Lad Gets His Dream Job From His Obsession With Football Manager

A teenager has gone and made a name for himself out of his incredible obsession with Football Manager.

Having confessed playing an approximate 600-700 hours a year on the game since he was a kid, Matt Neil soon took his obsession - and clear talent - of playing Football Manager into the real world.

Eight years ago, Neil originally applied for a researcher role at Truro City, which was advertised on the Football Manager website. Despite watching Plymouth Argyle closely, he took the opportunity to work for Truro.

"I already knew quite a bit about some of the players because they'd been at Plymouth Argyle, so I thought I'd try to help out in that area because nobody had been doing it for a couple of years," Neil told The Guardian.

Football manager
Football manager

Image credit: Twitter

Neil got the job and had been following Truro for about six months when he noticed that a position working for Plymouth Argyle had become available.

He sent an email suggesting he was fully capable of doing the job. He had watched Argyle for years and Football Manager were impressed with his work at Truro.

Within the email was a compiled Excel spreadsheet with all the players' histories and stats. He already had a season ticket when the news came through on his promotion to researcher for Argyle.

Instead of studying for his GCSEs, which is what most kids his age were worrying about, Neil was too busy focusing on his obsession and his career.

At just 15 years old, and an avid fan of the game, Neil was a researcher for Football Manager. His eye for talent was soon picked up by Plymouth Argyle. He now works as the League Two club's lead first-team analyst, providing data on player performance, opposition reports and potential transfer targets.

Now, as an analyst for Plymouth Argyle, his GCSE achievements are the least of his worries.

"We've signed the goalkeeper, Marc McCallum, who some Football Manager players will remember was an incredible prospect at Dundee United as a kid," Neil said.

Image credit: PA

Neil, the second person under 16 to become a team researcher for Football Manager, has made some impressive advancements in his short time working for the company.

"When I started, Joe Mason [player for Wolves] was regarded as a Conference player at best in the game, so I increased his potential straight away," Neil explained. "A few years later he scored the opening goal in the League Cup final for Cardiff against Liverpool."

Clearly with a mature head on his young shoulders, he takes his job very seriously to make well-considered analysis on players.

"It normally only takes a couple of games to tell physical attributes, but when you're getting into the finer details, such as concentration, that takes a while," said Neil.

Neil still finds time to unwind and play Football Manager whenever he can but admits his career comes first.

That's such a lad move, making a career out of his obsession and genuine love with the game. Good on you!

Hamish Kilburn

Keep calm... I'm a journalist

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