One of the youngest members of Dundee United’s backroom team has been revealed as a 17-year-old scout who works remotely from Bangalore.
Ashwin Raman – born in America and raised in one of India’s biggest cities – was snapped up by the Tangerines recruitment team after impressing head of analysis and opposition scouting Stevie Grieve with his blogs.
His role at United, which involves watching hours of video footage and providing reports, came to light this week when he was included in the latest instalment of Football Manager 2021.
Stevie said: “I was aware of Ashwin’s work through social media and thought it was excellent.
“Our sporting director Tony Asghar has been great in allowing us to look at new and innovative ways of doing things, which has allowed me to work with people like Ashwin.”
Guess who's on FM21! I'm so thrilled! My 'negotiation' attribute is hilarious though, considering how I might be the worst at negotiating on the planet 🙂 pic.twitter.com/IAAn5OS0FG
— Ashwin Raman (@AshwinRaman_) November 10, 2020
Ashwin started blogging about the sport aged 13 after being inspired by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski’s book Soccernomics and football analytics website StatsBomb.
He has been inundated with questions from supporters on Twitter about his work with the Tannadice side.
The teenager wrote: “So I got lots and lots of DMs and replies asking specific stuff:
“1. Yes I’m 2003-born, not a random DOB that FM assigned.
“2. I only hold an American passport, I was born there but I’ve lived here in India my whole life, I’m Indian for all practical purposes.
“As for how I got where I got: I’ve been blogging since I was 13, learnt everything I learnt from, uh, piggybacking on friends, and honestly I just continued moving along, writing the occasional piece, until the brilliant head of analysis at the club asked me if I’d like to join.
“Re: qualifications/things you need, I don’t think I’m the best person to ask considering how lucky I’ve been — my maths knowledge is high school level (and it’s always been my worst subject) and I know no coding (picking up some R now). Most data roles require maths/coding.
“I mean, there’s also the thing that I’m not doing a *that* data-y role, it’s just the usual stuff I’ve been doing long before joining Utd.
So I got lots and lots of DMs and replies asking specific stuff:
1. Yes I'm 2003-born, not a random DOB that FM assigned 🙂
2. I only hold an American passport, I was born there but I've lived here in India my whole life, I'm Indian for all practical purposes.
— Ashwin Raman (@AshwinRaman_) November 11, 2020
“And I spend hours on video for every 10 mins I spend on data.
“It’s not an easy industry. Obviously, I’ve had a lot of luck, and it’s been far easier for me than for others. I guess your best bet is to blog/put your work out, put out good work, and cross your fingers and hope for the best!”
In early 2019, tactics blogger Jack Lyons was hired by Celtic after his work caught the eye of Brendan Rodgers.
He later followed the former Hoops boss to Leicester City.