European football coach receives UCLan award
Aaron Briggs and Dr Omolabake Fakunle have received UCLan’s Alumni Achievement Awards
A former Manchester City coach and performance analyst has received a special award from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Aaron Briggs, a BA (Hons) Sports Coaching alumnus, is one of two outstanding graduates who have been chosen as the recipients of UCLan’s Alumni Achievement Awards.
The special awards honour and celebrate the achievements of the University’s global community of more than 200,000 alumni.
After graduating in 2008, Aaron started his career as Preston North End’s first team’s performance analyst. During three years he provided pre, during and post-match analysis to the players and management team.
He then moved to Premier League winners Man City, where he worked with world-famous players Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho and under some of the biggest names in football management with Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira.
He worked across the team’s squads with his expertise utilised with the under 18s, elite development squad (EDS), women’s team and the men’s first team. In his role as senior first team performance analyst, he led a team of four analysts, oversaw and developed a leading analysis programme for the first team and looked at individual players’ development. In addition, he was the EDS assistant coach and head of performance analysis for the club’s under 9s to under 23s academies and women’s team.
After nine years in Manchester, the 36-year-old moved to AS Monaco where he initially worked as the tactical analysis coach before being promoted to assistant coach and head of football methodology.
"It's a great honour and a privilege to receive this award, it completely caught me by surprise"— Aaron Briggs, Alumni Achievement Award recipient
In June this year, he left the principality and moved to become assistant coach at VfL Wolfsburg, who currently sit seventh in the Bundesliga. His current role sees him plan and carry out training sessions and game plans and analyse in game data and opposition teams.
Alongside his current role in Germany, he acts as a consultant for FIFA. His most recent work for football’s governing body included him looking at set pieces during the World Cup.
He said: “It's a great honour and a privilege to receive this award, it completely caught me by surprise, although I feel undeserving of the award when you look at the work other winners are doing.
“While I was studying here the teaching staff were academic as well as practical. I was actively encouraged and showed the correct way to pursue a progression in my desired field. It was an enjoyable three years of my life which set up my career.”
Dr Omolabake Fakunle, who completed the BA (Hons) Business Administration top up programme after studying for her HND at UCLan’s partner institution Yaba College of Technology, in Nigeria, is the other Alumni Achievement Award recipient.
She had 19 years of accountancy, audit, banking and entrepreneurship experience before she enrolled and graduated with a first-class degree.
Since leaving UCLan, Dr Fakunle completed a MSc in Educational Research and PhD in Education in Edinburgh and is now a Chancellor’s Fellow, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and Co-Convenor of the Race and Inclusivity in Global Education Network at the University of Edinburgh. She is an affiliate faculty in the Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan plus she is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
The duo took to UCLan’s graduation stage in the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre last week to receive their trophies and certificates.