sportBU Intramural 2015 opportunities

sportBU_logo_bigSportBU intramural teams are now recruiting – you can sign up for football, netball, dodgeball, basketball or tennis.

The teams are open to all BU students, you don’t need to be of a certain level of skill, fitness or experience to join. Places are limited so if you are interested in joining have a look at the timetable or the sportBU website for further information.



AFC Bournemouth Matchday and Campus Team

afcb-logo-newBU and AFC Bournemouth are offering students a unique chance to gain work experience within a Premiership football club.

Are you passionate about the ‘beautiful game’ or know nothing about football but are enthusiastic about providing excellent customer service? We are looking to recruit a select group of students, potentially in year two of their studies, who can commit to working with our partner AFC Bournemouth.

You will be part of their match day team, providing information and support to ensure the best possible experience for home and visiting fans at Vitality Stadium. At the games, you will act as a visible point of contact for supporter enquiries and information. You will also be required to assist disabled supporters, engage with young fans and gather data and feedback to assist the club in improving their service delivery on match days.

As a ‘club ambassador’, you will also play a pivotal role in promoting the partnership between the university and the Club during this, the first Premier League season for our local team. This would entail promoting games and AFCB related events on campus and working with SUBU to create a sense of excitement and participation in the lead up to matches.

More information

  • An enhanced DBS Disclosure will be required
  • Availability and a commitment to attend all home matches throughout the season which take place on weekend days or at night and also during the Christmas and Easter holidays. Some fixtures will fall during holidays and term dates.
  • AFC Bournemouth Premier League match ticket included for own use
  • Must arrive at Vitality Stadium on matchdays 2.5 hours prior to kick-off.

Ambassadors will receive a match day ticket for a premiership game in return for this commitment.

If you are interested in this position, please email Liz Finney, General Manager of AFC Bournemouth:

Closing Date: 5 October 2015.

Post-match analysis & technology – Match of the Day turns 50

By Shelley Broomfield and Andrew Callaway, Lecturers in Performance Analysis

22nd August marks the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Match of the Day, a show that brings top class football to the masses. Over the last 50 years the show has changed a lot, but one way in which it continues to evolve is through the way it analyses performance.

Research has shown that Physical Education students can recall around 42% of sporting actions in a football match, and experienced coaches can recall around 60% of a football match (Franks and Miller 1986; Laird and Waters 2008). This shows that even experienced coaches are not recalling 40% of what happens in a match, often focusing on key events such as penalties or fouls, and their recall can even be incorrect in cases where decisions go against their team. For regular Match of the Day fans this may not come as much of a surprise, as coaches of teams disagree on the malice in a tackle or the validity of a penalty.

These studies amongst many others into the need for enhancing coach recall demonstrate the value of objective observations to allow for critical, meaningful, feedback to the coach and ultimately the players. These objective observations have been used in team and racket sports for many decades but more recently have come to be known as Performance Analysis – and have migrated to other sports too.
Performance analysis is the investigation of sporting performance, with the aim being to develop an understanding of sports that can inform decision-making, enhance performance and inform the coaching process, through the means of objective data collection and feedback.
Within football, we have seen this used to great effect to improve the tactics employed by teams. An example where this can be clearly seen is through penalty kicks. In this instance a goal keeper can be shown a picture of a goal mouth with markings showing where the player most often kicks the ball. The goal keeper can use this information to help the decision making process as to which direction he is going to dive. As can be seen in Figure 1, the player kicks most often to their bottom right, so if in doubt, this is the direction the goal keeper will dive.

Goal keeping analysis

Figure 1.

Recent news reports have shown that Premier League managers are taking these methods seriously. New Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has even had cameras installed at the clubs training ground to analyse and catalogue performance during training sessions.

Performance analysis is frequently seen during Match of the Day post-match discussion. We watch Gary Lineker in conversation with several experts, often past professional footballers and or managers, deciding whether the game was good or bad. This is a format that Match of the Day has used over a number of years. Even as recently as the 90’s this discussion was supported by video evidence from the game. However, this was limited to slow-motion video replay from minimal video angle choices. This meant the discussions around topics such as, “was a player off side?”, were often met with a lack of evidence from the video available and therefore the answer often remained inconclusive.

