Exclusive: NFL-crazed McBurnie talks reviewing tapes ahead of EPL matches

The Sheffield striker remains enthralled with the NFL and talks about applying that knowledge in his profession.

Neil Goulding
Neil Goulding

Last Updated: 2024-04-30

Louis Hobbs

4 minutes read

Oliver McBurnie of Sheffield United celebrates after scoring his side's second goal in stoppage time during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Chelsea FC

SHEFFIELD United hitman Oli McBurnie is taking tips from American Football to help blitz opposition defences.

The striker has been a rare success story for the Premier League strugglers this season after forging an effective partnership with Ben Brereton Diaz.

Approaching the end of his contract, McBurnie is unlikely to be short of offers if he decides to leave Bramall Lane with Rangers understood to be among those monitoring the situation closely.

Revealing an inspiration from across the ocean

And the 27-year-old, who has been capped 16 times by Scotland, credits his powerful performances with studying techniques employed by the likes of Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I love the NFL,” said McBurnie, who has bagged 15 goals in 27 appearances this season.

“They do so much video analysis in that game and it’s great that it’s come into our sport now.

“I really enjoy it, to be fair, because I can see the benefits. The boys in the US are huge on it and if you follow what they do you can see the difference it can make.

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Just those tiny details can help you turn a draw into a win or a defeat into a draw.

Oli McBurnie

Rather than simply being force-fed information, McBurnie enjoys contributing to the fact-finding sessions - just like his fellow pros across The Pond.

“We’ll look at clips and things like chances conceded,” he added ahead of the Blades' away clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Image Credits: James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Image Credits: James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

“We’ll come up with some strengths and weaknesses of the guys we’re up against and then give them to the analysis boys so they can do a presentation.

“Everyone feeds in and I know that’s something they do over there as well.

“I’m a big fan of quite a few different sports and you can definitely learn from what others do.

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There’s always little ideas you can take that transfer over into other games.

Oli McBurnie

Showing appreciation for “good form” 

As well as his fascination with the States, McBurnie also credits a long spell out with a hernia issue for helping improve his focus for finding his thirst to find the back of the net.

Determined to try and force his way back into Steve Clarke’s squad, the former Swansea City marksman said: “I found out a lot about myself when I was out. There’s not just been physical changes - I used to hate the gym but I’m really into it now - but there’s been mental ones too.

“I definitely appreciate good form a lot more now. I used to think it was all peaches and roses but now I make sure I enjoy the moment.”

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Neil Goulding
Neil GouldingSenior Sports Reporter

Neil has been a journalist for longer than he'd care to remember, having written for national newspapers and respected publications for over 25 years. For the last three years he has worked freelance for BBC Sport, working on the production desk as a sub-editor and also as a writer, covering a whole range of sports.