Welsh Football Staff Awarded Elite Sports Directorship
Wales’ recently appointed head of performance, Tony Strudwick, and its national talent ID manager, Gus Williams, have joined the ranks of an elite group of high-profile sporting names after they were both awarded the Masters of Sport Directorship (MSD) by Manchester Metropolitan University Business school. In total, fewer than 40 sporting and business professionals globally have received the MSD qualification.
Strudwick, who joined Ryan Giggs’ staff from Manchester United in March, and Williams, who is responsible for identifying Welsh-qualified players around the world, are two of only the second group of prominent sports and business people to be awarded the masters degree. Last year saw football’s Michael Appleton, Steve Round and Lee Darnborough, and cricket’s Ashley Giles, among others, graduate with the prestigious MSD qualification after two years’ part-time study.
The highly acclaimed MSD is the only qualification of its kind in the world and is specifically designed to prepare sports people and other professionals for the demanding role of sporting director, which is becoming a necessity for sports organisations in the UK and across the world.
Williams, who oversees 30 scouts across the UK for the Welsh national squads, said:
“For any sports organisation, knowing and understanding the functions and requirements of the modern world’s sporting environment is key to ensuring progress and future successes.
“The MSD has provided me with an excellent insight into the requirements of the sporting director and demonstrated the pivotal role it has, and will have, moving forward within sport. I’m now keenly aware of my own responsibility in transferring those attributes across to my area of work in Welsh football.”
Dr Sara Ward, MSD programme director at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, said:
“The sporting director role is one that sports organisations are increasingly seeing as pivotal to sustainable success, both on and off the pitch.
“We’re really proud that the extremely rigorous MSD course is producing a new generation of innovative sports and business professionals with an in-depth grounding in the sound governance, commercial leadership and sports management that will be the future of the way successful clubs are run.
“The master of sport directorship has already proved transformational for so many of our graduates and current students and this year saw a record number of applications for our next intake who are due to kick off in September.”