton.

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Gyorgy Csepregi
Technical Committee

Gyorgy Csepregi
Technical Committee

Gyorgy currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.
Born and raised in Hungary. Professional football player in Hungary and Belgium, agent for 14 years and now technical director for the Belgian side K. Beerschot VA.
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José Fontes
Technical Committee

José Fontes
Technical Committee

José currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

José joined AS Roma in 2021. At Roma, he helped shape the club’s scouting methodology, and currently co-leads the scouting process.

Prior to this, he held a senior position in player recruitment at Leicester City FC for five seasons.

Before moving to the Premier League, José worked at Boavista FC in Portugal for a couple of years.

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Pedro Marques
Technical Committee

Pedro Marques
Technical Committee

Pedro currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members. 

He joined SL Benfica in 2018 where he leads the Football Technical Department, Player Development and Professional Transitions.

Pedro started at Sporting CP back in 2004 as a youth coach, having progressed to their First Team’s Performance Analysis and Scouting. In 2010 he moved to UK / Manchester City where he spent 4 seasons with the First Team, and another 4 years working at the early stages of City Football Group. On that global role he led the Football Performance area i.e. Coaching Methodology & Performance Analysis, across 6 different clubs/countries.

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Phil Church
Technical Committee

Phil Church
Technical Committee

Phil currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members. 

Phil leads the elite development programmes at the Football Association. These include the FA Technical Director’s course, The UEFA Pro Licence and UEFA A Licence.

A former professional player, he has held previous Coaching and Leadership roles at West Ham Utd, Norwich City and the Professional Footballers’ Association.

 

Phil also has a role with UEFA as a Technical Instructor, he holds the UEFA Pro Licence along with an MSc in Research Science.

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Gus Williams
Technical Committee

Gus Williams
Technical Committee

Gus currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members. 

He is the National Talent ID Pathway Manager for the Football Association of Wales and was recently appointed President European Association of Scouts.

Previously Head of Recruitment at Blackburn Rovers and National Talent ID Manager for the FAW.

A graduate of MSD Sporting Directorship, UEFA Pro Licence course and the UEFA Elite Scout Programme. Currently undertaking a doctoral research study into Talent ID & Development.

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Tony Asghar
Technical Committee

Tony Asghar
Technical Committee

Tony is currently a member of the Technical committee of the ASD
Tony is currently Sporting Director for Revolution Sports carrying out High Performance Sports Advisory services to sporting organisations and club owners globally as well as guiding US investors into the European football market.
Tony was Sporting Director at Dundee United FC for  4 years where he attained the objectives of returning the club to the Scottish Premiership, building an elite status Academy and taking the club to UEFA competition for the first time in 10 years.
Tony attained his masters degree on the inaugural MSD course at Manchester Metropolitan University and has carried out keynote speeches globally on the Sporting Director role.
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Łukasz Piworowicz
Technical Committee

Łukasz Piworowicz
Technical Committee

Łukasz is currently a member of the Technical committee of the ASD

He currently works for the Polish FA as the coordinator of the sporting directors’ course and acts as a board advisor on sporting affairs for Polish Ekstraklasa niche club Warta Poznań.

In recent years, Łukasz has also worked as a sporting director for other Polish clubs such as Raków Częstochowa, Piast Gliwice and Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biała, as well as in a recruitment role for Górnik Zabrze.

He holds degrees in both sports management and in finance and investment.

Our Partners

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Nicola McCullough
BA (Hons), MA, PGCHE, SFHEA, Head of Education, Ahead in Sport

Nicola McCullough
BA (Hons), MA, PGCHE, SFHEA, Head of Education, Ahead in Sport

Nicola has been delivering a global impact in Higher Education since starting her academic career in the UK in 2005 from being a passionate practitioner in the global sports events industry, working with sporting governing bodies, football clubs and more recently with FIFA and Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Her current role is Head of Education for Ahead in Sport and Subject Matter Expert for the Josoor Institute in Qatar. She is also a mentor for the new “Women in Football” mentoring programme supporting and guiding aspiring women in football roles to achieve success in the football industry.

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Ed Sulley
Director, Customer Solutions, Hudl

Ed Sulley
Director, Customer Solutions, Hudl

Ed is Director, Customer Solutions at Hudl. A familiar face to many ASD members, Ed spent over 11 years at Manchester City, holding roles including Head of Research and Innovation and Head of Performance Analysis.

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Austin Fuller
Regional Director, Customer Solutions, Hudl

Austin Fuller
Regional Director, Customer Solutions, Hudl

Austin is the Regional Director, Customer Solutions at Hudl. With a vast experience in player analysis following almost seven years with the Rugby Football Union and four years as Analysis and Insights Process Lead at The FA.

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Tal Brown
CEO and Co-Founder, Zone7

Tal Brown
CEO and Co-Founder, Zone7

As CEO and Co-Founder of Zone7 since 2017, Tal develops and applies proprietary artificial intelligence to help high performance teams from across the Premier League, NBA, NFL, LaLiga and Serie A to optimize workload, recovery and performance. Previously, Brown was Senior Director of Product Management at Salesforce, where he founded the organization’s first AI product team responsible for data science applications used by millions of sales professionals, generating revenue north of $100 million. Brown began his career as a Big Data Engineer in the Israel Defense Force’s Intelligence Corps and then worked as a Consultant and Solutions Architect at Oracle.

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Gareth Quinn
Senior Director & General Manager EMEA, Teamworks

Gareth Quinn
Senior Director & General Manager EMEA, Teamworks

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