A football-mad graduate from the University of Northampton has made a quick fire move from League One to the Premier League after being headhunted by top-flight AFC Bournemouth.
Dan Buckley only began working for Oxford United’s marketing department in December 2016, but within just eight months he’d done enough to catch the eye of the Cherries and make the two-division leap to the South Coast side.
The Sports Marketing graduate, who has become Bournemouth’s sole dedicated marketer, said: “It has been a rollercoaster year, to make it in to the Football League and then within a matter of months jump to the Premier League is something I never thought would be possible.
“I was approached about the position and started the week before the Premier League season kicked off. I knew AFC Bournemouth was the right fit for me after my first interview. The club puts faith in young talent, and I knew I could grow here. You only have to look at the first team manager, Eddie Howe, to see the greatest example of them trusting young and ambitious staff.”
Dan, who’s originally from Bicester, near Oxford, and comes from a family of Nottingham Forest fans, added: “Whilst having a dedicated marketer is still new for the club, and I am currently the only member of my team, there is a fantastic infrastructure of support around me from the commercial team, design team all the way through to media.
“I am very lucky that I have a commercial director and senior management who have faith in me and want to help me succeed, it gives me a lot of confidence that I can achieve big things here.
“If I had moved to a different Premier League club, I could just be a number on payroll – here I am part of a family and I am very proud to have been given this opportunity.”
While Dan is enjoying life in the Premier League, he still retains affection for Oxford.
“Oxford United was a great base for me, and I met some wonderful people there,” he said.
“Together we sold 30,000 tickets to Wembley, and I was allowed the opportunity to build them a brand new, multi-tiered junior membership scheme as well as be in charge of this season’s rebrand.”
But he does admit has no regrets for swapping the city of dreaming spires for life in a seaside town.
He said: “Living in the town itself is great, within five minutes I can be on the beach – who wouldn’t love that?”
Read more about Dan’s time at University and Oxford United here.