The football exchange

The Football Exchange

Delivering real-world solutions to football

Supporting the world of football through world-class research, high quality education and applied enterprise solutions.

The Football Exchange enables the football community to directly access the expertise of its world-leading staff and processes. Over the years we have successfully worked with many football organisations helping them with research, education and consultancy, including bespoke solutions. You can view our Football Exchange leaflet which gives some background into the work we do.

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An award-winning team

The Football Exchange's partnership with Prozone Sports Ltd. has resulted in the development of an industry-recognised education portfolio of courses covering performance analysis, physical analysis and data and recruitment; the courses have proved successful having been delivered to over 1,185 students. The partnership has also brought new knowledge and innovative analysis tools to coaches, clubs, organisations and governing bodies. These successes have recently been recognised by the Educate North Awards as the Football Exchange and Prozone became recipients of the Commercial Engagement Award in 2016.

Case study

Football is a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon with a worldwide reach but has long been resistant to evidence-based practice. The Football Exchange has transformed the landscape of football research/analysis in a way which has impacted on all levels of the game both at home and overseas.

Read the case study: Tactical change: how research is influencing the beautiful game

Our expertise

The Football Exchange works with a wide range of clients, from clubs and governing bodies through to commercial enterprises and community schemes in the following areas:

Physiology of preparation and performance

Research activity and applied knowledge/experience within areas, such as applied exercise physiology, paediatric exercise science, chronobiology, cardiovascular physiology and muscle physiology and cell biology, provide the foundation for expert opinion on strategies to optimise the preparation and performance of elite players. 

Our projects have included evaluations of the training strategies used by elite teams (at both junior and senior level), the influence of different training programmes on muscle adaptation, the genetic impact on injury and performance, identifying effective recovery strategies following training and games, informing acclimatisation strategies, and the assessment of the extent to which factors such as nutrition and supplements can modify performance.

Performance nutrition

The team behind the Football Exchange has considerable experience in delivering performance nutrition support at both club and international level, ranging from Academy to first teams.

The support is based upon a strong nutrition research culture, allowing the team to develop research driven, cutting-edge support. For example, we have utilised doubly labelled water to measure energy expenditure in Premier League footballers and performed muscle biopsy studies to quantify glycogen utilisation. This research has directly informed the advice given to elite players, clearly evidencing our bench-top to pitch-side approach to performance nutrition.

Match and performance analysis

Match and performance analysis has seen a significant growth in professional sport, particularly football. There are constant demands for new knowledge and technology, and professional education pathways. We have undertaken research, consultancy and education projects with several Premier League clubs, national associations and governing bodies such as UEFA. Our work has been integral in the validation of industry leading tracking technology (e.g. STATS LLC, formely Prozone) and a recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership with STATS LLC has led to the development of an innovative tactical profiling and playing styles product. Our bespoke education portfolio is developing and inspiring a new generation of performance analysts and providing professional development for those already involved in the game.

Psychology of skill and expertise

Working with Premier League clubs and other experts in football, the Football Exchange examines what factors make players ‘elite’ – e.g. anticipation and decision making; what mechanisms underpin their expert performances – e.g. gaze behaviours and movement kinematics; and how did they become experts – e.g. metacognition and practice history questionnaires.

The team’s expertise also encompasses working with coaches and supporting their practice activities and instructions – such as feedback to efficiently and effectively develop players’ skills.

Data analytics

Football increasingly relies on the analysis and interpretation of measurement data to monitor and profile players. Working with a number of elite football organisations we develop risk and performance models, make use of structure finding algorithms combined with rigorous failure time models and advanced visualisation methods, in order to systematically analyse complex databases within the areas of player performance (match analysis, player recruitment, risk management) and injury risk. This information is made available to sport specialists in a way that is informative and readily understood in order to maximize impact in the field.

Education

LJMU runs a number of world-class undergraduate and postgraduate educational programmes housed within the award-winning, state-of-the-art Tom Reilly Building at LJMU’s the City Centre Campus.

Psychology of human behaviour

The Football Exchange has substantial experience and expertise in providing elite level applied sport psychology support within professional football. We have been working strategically and operationally at a number of Premier League clubs for the past 15 years. The team has experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of culturally bespoke psychological development programmes at youth and senior levels within clubs. We provide individual and group psychological support to players up to and including first team levels.

Performance biomechanics

The biomechanics research group has an established profile in athlete rehabilitation assessment, football boot testing, evaluating artificial turf and training load quantification using accelerometers. This work has involved multiple Premier League football teams and funding support from both manufacturers (e.g. Umbro, Reebok and New Balance) and governing bodies (FIFA and UEFA). 

The unique biomechanics laboratory facilities and expertise enables us to inform injury management, product design and technological development. We are also engaged in work with elite football players in terms of soccer skills. This ongoing work hopes to explore the best options in terms of biofeedback training geared towards skill development (e.g. ball kicking for distance).

Publications

Search through our selected publications:

Search for a research paper

30 papers found

  • Journal article

    Four weeks of probiotic supplementation reduces GI symptoms during a marathon race

    Pugh JN, Sparks AS, Doran DA, Fleming SC, Langan-Evans C, Kirk B, Fearn R and Morton JP and Close GL

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    From Paper to Podium: Quantifying the Translational Potential of Performance Nutrition Research

    Close GL and Kasper AM and Morton JP

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Graded reductions in pre-exercise muscle glycogen impair exercise capacity but do not augment cell skeletal muscle signalling: implication for CHO periodisation

    Hearris MA, Hammond KM, Seaborne RA, Stocks B, Shepherd SO, Philp A, Sharples AP and Morton JP and Louis JB

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    High-intensity endurance capacity assessment as a tool for talent identification in elite youth female soccer

    Datson N, Weston M, Drust B and Gregson W and Lolli L

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Identifying generalised segmental acceleration patterns that contribute to ground reaction force features across different running tasks

    Verheul J, Warmenhoven J, Lisboa P, Gregson W and Vanrenterghem J and Robinson M

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Lack of impact moderating movement adaptation when soccer players perform game specific tasks on a third-generation artificial surface without a cushioning underlay

    Lozano-Berges G, Clansey AC and Casajús JA and Lake MJ

    Publish date:2019

People

Meet the people working within this research group.

The Football Exchange has transformed the landscape of football research and analysis in a way which has impacted on all levels of the game, both at home and overseas.

Dr Allistair McRobert -
The Football Exchange

Contact details

We offer consultancy, education, and research within football. Please contact us if you are interested in working with us:

Email: footballexchange@ljmu.ac.uk
Call: +44 (0)151 904 6286

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Address:

The Football Exchange
Liverpool John Moores University
Room 101
Tom Reilly Building
Byrom Street
Liverpool
L3 3AF