From Education to Employment – Bennet Luethje’s Analysis Journey


San Diego Wave just hired a new analyst, and it’s someone well known to the APFA! Bennet Luethje took a non-traditional path to finding a full-time, paid role, but it’s a journey he wouldn’t change if he had to do it all again. We sat down with Bennet and ask about his story, and what others seeking a job in professional football analysis might be able to learn from him.

Bennett, you’ve had a non-traditional journey to get where you are, can you give us a short introduction on your background in football and specifically why you took an interest in analysis?

After college, I moved to Japan and began working in the soccer industry there (data analyst and coaching). I got interested in analysis when I had an opportunity to have lunch with former Yokohama Marinos and Australian national team assistant coach, Peter Cklamovski. Initially, there were talks about me being a translator, but in the meeting, he introduced me to analysis, saying it’ll be beneficial to have two skill sets (translation and analysis). 

So a little bit of a Mourinho/Bobby Robson story then!. You decided to educate yourself in analysis to help with that role then. What convinced you to take an APFA course and what learnings/lessons did you get from it?

Analysis is still a new concept in Japan, so there wasn’t much opportunity to learn about it, so I went online, and at the time, the APFA was the only website that offered actual game analysis and the opportunity to create your own report. What felt different was at the end of it all you actually completed a project, handed it in to me evaluated and received feedback. I was also intrigued by current analysts providing insights/tips throughout the course. It just felt more personal than a zoom meeting where you’re one of 20 people, and I could log in anytime and go at my own pace. It was a combination of all of these factors really.

After the course, how did you go about implementing what you learned in the real world?

I worked remotely as an analyst for OKC Energy FC in the second tier of the USA (The USL). For the first half of the season, I worked on opposition analysis and then the role transitioned into post-match analysis in the second half. It was the perfect opportunity to learn two different aspects of working with a team in preparing to win games and then the post-game analysis aspect. The coach there, Leigh was very analysis driven, so it was a good environment and you knew the work was valued and being used.

How did you hear about and apply for your current role? 

I originally applied like everybody else online, but San Diego actually reached out to the APFA looking for help because they were swamped with applicants. I think Oliver (Gage) knew of my work for OKC and from my projects handed in for evaluation with the courses.

It just goes to show the power of having a network! A lot of aspiring analysts get frustrated with the search for work, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently if you had to start again? And do you have any advice for others looking to gain a paid role as an analyst?

Honestly I’m not sure I’d change anything. The journey made me who I am today, and luckily that’s someone San Diego wanted to employ as an analyst full-time. I’d suggest that young analysts should gain experience as much as possible. They can contact local teams and colleges about whether the team would like analysis reports. LinkedIn is a good place to reach out to teams as well. In addition, young analysts should try to make connections in the industry. It’s smaller than you think, and you never know when people can help you out with tips/advice. 

Thanks for that, we’re constantly trying to provide advice to others who are in the same position you were not that long ago. You must be thrilled with your new role, so sorry t put you on the spot, but what are your long term goals for the future?

Potentially be working in the analysis team for USA men’s national team, but obviously right now I’m fully focused on my new role for the Wave!

Bennet is being modest about his journey. A deeper dive shows him working for the University of Iowa as an Analyst, Inter Miami as an Opposition Analyst and as a Video Scout for a consultancy firm. It’s a testament to his drive and work ethic, and the value of diversifying in a range of roles to become a well-rounded Analyst.

The APFA is passionate about delivering value via education, advice and job opportunities, and we hope to see plenty more Bennet’s getting opportunities in the future!

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