Is Iterpro the way forward for Australian clubs?

UK-based Iterpro is the first company to provide a business intelligence solution in the football industry, that gives clubs, federations and leagues a centralised system for asset management.

Iterpro’s system aims to improve the communication between each football club department.

As the role of each department within a club continues to grow, so does the use of the accompanying technology.

For example, there are GPS businesses with accompanying software, medical and financial software specifically used for football clubs, tracking technologies, performance analysis tools and much more.

A range of athlete management software businesses also exist, which collect important information but are reliant on experts at the clubs to make sense of the data.

Because of the use of all of this specialist software, communication problems exist between departments.

Iterpro’s goal as a company is to simplify and display the most relevant information to the most relevant departments.

If a sports scientist within the organisation completes a detailed report on the squad, it makes sense to want the manager and other departments to have an easily readable overview of the report.

Showcasing the right information to the right people is extremely valuable.

Dr. Alberto Calicchio, Head of Medical at the AC Milan Academy said: “Iterpro has almost eradicated communication problems between staff members, and simultaneously expanded the opportunity to share data remotely with other departments. This, together with the possibility to analyse data and performance statistics, has been a huge step forward for us.

“What I like the most is that every step, from medical and rehab to the return to play process, is easily understandable by an external figure. It’s not only for doctors and sports scientists.

“In practical terms, the manager, or eventually the Director, can check the players’ status in every moment, even if he doesn’t come to our training ground in Vismara. This is vitally important for us.”

AC Milan renewed its partnership with Iterpro in December 2019 for a further three years.

Other clubs in partnership with Iterpro include Serie A sides Bologna FC and Torino FC, as well as Serie C side AC Monza.

Simon Barjie, Performance Manager at AC Monza said: “Since Iterpro was implemented at Monza we noticed that we became way more time-efficient: being able to collect and interpret data in order to give prompt feedback to the coaching staff – as well as individual players – has been something extraordinary.

“We now have a clear general overview, but at the same time a specific real-time snapshot of the squad, which allows us to effectively share information between departments (coaching, performance, medical).”

Iterpro’s focus on communication allows club partners to make better decisions, faster. This is a vital element in the football landscape.

Andrea Tedesco, Assistant Manager at UC Craivoa said: “Sharing information is progressively becoming crucial in football since important decisions need to be taken in a very limited amount of time. Iterpro has revolutionised the way we work.”

Iterpro continues to work with its partners and third parties to build new features to expand its system.

They have an integration with Wyscout, which gives scouting departments access to information from every professional league in the world.

Other features include a transfer dashboard on the Iterpro platform, which can be used to run simulations on the transfer window. This gives clubs the understanding on how these transfers will affect club budgets. Therefore, this data is of benefit to both the scouting and finance departments.

In the finance department, Iterpro’s system gives partners the chance to use data from player management to asset management. Every transfer and wage payment are a significant investment, with a player being the main financial asset for a club.

Player contracts are recorded on the Iterpro system, with a contract and clause builder functionality also incorporated. The finance department has the ability to receive alerts when a player is getting close to triggering a certain clause, such as an extra payment for a performance related bonus.

An app has also been designed for partners, which showcases the same data as the platform version. It is presented in a more condensed way however, with directors and key personnel at clubs finding it extremely convenient.

Finally, Iterpro offers clubs, leagues and federations further opportunities to expand revenue streams with their system. Recently, a league approached the company asking how their member clubs could reduce insurance premiums to focus on other financial benefits.

With a firm focus on product development and growth of the company, Iterpro has partnered with a significant player in football finance to enhance its offerings. The company has recently hired workers with experience in the financial side of professional football.

The time could be approaching for Australian clubs to consider Iterpro as a worthwhile investment.

 

 

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Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Eyeball: Changing the foundation of scouting

The very foundation of scouting has changed forever. 

Eyeball is an Artificial intelligence (AI) powered product designed to assist footballing entities in scouting the potential football athletes from various countries around the world.

With over 100,000 players within the technologies database all comprised of youth players, football clubs across the globe are raising their eyebrows as to what this brilliant technology can provide.

The system acts as a football scout. Remotely and in the convenience of a smartphone device, the search and evaluation of performance capacity of the players within its database can be compared to football’s finest players. The service prides itself on optimising academy recruitment, without a club worrying about the financial difficulties involved in travel or acquisition of scouting personnel.

The contemporary scouting platform has an established and researched insight database, all gathered from the youth academies of Europe’s leading football giants.

European markets including the footballing nations of Spain, England, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Croatia are also joined by the African markets of Ghana, Mali, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone. These are the markets in which Eyeball operate within, acting as the ever growing customer base of their elite scouting technology.

