As part of the inaugural cohort of students to graduate from UCFB in 2014, Tim Newton studied the BA (Hons) Football Business & Media degree. Upon graduating, Tim was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work for MSSL, a leading youth football tournament organisation in the United States. MSSL were so impressed with Tim’s contribution that they have extended his contract for a further year and opened three more vacancies exclusively for UCFB graduates. With over 40 strong applicants, Harry Tomlinson, Jonny Morville and Josh Ambler impressed MSSL and joined Tim and the rest of the MSSL team earlier this summer.

The networks that these graduates were able to build and the unparalleled skills, knowledge and experience that they acquired throughout their time at UCFB put them in a strong position for successful careers in the football, sports and leisure industries. The recruitment was by no means easy for the graduates, involving a rigorous application process, but engaging with the unique Complementary CurriculumTM and dedicated Employability & Enrichment team at UCFB enabled them to develop their interview and interpersonal skills, and left them feeling prepared and enthused for a life in sport.

Ashley Donlan from MSSL stated:

“The young men that I met were simply outstanding candidates and UCFB should feel extremely proud of the standard of graduates that they are producing. We will be back in touch further down the line to look at employing more UCFB students.”

MSSL is a not-for profit organisation dedicated to increasing the development and opportunities for young soccer players and ultimately advancing the game in the USA. Their sports tournaments, events and programmes, held at premier outdoor facilities and state-of-the-art indoor complexes, are wide-ranging and designed for all competitive levels.

Inaugural UCFB graduate Harry Tomlinson joined the Media Team within MSSL in July. Harry started off on the BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance pathway, but through the likes of guest speakers such as Andy Mitten, journalist and founder of United We Stand and his unique internship opportunity on the media team for Stockport County Football Club, Harry felt inspired to further his education and study for a postgraduate degree in media. Harry started working with MSSL in the UK, helping with their press releases by lightening up the language and adding striking imagery whilst maintaining their integral professionalism, before joining the rest of the team in the US. Harry praises UCFB’s distinctive environment and highlights how this places students in the most positive light in the eyes of potential employers. On his experience at UCFB, Harry commented:

“UCFB offers a professional sports environment 24/7, the more I breathe it in the more I can learn and use my knowledge to succeed in America. The beautiful game is flourishing in the US and MSSL look to the English model for guidance, which puts UCFB graduates in a fantastic position. I’m excited to put together the best of what they’ve got and best of what we’ve got into the USA where the appetite for football is growing at a fast rate.”

UCFB Burnley graduate Jonny Morville will be taking a key role within the Facilities team at MSSL. Jonny credits UCFB for his successful application. Tim is especially grateful to UCFB director and founder, Paul Fletcher MBE, whose advice and support proved invaluable, and something that he had never been exposed to before. Jonny has been passionate about living, learning and working within the football industry since he was a young boy and seeing his dream come true with encouragement and support from UCFB has been a life changing experience. Jonny added:

“Working in New York and Philadelphia is truly exciting. I had never been to America before, so being out here to make contacts and branch out with my career is incredible.”

New MSSL Logistics team member Josh Ambler flew out with fellow graduates Harry and Jonny. For Josh, his array of work experiences opened up by UCFB, which took him as far away as the Hong Kong FA, ensured his CV stood out from the crowd. Putting into practice what he had learned in the classroom was instrumental when he began his career with MSSL. Josh gained more experience and proved his aptitude even further when he was selected for two years running as President of Football at UCFB Burnley. On this inspirational success of four former UCFB students, Josh concluded:

“I am excited to be working in an organisation in which I can make a significant difference, where I can see my work come to fruition when football tournaments are played out.”