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DFL Conduct Trial of Vertical Screen Streaming of Bundesliga Game

At the weekend, many matches attracted headlines for what happened on field.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Manchester United stunned the reigning champions of England in their own backyard, perhaps alleviating the pressure on the 1999 Champions League Final hero.

Celtic defeated Rangers in a fierce Old Firm derby final despite Steven Gerrard’s side dominating the game and playing with one extra man for most of the second half.

Finally, we saw Juventus slip up again in the Serie A. Lazio stunned ‘La Donna Vecchia’ in a 3-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico, concurrently opening up the title race.

But perhaps some of the most interesting news for football fans, especially those who stream 99% of the games they watch was that the first vertically-streamed game of football took place in the Bundesliga.

Werder Bremen gained a valuable three points with a 3-2 win against VFL Wolfsburg. But the news of the DFL’s trial stream comes as very fascinating, given the situation streaming is currently in.

Amazon Prime recently streamed a full round of Premier League action for the first time, which will hopefully become a constant for fans everywhere. As we know oh so well here in Australia, Optus is the major service provider for games in the Premier League, Champions League and the Europa League.

But vertical streaming will allow many fans a different perspective on the game. Many can watch games horizontally through their mobile devices. But this concept is uncharted territory. So far.

Andreas Heyden, Executive President of the DFL for digital innovations, said that the growing rate of vertical videos on social media sites led to the development of a vertical streaming service for games.

“We see that vertical videos in social media on mobile devices are better received than ones in horizontal orientation. The successful test in Wolfsburg provides us with a good basis for further considerations as to how we can do even better justice to this usage behaviour in the future.”

Watching football from a horizontal perspective is something we often take for granted when watching a game. Not that it’s a privilege, more so that it’s the way we’ve always viewed the sport, either live or otherwise.

Traditionalists may perhaps believe that this is a step too far and that the current methods are more than adequate and don’t require changing. But vertical viewing is an interesting proposition and as football fans, we’d be remiss to not see what it has to offer.

The DFL will conduct its own review of the stream before deciding to open it up to all of us, but in the name of being progressive, it’s hard to see them not giving it a shot at the very least.

What are your thoughts on this innovative way of watching soccer from the comfort of your own couch? Or even bed, in this instance? Get involved in the discussion on Twitter @Soccersceneau

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Ivan Franjic: “I’m thankful and grateful that I was able to live my dream”

Socceroos Ivan Franjic

Ivan Franjic’s arrival at historic National Premier Leagues Victoria side Heidelberg United has come via an unconventional journey to say the least.

From his early beginnings in the then-named Victorian Premier League with the likes of St Albans Saints and Melbourne Knights, to playing for Russian side FC Torpedo Moscow, to playing in the third-largest urban agglomeration in Korea with Daegu FC, Franjic’s career has certainly been one to savour.

Whilst his career has seen injury setbacks, a blocked loan and unpaid wages with Torpedo Moscow – and the discovery of a potentially career-threatening rare inflammatory condition known as myocarditis in 2016 – Franjic is grateful to be where he is today and to have had the footballing experiences he’s had.

“I’ve been very fortunate with the success I’ve had over my travels, and I’ve experienced some different countries,” he said.

“It’s been a great journey and I’m thankful and grateful that I was able to live my dream and play for the Socceroos at a World Cup. Some Championships as well, so, can’t complain at all.”

Torpedo Moscow

And as for why Franjic opted to return to the NPL Victoria to take up an opportunity with Heidelberg United, a family connection and the quality of the league spoke for itself.

“My brother has played in the NPL for a fair bit and I’ve watched a few of his games. If you look at the FFA Cup you’ve always got a Victorian team in the semi-finals, so it must be saying something about how good the standard of the league is,” he said.

“I know the coach George Katsakis and he called me and my brother and said he was interested in signing us. And obviously Heidelberg have had success over the last few years where they’ve won a lot of trophies, so, they’re wanting to build a great team to have another successful year once again.

“Whenever you go to Heidelberg you see that they have a decent following and that everyone gets behind them, so it’ll be good. I’m looking forward to playing in the NPL this year and to finally be playing with my brother after all these years.”

Heidelberg United

Next year’s Victorian NPL season will mark 13 years since Franjic departed his then-Victorian Premier League side Oakleigh Cannons to take up an injury-replacement contract offer with Ange Postecoglou’s Brisbane Roar.

It was under the now-Celtic FC coach where Franjic impressed the Roar faithful and built a platform to launch himself into a regular starting berth with the Socceroos at right-back.

As a three-time A-League Men’s Championship winner with Brisbane, three-time Premiership winner with the Roar (twice) and Perth Glory (once), as well as an Asian Cup winner, Franjic has certainly been a key cog in some of Australian football’s most historic sides.

“Obviously, winning the Asian Cup is a massive achievement, it’s similar to someone winning the Euros or the Copa America. But I think in Australia, with soccer not being the number one sport, it’s always hard to get the media buzz of AFL and NRL because they’ve got a huge following,” he said.

“But when you look back on it you don’t realise how high of an achievement it actually was against Asia’s best.

“I’d had Ange as a coach for a few years and he’s no doubt one of the best managers I’d ever worked under. The whole buzz of being in Brazil, with security all around the hotel and obviously Brazil is a football-mad nation, so, everywhere you went people were following you.

“It was exciting, and I thought Australia gave a good account of themselves without getting results in that tournament.”

Each of these remarkable honours were earnt between globetrotting stints with Torpedo Moscow, Melbourne City and Daegu. But before returning to the National Premier Leagues Victoria, Franjic made one final stopover with newly-joined A-League Men’s expansion side Macarthur FC. He gave credit to the side that he helped in their foundation.

“It was no doubt a challenge starting up a new club from fresh and giving it a go. Credit has to go out to all of the staff and the owners; they did an amazing job for a club in their first year in terms of facilities and the stadium. Compared to other clubs that have come into the A-League they were very good,” he said.

Macarthur FC

LaLiga initiative to support grassroots football worldwide

LaLiga

LaLiga has announced the launch of LaLiga Grassroots, in a bid to further advance and improve its bespoke sports and training projects, as well as promote LaLiga’s know-how and methodology.

This initiative is part of a series of international sports projects that LaLiga have been running since 2015 across multiple markets, and its most outstanding new feature is a series of programmes which are set to take place in Spain. The programmes will mainly be held at ESC Madrid, regarded as a state-of-the-art and world-beating sports complex.

Juan Florit, head of LaLiga Sports Projects, will be in charge of the technical and sports side of LaLiga Grassroots.

“LaLiga Grassroots was conceived as a new specialised unit conceived by the Sports Projects team and the International Business and Development team,” Florit said.

“Our activities will mainly focus on the holistic development of young players, international training programmes for professionals in the sector, and projects to promote and support LaLiga clubs when it comes to their academies and running international tournaments.”

This new project represents a further step in LaLiga’s creation and execution of sports projects, an area through which it has enjoyed great success over the last six seasons.

The project is set to find positions for nearly 750 Spanish coaches, as well as provide training for more than 20,000 coaches and 175,000 players in the more than 400 projects carried out across 38 countries.

Javier Hernandez, Head of Business and International Development for the project, was excited to see LaLiga Grassroots finally launched.

“The work we’ve carried out over the years in training players and coaches internationally has taken things to the next level, not only for those who have worked with LaLiga, but also for the league itself and its clubs,” he said.

“We’re convinced that now, with the creation of LaLiga Grassroots and the new programmes that we’ll be running at the ESC Madrid Center, we’ll be able to create better opportunities for everyone.”

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