DegreeBen Simpson

Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement)

Graduation year


Current position

First Team Sports Scientist


Paris Saint-Germain Football Club

What are some of your career highlights?

My career highlights include being a part of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League Final 8 in Lisbon, Portugal in 2020. While our team, Paris Saint-Germain, didn't win the final it was a memorable experience given the context, with the match played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another highlight was while working at the ASPIRE Academy in Doha, Qatar. Alongside my great friend and former boss Martin Buchheit, I was part of the first comprehensive study assessing the the effects of high altitude on soccer players, measuring the running performance, health and sleeping patterns of Australian u/17 soccer team ‘the Joeys’ and Bolivian u/20 team ‘the Strongest’ from La Paz during a five match series in Bolivia, in preparation for the Asian Cup.

I also worked on the ASPIRE Football Dreams project, traveling into Africa, Asia and South and Central America to identify future footballing talent by assessing anthropometric and physical profiles.

Describe the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of your job

The most enjoyable aspect of my job is the fast pace of the current environment and how you must always be ready to adapt in a controlled manner. It's also great when professional level players are willing to give that extra effort.

The most challenging aspect of the job is having to not just motivate the players to strive for excellence but also colleagues. Cultural clashes can also be difficult, and working with those who don't want to adapt or are fixated only on the one way to approach things, their way.

What are your strongest memories while you were studying at the University?

My strongest memories are of the interaction with the lecturers and the hands-on experience we gained. I liked the pace of the University. It was a good adaptation from growing up in a small country town and then moving to Ballarat. The connection the University had with the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) was pivotal. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to complete an internship there and it changed my life! I worked there as a Sports Science Trainee before moving to ASPIRE as Talent Identification Officer and then Football Physiologist.

Do you have any advice about life after study to pass on to current students?

I would say, be honest with yourself, and be realistic. Learn for the sake of learning and be open. Remember that nothing is a given. And if you have to work for free or volunteer to gain experience, do it as you never know what doors it may open for you in future.