May 22, 2023

How Southampton, New York Red Bulls, and Bristol City Streamline Academy Operations

The following is an excerpt from an article in SportsPro. Access the full article here.

Teamworks Hub bills itself as an all-in-one solution for athletes and staff, helping to deliver information about everything from training times and games to meetings and travel. SportsPro speaks to three soccer academy executives to hear how the platform has transformed their operations and why its emphasis on transparent communications is vital for players and parents.

Trying to communicate a venue change through a single email or message to one sports team can be a struggle. Doing so at Premier League academy level would be an administrator’s worst nightmare.

There are no such issues for English clubs Southampton and Bristol City or Major League Soccer’s (MLS) New York Red Bulls, who have all integrated the Teamworks Hub into their operations. An all-in-one solution that incorporates tools for scheduling, messaging, and filling out forms, as well as having the capacity to store countless vital documents, Teamworks Hub simplifies otherwise arduous administrative processes for players, coaches and parents, who are also able to access the app.

Today, Teamworks is used by more than 150 professional sports teams across four continents, including franchises in North America’s major leagues and international sides, as well as every school in US college sports’ ‘power five’ conferences.

Before Teamworks was adopted at Southampton, Jonny Woodhouse, the Premier League club’s head of academy operations, says communication was distributed across various platforms.

“We were using internal software,” he tells SportsPro. “Regarding communication, it was very hard to congregate all of our staff members on a single platform.

“It has been challenging to align processes and organisation and schedules before that time. So there was multiple platforms being used, and coming across to the Teamworks Hub has definitely improved that side of things.”

As for Bristol City, the club’s academy used less sophisticated technology to communicate notices to players and parents before moving to Teamworks.

“Previously we used a network platform called Piota, which was a basic communication tool that was suitable for our needs at the time of being able to send out information instantly to parents on a network,” Paul Metheringham, the second-tier Championship club’s academy head of operations, explains.

“We also utilised the Premier League’s Performance Management Application (PMA) or even mass emails. That’s always a challenge when you’re working with an Excel spreadsheet and you’re trying to ensure that every player or every parent is contacted.”

Similarly, when Ryan Brooks, senior manager of academy business operations at New York Red Bulls, joined the franchise, WhatsApp was the predominant method of communication to connect with players and their families. Two months later, the NY Red Bulls decided to implement Teamworks.

“It was Excel sheets, it was WhatsApp groups, it was through everything, including email,” Brooks notes. “Schedules would be sent through WhatsApp. And forms were all paper and getting signatures involved literally handing parents things to sign and them giving it back. So it was definitely cumbersome.”

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