Move on two decades and technology has developed beyond the imagination of Match of the Day commentators from the 90’s and earlier. Match statistics are now rolling across the screen with regularity allowing spectators to clearly see the strengths and weaknesses of the teams playing. With multiple camera angles, no area of the pitch is out of the viewers or commentators reach. These camera angles are used to great effect in the post-match discussions where questions such as, “was a player off side?”, are now easily answerable with on-video graphics such as lines, circles and highlights to evidence the argument, as can be seen in the clip below.

This use of technology on easily accessible television programmes such as Match of the Day makes the average spectator an arm-chair performance analyst. Using this information, the average Joe working a 9-5 desk job can also be a Premiership football team manager in their own fantasy football league. Assuming Match of the Day keeps up with the technological advances available they will be securing their place in the hearts and homes of football spectators for another 50 years.

A hymn confirms that the FA Cup final is a matter of life and death

By Barry Richards, Professor of Public Communication, The Media School

Every year before the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, the pre-match programme includes the hymn Abide with Me. This is one of the oldest rituals in the British football calendar, having been introduced at the 1927 final.

Led in recent decades by a soloist on the Wembley pitch, the performance of this 19th-century hymn is more than just empty tradition – it is a moment of great pathos. The partisan passions of the day are suspended and the stadium is more or less united in a celebration of the occasion.

The massive global television audience is also part of this emotional drama, and lots of viewers feel a lump in the throat as the cameras pan the crowd. Many of those captured briefly on screen over the years are seen mumbling half-known lines; some look slightly baffled, while others are barely restraining themselves until the moment when they can shout and wave their arms again. But the music prevails, and people either acquiesce or immerse themselves in this spectacle of shared sentiment.

A Victorian relic

It is an impressive ritual, a revered part of the Cup Final, and an expected ingredient of this annual televised narrative of British football. The cameras focus on the crowd, zoning in on their palpable emotion, and briefly the audience, rather than either team, or the match itself, is at the centre of attention.

It is odd, once you think about it, that 21st-century crowds and audiences in all their post-modern diversity find this moment so compelling – that a Christian hymn written by a Victorian clergyman has acquired a key place in the build up to a national sporting event. It is especially interesting that the game is so clearly an affirmation of the life of the body, whilst the hymn in question is a sustained meditation on death.

Tearing up yet?

The Anglican vicar Henry Lyte wrote the poem Abide with Me in 1847 when seriously ill with tuberculosis. Within months of completing it he had died. The tune to which his words have been most famously set was supplied by the composer William Monk, whose three-year old daughter had recently died.

Abide with Me became a popular choice at funerals especially amongst the working class. So by the time it was introduced at the Cup Final – as part of a short-lived, media-led enthusiasm for “community singing” – it would have been well-established in popular consciousness as music of death and mourning.

From grave to pitch

The literal message of the verses of the hymn is a mournful mastery of death. In Henry Lyte’s hymnal poetry it is God who gives succour to the dying. But for today’s secular crowds and audiences, God is not available. So where is the Thee of the hymn?

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

For the singers of today, looking down on a football pitch instead of a grave or an altar, it is the experience of being part of a unified social group, rather than the presence of God, which draws “death’s sting” for the not-yet-dying. The audience in the stadium take part in an affirmation of human community, and the television audience joins in.

The identities of the opposing teams, and all of life’s other rivalries and tensions, are temporarily subordinated to an assertion of a shared humanity. There are many ways of making such assertions – and all sporting occasions are potential expressions of the coherence and success of human society. But there is something especially intense and meaningful about invoking an experience of inclusive community in this explicit confrontation with death and mourning, however transient or archaic it may seem.

So although this short ritual has its detractors, let’s hope that – unlike the individual human life – its day is not “swift to its close”, and that it outlives all those who will enjoy it this Saturday.

The Conversation

Barry Richards does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

BU graduate ‘scores’ publishing deal with football book


A Bournemouth University graduate has found success with the publication of a new book for budding football professionals.

Dean Caslake, an Accounting and Finance graduate, wrote ‘The Footballer’s Journey’ alongside current professional footballer Guy Branston to offer practical tips on becoming a professional footballer.

‘The Footballer’s Journey’ is aimed at young footballers, parents, amateur coaches and even current footballers who are looking to find success on the football field. The book also talks about the importance of education and how to react to setbacks within professional football.