Youth scouting is strenuous. Professional clubs who are struggling within their respective leagues due to being less financially opportunistic, are already on the back-foot. With its locality and lack of scouting network, the fundamental exercise in terms of growing a club and its talent pool, becomes surplus. The purpose of Eyeball and its technology is to make the scouting process simple yet effective, as it has essentially modernised the process, bridging the gap between potential players and professional clubs.

Determined to enhance its science, searchable player data is a primary focus of Eyeball in which they seek to further improve. This is through the analysation of video data from talented players throughout the globe, combatted with the collection of a prospects data.



The data collected is imperative. Driven by 13 statistical parameters, it includes shots on target, successful dribbles, incisive passes and passes in the final third – just to name a few.

The parameters collected can be searched by the club officials using the app, perhaps on the hunt for a player in whom possess specific qualities dependent on what the club requires on the pitch.

Summaries of key stats are compiled by AI based upon data collected from partner clubs that have detailed profiles upon talent within the database. The AI technology allows partnered clubs to put these prospects into AI generated match-simulations, allowing for the assessment of a players performance all through the use of Eyeball’s data breakdown technology.

The player app feature of Eyeball can be a considered a polarizing tool in which football participants can utilise in order to garner a tangible understanding of their ability. The player app allows players to access performance data from within the platform while also showcasing to the scouts using the technology, the ability in which the player possesses.

Games can be watched back by players, while Eyeball analyses the games and a breakdown of the performance. This allows players and coaches to make the necessary changes to a players training routine, showcasing the areas in which are in need of improvement.

It basically allows a player to sell themselves to scouts. Professional clubs are examining the profiles and the players are able to customize their profile, showcasing their greatest qualities in-match highlights. Matches can be watched back and analysed, as they are stored within Eyeball’s database.

Individuals can hunt for specific match moments, with a play-by-play game events feature dissecting every move a player makes throughout matches documented. Eyeball’s analysts watch each match closely, providing a breakdown of performance statistics. Players distribution performance, as well as their offensive and defensive performances are outlined.

Eyeball possesses the ambition of wanting to become a pioneer in bridging the gap between talented youth prodigies and becoming the next generational top tier of talent across the globe. All through the inclusive access of insight and data performance surveyed and interpreted through its system.

Over 100 professional clubs are using the Eyeball technology, with the company making major waves in regards to the foundation in which scouting is exercised. Perhaps it would be in the interest of Australia professional clubs to also utilise this ground-breaking technology for their benefit.  

TacticAI: Revolutionising the way coaches analyse corner kicks

TacticAI is an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can provide experts with tactical insights, particularly on corner kicks, through predictive and generative AI.

Importantly, it is a full AI system that could give coaches instant, extensive, and accurate tactical insights – that are also practical on the field.

As part of Google’s partnership with Liverpool FC, their DeepMind team have worked on this innovate project for a couple of years in an attempt to revolutionise the way elite football clubs are analysing corner kicks in the sport.

TacticAI demonstrates the potential of assistive AI techniques to revolutionize sports for players, coaches, and fans. Sports like football are also a dynamic domain for developing AI, as they feature real-world, multi-agent interactions, with multimodal data.

TacticAI is built to address three core questions:

  1. For a given corner kick tactical setup, what will happen? e.g., who is most likely to receive the ball, and will there be a shot attempt?
  2. Once a setup has been played, can we understand what happened? e.g., have similar tactics worked well in the past?
  3. How can we adjust the tactics to make a particular outcome happen? e.g., how should the defending players be repositioned to decrease the probability of shot attempts?

TacticAI’s main use is to assist current coaches by finding similar corner kicks and testing different tactics to influence a decision.

Instead of analysts reviewing the footage of previous games over and over again to discover a specific team’s corner routine, the technology computes the numerical representations of players to easily look up past routines.

The AI technology’s generative model allows human coaches to redesign corner kick tactics to optimise probabilities of certain outcomes, such as reducing the probability of a shot attempt for a defensive setup.

TacticAI provides tactical recommendations which adjust positions of all the players on a particular team. From these proposed adjustments, coaches can identify important patterns, as well as key players for a tactic’s success or failure, more quickly.

In Google’s quantitative analysis, it showed that TacticAI was accurate at predicting corner kick receivers and shot situations, and that player repositioning was similar to how real plays unfolded.

Human football experts from Liverpool FC found that the tech’s suggestions cannot be distinguished from real corners and were favoured over their original situations 90% of the time. The data is demonstrating its efficiency and usefulness at the top level.

Google are trying to find new ways to utilise AI in football because the sport is a very dynamic and challenging game to analyse. The company is using this technology to try and blend human expertise (Football coaches and analysts) with the AI’s analysis suggestions to help make coaching at the very top level more efficient.

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