Four of our fantastic graduates who have successfully been appointed by leading youth football tournament organisation in the United States, MSSL; recently shared their exciting experiences with UCFB. These four successful graduates span the organisation within the finance, media, and facilities teams following on from their different degree programmes at UCFB, ensuring our graduates truly leave their mark on this exhilarating business at the heart of the USA’s growing football industry.

BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance graduate, Harry Tomlinson has been working within the media team at MSSL since July.

What are your highlights of living in the USA?

“Firstly, watching the New York Yankees play the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium, one of the most famous stadiums in the world. As a Boston Red Sox fan, the 15-1 score line in favour of Houston was a plus. Secondly, our first Eastern Development Programme (EDP) Cup tournament. Over 500 teams played up to 4 games each on a complex called Tuckahoe Turf Farms, who grow the pitches used in professional sports stadiums across the nation.”

Have your roles and responsibilities increased since you began?

“Definitely. As part of a performance analysis, I am in the process of performing a long-term case study on a pilot program which will document exactly how and why our programming is among the best in the country and how youth players will be able to continue their development. The organisation is entering a period where clear communication and dialogue with stakeholders is essential. To enable us to do this, my team have begun a social media project and to date we have been able to boost Facebook post engagement and reach by 1,581% and 1,011% respectively.”

Has anything surprised you about your new job?

“The shock for me was just how serious the youth football industry is in the USA compared to previous visits. For instance, at last weekend’s Eastern Development Programme Cup, one of our flagship events, we had over 500 teams of 15-20 players who brought at least 2-3 family members each. We ran a tournament involving thousands of people travelling from as far away as Arizona, Ohio and Canada and it was amazing to see it all come together.” 

BA (Hons) Football Business & Media graduate, Jonny Morville took up his key role within the Facilities team at MSSL in July.

What have you been doing since starting your role in July?

“The bulk of my time so far has been spent on analysing the leagues and tournaments to increase sales. I recently worked my first event for Apollo services during the tournament selling top-quality merchandise and providing customers with personalised kit from our premium store.” 

What are you most looking forward to now you have settled in?

“I am looking forward to being given more responsibilities in a sales capacity which is perfect, as this is what I was aspiring to when I initially applied for this role. I am also supporting a company called Titan Lodging, who work closely with MSSL, where I regularly liaise with the team managers to coordinate all the logistics for teams attending events and tournaments.”

BA (Hons) Football Business & Media graduate, Tim Newton was the first to land in USA and work for MSSL, playing a central role in organising and coordinating projects and tournaments.

How have things progressed since you first started at MSSL?

“Quickly! My role at tournaments and in the office has recently evolved from managing the Video Services to managing all Eastern Development Programme based vendors at tournaments. We are responsible for our customs and gear store, our premium clothing store, our video services and managing the relationships between external vendors who come in and sell food. It is an important role that I am thoroughly enjoying – having the responsibility to make key decisions under the intense pressure of events of this size is exactly the kind of challenge I need to continue progressing forwards and improving myself professionally.

 Having got one fall tournament out of the way, we are now deep into preparations for four back to back events spanning through November and December. It will be a very busy and stressful period but I am looking forward to getting stuck in!”

BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance graduate, Josh Ambler joined the MSSL Logistics team in July.

What have been your highlights so far?

“Firstly, having New York City on our doorstep and being able to attend music gigs, sporting events and other tourist attractions so conveniently. Secondly, in playing a pivotal role at one of our many tournaments that hosted over 400 teams with over 10,000 people attending one venue.”

Have your roles and responsibilities increased since you began?

“I have learnt plenty about how MSSL and youth soccer in the US operate and so my role kept adapting as I was able to conduct more complex tasks for the league. We now have over 1,000 member teams participating in our leagues and a result I have been appointed as Eastern Development Programme Program Coordinator.

At our most recent tournament I was located at the site headquarters with the responsibility of ensuring the smooth running of the event, which was very hands on! I will be in a similar role for the upcoming Fall tournaments with an additional responsibility of managing the Hospitality tent from start to finish.”

What has surprised you the most about your new job? 

“How much MSSL and the youth soccer industry has grown over recent years. Youth soccer is very popular out here and we are doing our best to capitalise on this. Some of our tournaments are ranked in the top 10 in the US and we are only going to continue growing and improving.”