Located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, Brunei has a longstanding football heritage with the national team joining FIFA in 1969. The country boasts two exciting professional leagues with the Brunei Super League and the Brunei Premier League being enjoyed by fans. We spoke to Brad Smith and Bentley Rounding, both BA (Hons) International Football Business students at UCFB Wembley, who are both heading out to Brunei in January for work placements with the National Football Association…

Can you tell us about your upcoming trip to Brunei and what you’ll be doing there?

Bentley: In January I’ll be undertaking an internship at the National Football Association of Brunei as part of their competitions department, looking after things like Rule & Regulations, Policies, Scheduling, Costings and League Sponsors.

Brad: I’ll be flying out to Brunei on 2nd January and returning on 16th January to take part in a 2-week internship with the National Football Association, and the role I’ve secured is in the technical development department.

What are you expecting from the trip and what do you hope to experience?

Brunei is on the island of Borneo and has a population of around 450,000

Bentley: I am looking forward to learning how football works in another culture and see how it differs from how it is operated in this country. I hope to gain experience in operating competitions which I can utilise in my future career.

Brad: From the trip I am expecting to learn about other cultures and how the football industry operates in another country. I am expecting to experience how the football industry is managed from a FA perspective compared to a club, which will give me an alternative outlook when working in the football industry.

How did you manage to secure the role? What work will you be undertaking in the role?

Bentley: The internship was advertised to third year International Football Business students. To apply I sent my CV and cover letter along with my dissertation proposal, so they could see how my dissertation would benefit from the experience. I will be working in the competitions department, looking after things like Rule & Regulations, Policies, Scheduling, Costings and League Sponsors.

Brad: The role got offered to third year International Football Business students and had five criteria each to be scored of 100 with equal weighting. The criteria consisted of: overall attendance since beginning studies in year 1, overall grade for year 2, CV, cover letter and how relevant our dissertation topic is to the role. I have an attendance of 97% to date and achieved a first in second year which played a key role in securing me the position.

My role will consist of coach education – framework, qualifications and ongoing coach development, area of responsibilities – who we affect and impact, grassroots activities, national player pathways and talent identification within a national association.

How do you see the work experience helping your degree studies and career progression?

Brad (left) and Bentley are both third year BA (Hons) International Football Business students

Bentley: As I am studying International Football Business, the internship fits my studies perfectly. I will get to see first-hand how a football organisation is operated on an international scale. Also, my dissertation is looking at sponsorship decisions of football organisations so hopefully this internship will aid me in my research.

Brad: This internship will allow me to gain knowledge of how football is managed in a different cultural and will give me first-hand experience in International football business. This knowledge and experience will help to develop my studies next semester when I undertake my final International module as I will be able to relate the context to an experience I have had. This internship will help my career progression as I will have first-hand experience in the industry and will give me a USP to employers.

What are your career goals?

Bentley: My ambitions are to work within commercial partnerships within a football organisation. I would love to one day work for The FA, and ultimately UEFA and FIFA, therefore this internship will give me invaluable experience to help me achieve these goals.

Brad: My career goals are to work within the football industry on the business side of game opposed to the on-pitch performance, with a main goal to work in the finance department of a football club.