Dean is no stranger to competitive football, as he was a key part of BU’s men’s football team while studying at university and nods to BU in his book. On studying at BU, Dean said, “Ultimately the experience at Bournemouth University improved my drive to achieve and opened my eyes to the possibility of doing something for myself and going it alone.

“After playing football myself and having a couple of unsuccessful trials with professional clubs, I was left wondering how the pros are different and what they had done that I didn’t to make the transition from an amateur level to a Professional level.  I initially had the idea to actually explore these unanswered questions in my final year at Bournemouth Uni.”

A number of current and former professionals were also involved in the book including current Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling and former Bournemouth striker and television pundit Steve Claridge.  Much of the work in contacting professional players was done by Dean, who said, “I contacted clubs and then sent individual letters to a large number of players at their clubs training grounds. Then it was a waiting game and thankfully quite a few responded.

“I must say I was hugely impressed with their willingness to help, they were brilliant throughout and gave up huge amounts of their time, and never once asked for a penny.”

The forward for the book was written by former footballer and television personality Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock, who says, “The Footballer’s Journey is essential reading. It helps guide and advise not only football hopefuls, but also parents, and even current professionals when looking at life after football.”

The book was released in April 2014 and has been well received, with mentions in FourFourTwo magazine and an appearance on Sky 1 television programme Soccer AM due in May.  Further endorsements for the book have come from the likes of Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).

Dean graduated from BU in 2013 and had these words of wisdom to share with current students who are burning with an idea for the future, “If you come up with an idea, or a project you have a great passion and drive for, and you think it can really make a difference and be successful, give it a try or you’ll forever wonder what might have been.”

More information about The Footballer’s Journey can be found through Amazon.

Be a part of the Bournemouth Echo’s World Cup coverage

The Bournemouth Echo are looking for representatives from all of the nationalities represented at this summer’s World Cup Finals.

You may be asked to give your thoughts and views on the prospects of your team before, during and after the soccer competition and will feature as a part of the Echo’s World Cup coverage online and in print.

The following countries have qualified for the World Cup:

Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil (host), Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, U.S.

Students and staff are all welcome to get involved.  If you would like to represent one of the countries above then please send an email to in the first instance confirming the country you would like to represent and we will send details on to the Echo.

BU’s PR Team

BU and AFC Bournemouth kick off partnership


A new partnership between Bournemouth University and AFC Bournemouth will create exciting opportunities for students, graduates and the local community.

The four-year partnership between BU and The Cherries is designed to enhance students’ experiences through a variety of exclusive work experience opportunities, giving them a competitive edge when looking for full-time work.

This includes working alongside the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust in delivering an annual season-long project for every year of the partnership, as well as supporting the club’s media and commercial team on match days.

Bournemouth University Vice-Chancellor John Vinney said he was delighted to see two of the town’s biggest institutions working together for the benefit of the students and the community.

“We are very excited about the partnership with AFC Bournemouth and the opportunities and experiences it will create for our students,” he said.

“It is also exciting that our two institutions will be partnering to make a difference in our local community, showing a continuing commitment to the area in which our staff and students live.”

The new partnership will also mean BU’s varsity football teams receive expert coaching from AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust.


At the launch of the partnership, the teams were treated to a training session with AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe at the Goldsands Stadium.

“I think it’s a great tie-up,” Eddie said.

“We would love to give people the experience of how a football club works and obviously, from the students’ perspective, that will be something that they will value greatly.

“We’ve already had a few interns getting full time jobs with us, so it’s hopefully a set up that works and hopefully both parties will benefit.”

Megan Cave, from the BU women’s varsity football team, took part in the training sessions at AFC Bournemouth.

“It’s been good to have this experience and see it all, and the coaching will help develop us as players and as a squad,” said the second year Sports Development and Coaching Sciences student.

“I’m interested in working somewhere like this in the future so it’s great to be able to get in here and make those professional links.”

A number of Bournemouth University graduates are already employed by AFC Bournemouth, including the club’s commercial director Rob Mitchell.

AFC Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn said that he hoped the new partnership would also benefit the local community.

“This is the start of what we hope will be a really large and successful partnership, with two of the most esteemed organisations in the area joining forces to create centres of excellence,” he said.

“We like to think that the football club is the hub of the community and the contribution of the university will help this develop into an amazing relationship, bringing both local businesses and students in the area together.

“It is a great opportunity to develop the skills of young people both within the university and the football club.”