Liverpool Football Club


Talk title

Football in a Frictionless Vacuum


In both physics and data science, we're constantly faced with the problem of simplifying complex systems to gain useful insight. Remember how everything was in a "frictionless vacuum" during college physics or how you used linear regression to model every problem during your first four years as a data scientist? Football is an incredibly complex sport but by starting simple we can build up useful models. In this talk I'll discuss how my background in physics led me to a career in football analytics and how working in high energy particle physics inspired me to develop new ways of measuring pass difficulty and space creation in football. 


William Spearman, Lead Data Scientist

William Spearman joined Liverpool FC in 2018 as Lead Data Scientist. From 2015 to 2018, he was a Data Scientist at Hudl. William has used spatiotemporal tracking data to identify tactical insights and key moments in football. He has used physics-based modelling to construct visualisable models of open space, pass difficulty, and off-ball scoring opportunity.

Before Hudl, William completed his PhD, a measurement of the mass and width of the newly discovered Higgs Boson, at Harvard University through a collaboration with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).