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Signality: The ultimate analysis and coaching source

Signality has built an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that gives clubs, leagues and federations real-time data which makes it easier to access statistics from games.

The Swedish-based company has created a system that gives an array of insights to use, free from the hassle of manually setting up cameras or using wearables – saving time and costs on installation that normally come with this type of equipment.

“We have built the world’s first fully automated player and ball tracking platform dedicated for football,” Michael Hoglund said, vice-president of marketing and growth at Signality.

“We don’t require operators manning a system, our AI takes care of capturing and analysing everything from kick-off to half-time, end of the game, and all the 3.5 million data points that occur in between as the game is being played.”

Signality’s data collection takes that responsibility away from coaches and analysts to keep up, capable of recording clearer and more accurate data in the process.

It’s collected in real-time, meaning there’s no need for coding windows, wearables or filming games – it is all done through the power of AI. Signality uses LiveInsight as a way to present all the very best data a coach or analyst could want.

“We are doing individual player tracking in real-time, with a fully automated process,” Hoglund said.

“Our clubs can now access detailed stats and player specific videos within five seconds of an event happening.

“All this is shared as raw data to our customers or through our cloud video and analytics platform, LiveInsight.

“As we collect three and a half million data points per match, LiveInsight is the product we use for clubs to make sense of this data – they determine the information that is displayed there and then the data is collected and displayed automatically – as reports and as playlists with video.

“The massive data-set is made up of the position and identity of all the players (even the referee) 25 times per second.”

Clubs can then have more flexibility about how they use data for all players, as individual performances are analysed.

While it may seem complex to record and track each player’s movement on the pitch, Signality makes this process a whole lot easier.

“We enable the analyst to easily string together complex data-filters that will then automatically populate and generate videos and reports as the game is being played on the field,” Hoglund said.

“For example, an analyst or coach might request for LiveInsight to show video of all the times that their right-back/number two, passed to their striker, number nine, for the last five games.

“LiveInsight will instantly extract those instances with video clips and associated data. We want to enable coaches and analysts to be able to focus more on the insights, rather than spending lots of times doing manual work with tagging, coding, and filming.

“That’s what an AI excels at, automating asks. We want to make analysts and coaches feel comfortable in offloading some of that ‘grunt work’ to us, being that support that frees up time, having their back when it’s crunch time.”

LiveInsight has been built to extract data from automatically recorded video to generate highlights.

It shows exactly how many times a player has touched the ball in different areas of the pitch, giving instant results that analysts and coaches can immediately use.

“For analysts this is a total game changer, saving them hours each week tagging. It also frees them up during games to focus on the game rather than filming it,” Hoglund said.

“Professional football analysts are almost always extremely well educated, and we think our system can make better use of their abundant skill sets.

LiveInsight has proved successful for clubs as they can make full use of their data through automatically tagged video.

“The very nature of ‘machine learning’ means that our product gets better over time,” Hoglund said.

“We’ll be even more accurate than we currently are at measuring player speeds and distances, dribbles, possession per zone, pass success rates etc.

“Human motion analysis directly from the video is another field we see a lot of exciting use cases for it by using joint detection, gait analysis, and player vision field of view.

Many elite clubs in Europe have turned to Signality for data that is less likely to have errors. With automatic insights, it is a more effective alternative than wearables, which can only extract data for a club’s own team, not the opposition or ball.

It leads to much deeper tactical analysis for every second of a match.

“We’re looking to work with innovative club coaches and analysts who want to get better, faster data,” Hoglund said.

“Any club who feel their analysts can make better use of their skills for match analysis and preparation, as well as opposition scouting.”

You can find out more on Signality here.

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

28 Australian Match Officials recognised by FIFA for 2022

Football Australia has announced that 28 of Australia's Match Officials have been appointed to FIFA's Panel of International Referees.

Football Australia has announced that 28 of Australia’s Match Officials have been appointed to FIFA’s Panel of International Referees for 2022.

The list includes Referees, Assistant referees, Futsal referees, and Video Match Officials – all of whom are enabled to officiate FIFA sanctioned tournaments and fixtures.

The list includes four new Australian match officials, featuring two match referees and two assistant referees. They are Daniel Elder and Adam Kersey from the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s competition, and assistant referees Lauren Hargrave and Kearney Robinson respectively.

