Cultural Excellence – Webinar

30 July 2021

Building Effective Culture is more complex now than ever. With busier fixture lists, ever-increasing pressure to maximise every minute of staff/player available time – now is the time to consider best practices in how to efficiently build a culture of clarity, empowerment, and inclusivity – which ultimately drives an environment of high performance and success. From ensuring first-team staff and players are on the same page with accurate scheduling, and clear communication to ensuring all academy players are their guardians are well informed to empowering players to manage key elements of their own day-to-day development. We took a deep dive into how some of the best culture builders in sport have done it.

For the conference, we’ve had some great industry experts together to discuss their experience, methods, and tools used in their pursuit of cultural excellence.


Danny Cowley
Manager at Portsmouth FC

Danny is a well-known expert in building culture, having built his reputation (along with his brother and assistant Nicky) at Lincoln City where he got them to a quarter-final of the FA cup (the first non-league team in over a century to do so) brought the team back to the football league, made their first trip ever to Wembley to win the EFL trophy and then and then promotion again, up to League 1. He has since managed Huddersfield Town before moving on to his current club Portsmouth.

James Young
Head of Data and Analytics at Sunderland AFC

James has a fantastic track record in analysing performance the sports industry, he worked in a senior role at management consultants Delloitte where he was working across a range of sports including cycling, rugby, sailing and gymnastics, having previously worked at football data agency Stats Perform. At Sunderland he works alongside Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman, and oversees the work needed to feed into the evidence-based decision-making that is core to the club’s strategy.

Andy Friend
Head Coach at Connacht Rugby

Andy is an Australian rugby union coach and former player. He is currently the head coach of Irish province Connacht. He was previously head coach of the Australia Sevens team, the Brumbies in Super Rugby English club Harlequins, and Canon Eagles and Suntory Sungoliath in the Japanese Top League. Andy has earned a strong reputation for building winning cultures wherever he goes.

Damien Hughes
Sports Psychologist and Host of High Performance Podcast

Professor Damian Hughes is an international speaker and bestselling author who combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisational development and change psychology, to help organisations and teams to create a high performing culture.

He is the author of eight best-selling business books, including Liquid Thinking, Liquid Leadership, How to Change Absolutely Anything, How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson, The Five STEPS to a Winning Mindset and The Barcelona Way: Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture. He also co-hosts the immensely popular High Performance Podcast.