Hungarian student Dorian Danko recently spent a week at Hungarian football club Puskás Academy, going behind the scenes to see how the unique Budapest club operates. Here, the BA (Hons) International Football Business student tells us more about the experience…

I contacted Puskás Academy in January and we met in Budapest the next month when I explained to them where I was studying and what my degree programme was. It was then we agreed on an internship opportunity at the club for this summer. 

My internship lasted a week, but I spent all seven days in meetings with amazing people at the club. What is important to know is that Puskás Academy has a club in each division in Hungary, with their top team in the Premier League. They also run an academy, thus the name of the club, where they have both male and female teams from the under-12 age group to under-19s. 

Dorian spent a week with Puskás Academy.

Throughout my time at the club I worked with the International Relations Director who explained to me the importance of keeping their close relationship with the Real Madrid Academy. I also met the Marketing Director with who I discussed the importance of fan engagement and fan loyalty in Hungarian football. This was important because my dissertation topic is about fan loyalty, fan engagement and the comparison between English and Hungarian football. 

I was lucky to spend time with the Chief Scout of the academy, who explained to me how hard it was to work in the Hungarian scouting industry as many “agents” are willing to take young talent abroad instead of keeping them in Hungary and how this negatively affects the young players’ potential. I also had an insight into the sports science department of the academy, run by Dr. Csáki István. He showed me how the whole department is structured and the equipment they have to monitor the players’ development. 

Inside the incredible Pancho Arena, home to Puskás Academy.

Apart from the insights I got from the academy I was able to help organise and deliver the 12th Suzuki Cup held at the academy. The tournament is an under-17s event and this years’ teams included Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Panathinaikos.

Overall I had an amazing experience at the club, with a lot of insight and useful information to use for my dissertation topic. I’m now looking forward to my next internship with another top division team in Hungary, DVSC, who have qualified for the Europa League next season.