With all officials becoming debutants on FIFA’s esteemed list, it serves as recognition on a worldwide scale.

Football Australian Chairman and Chair of Football Australia Referees Committee, Chris Nikou:

“Australian match officials have always been highly regarded within the global football landscape and it is pleasing to see that FIFA has continued to recognise this through the appointment of 28 Australians to the Panel of International Referees for 2022,” he said.

“Congratulations to the new additions to the panel in Daniel (Elder), Adam (Kersey), Lauren (Hargrave), and Kearney (Robinson).”

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson:

“Refereeing remains a key focus for Football Australia, and it is pleasing to see Australian Match Officials once again recognised by FIFA. We congratulate all the 2022 Panel or their opportunity to represent Australian football on the global stage,” he said.“With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ now just 11 months away and a home Women’s World Cup™ in 2023, it is an exciting time for Australian refereeing and football more broadly.”

Four other Australian match officials are also being acknowledged for their selection to officiate in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022. Referees Casey Reibelt, Lara Lee, Kate Jacewicz, and Assistant Referee Joanna Charaktis will represent Australia in India over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, seasoned Australian referees Matthew Cream and Renae Coghill called time on their international refereeing careers at the end of 2021.

The full list of Australian Match Officials selected for FIFA’s Panel of International Referees for 2022 is below:

Name

Role

FIFA International Since

Kurt AMS

Referee

2019

Jonathan BARREIRO

Referee

2019

Christopher BEATH

Referee

2011

Rebecca DURCAU

Referee

2017

Daniel ELDER

Referee

2022

Shaun EVANS

Referee

2017

Kate JACEWICZ

Referee

2011

Adam KERSEY

Referee

2022

Alexander KING

Referee

2020

Lara LEE

Referee

2019

Casey REIBELT

Referee

2014

Ashley BEECHAM

Assistant Referee

2013

Joanna CHARAKTIS

Assistant Referee

2019

Ryan GALLAGHER

Assistant Referee

2016

Owen GOLDRICK

Assistant Referee

2018

Lance GREENSHIELDS

Assistant Referee

2019

Lauren HARGRAVE

Assistant Referee

2022

Sarah HO

Assistant Referee

2004

George LAKRINDIS

Assistant Referee

2016

Andrew LINDSAY

Assistant Referee

2019

Nathan MACDONALD

Assistant Referee

2012

Laura MOYA

Assistant Referee

2017

Kearney ROBINSON

Assistant Referee

2022

Anton SHCHETININ

Assistant Referee

2016

Andrew BEST

Futsal Referee

2017

Jonathon MOORE

Futsal Referee

2018

Ryan SHEPHEARD

Futsal Referee

2009

Darius TURNER

Futsal Referee

2013

Note: Match Officials listed in bold are recognised as FIFA Video Match Officials (VMOs).

Manchester United gives update on Old Trafford plans

Manchester United has updated fans on modernising Old Trafford, with an assurance that they will be regularly consulted with the progress.

Manchester United has provided an update to fans on plans to modernise Old Trafford, with an assurance that fans will be regularly consulted with the progress.

Old Trafford is the largest club football stadium in the UK, with a capacity of 73,000 and one of the most iconic venues in world football with 111 years of history as United’s home ground.

Initial meetings have been taking place with multiple architectural and engineering companies in order to choose a potential partner that will allow the Red Devils to move forward with the project.

No decision has been made on the scope or budget of the project, and it is still up in the air as to whether or not the stadium will receive a capacity increase. The final plan would be ‘based on analysis and on consultation’.

Stadium redevelopment plans are expected to be a key focus of the Fans’ Advisory Board (FAB), which will hold its first meeting early this year.

Manchester United CEO Collette Roche:

“These meetings have produced exciting potential ideas, although it’s important to note that we’re still at an early stage and it’s premature to talk about timetables,” she said.

“We intend to involve the Fans’ Advisory Board in the process, and we will also keep this Forum briefed. The creation of the FAB was an historic step that will establish a new model for fan engagement in English football and, ultimately, improve the club’s decision-making.”

Roche also noted that the development will be a ‘complex piece of work’, because of the many legal and regulatory factors involved. However, Roche reminded fans that good progress has been made and talks are at an advanced stage currently.

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