Manchester United recently announced a partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University's Institute of Sport. The goal is to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the club's performance on the football field. This collaboration, which includes men's, women's and academy teams, aims to combine the club's football expertise with the university's research and innovation strength.
The collaboration will include several short- and long-term research projects, with a focus on providing insight that leads to competitive advantage.
One of the innovative roles in this collaboration aims to use artificial intelligence to analyze the technical, tactical and physical aspects of elite football matches. The PhD program candidate will work closely with both the club and the university, and use advanced artificial intelligence techniques on data collected from real match situations.
Another role will include a third-year student exploring the prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries specifically within the United Women's senior team. This underscores the club's commitment to addressing specific challenges and improving player performance through comprehensive research.
John Murtaugh, Director of Football at Manchester United, expressed the club's desire to contribute to performance improvement activities.
The club's director of football said: – We are constantly working to be at the forefront of innovation and progress in football performance, and this initiative will enhance this effort.
“Working with the Institute of Sport will build on the excellent research and innovation teams we have in place to enhance the performance and development support we can offer our players,” Murtaugh added.
The initiative will also give students the opportunity to work directly with Manchester United through mentoring and work experience programmes. Club staff will contribute lectures and workshops to guests at the university, and this interaction between academic experience and practical knowledge of football represents a new era of sports research and innovation in the world of football.
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