Match analysis is now a major part of the modern game and often at the top Premier League clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool, the match analysis department can be one of the biggest departments in the club. The staff at club match analysis departments trawl through hours of video footage to provide both quantitative and qualitative data for the managers, coaches, and players to use to reflect on and improve their game. And it’s not only their own team that they review; they have staff who review the visiting teams in readiness for games.

At IHM International Football Academy, while there isn’t a big department to do this, the players and staff benefit from the fantastic technology of the Veo camera, which they use weekly to review games.

The Veo camera films all the academy games, and the system has a great feature which enables all the players to log in and review their own games, saving highlight clips and making comments to the coaches on the system, whenever they want.

As part of the program, the team comes together each week to take a look at footage and talk about areas for improvement.

Last week was a key analysis session as the team played Stockport twice in 2 weeks, the first game coming home with a 2-1 defeat. This gave Head of Football Sam a great opportunity to test the effectiveness of the match analysis sessions.

Wednesday afternoon was dedicated to looking through the Friday’s game and picking out the areas that the team could improve on. Sam spent the whole session reviewing a number of areas of the game and discussing with the team ways to improve. And it worked. The team revisited Stockport and put in great performances, coming away with a 2-0 victory.

Sam commented on the analysis sessions: “These have really become a key part of our week here at the academy. The technology we have with the Veo camera is great; obviously, I can use it as I have with the group session, but they can also access the games online and do their own analysis. This week has really shown how well it works. After last week’s game with Stockport, we took a look at all aspects of the game. We spoke about pressing when we lose the ball and looking at the set pieces that we’d practiced. In the follow-up game, the lads had taken it onboard and it paid off. That’s really good to see. Getting the lads to actually watch themselves is great; they see a different game than the one they are involved in. It gives them a chance to take that step back and look at it all objectively. I also miss things in fast games, so it does really help me and the other coaches understand how we can improve. The lads respond well to these sessions.”

Over the past few seasons, the match analysis has really developed at the academy, and the players who have attended have really taken to it. The group sessions work well; they even take it in turns to critique the game like the Match of the Day commentators on television.

As the academy continues throughout this season and into the coming season, the match analysis will be used to not only look at team play but to help the players on an individual level to see where they can improve their game.