Who is Sheffield Wednesday's new 'Head of Tactical Analysis' Ryan Needs?

The way Sheffield Wednesday analyse and prepare for matches is about to change after the signing of a new head analyst this week.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 4:00 pm
Sheffield Wednesday have a new man in charge of their analysis

Ryan Needs arrives at Middlewood Road from Championship rivals Birmingham City and represents the latest move by Garry Monk in putting his stamp on the Hillsborough club.

But who exactly is Needs and what experience does he bring to the role? Let’s take a look.

Where has he worked before?

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Starting out in professional football as an academy analyst at Swansea City back in 2013, Needs rose through the ranks to look over first team matters as head of performance analysis just a year later.

The man to promote him was Garry Monk, and the two worked closely as the Swans recovered their best-ever finish of eighth in 2014/15.

Needs has followed Monk to each of his jobs since, at Leeds, Middlesbrough and Birmingham, holding the job title of ‘head of performance analysis’ each time.

What are his qualifications?

Aside from the success of the sides that he works with on the field, Needs boasts a number of football and higher education certificates and qualifications.

While starting out at Swansea, he studied for an MSc in performance analysis at Cardiff Metropolitan University and completed a successful dissertation entitled ‘Analysing the intensity of a high press defensive strategy’, a tactic featured in Monk’s sides since.

He also has a BA in kinesiology and exercise science from Bethel University in Indiana.

Needs is also the holder of a UEFA A-license, which he was awarded by the Football Association of Wales in 2016.

Did he play? Anything else?

Not professionally, but he could play. His studies in Indiana were undertaken on a student-athlete scholarship and he has a vast coaching history, having coached professionally in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and in New York.

Needs also speaks both Spanish and Welsh.