Making the Connection: Live Feedback Brings Coaches and Analysts Closer Together

The Football Association of Ireland use Hudl Replay to enable col­lab­o­ra­tion between coach­es and ana­lysts, a vital con­nec­tion in pro­fes­sion­al sport.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) gained an edge in their video analy­sis work­flow when they added Hudl Replay.

Unlike past instant replay tech­nol­o­gy, this solu­tion sends anno­tat­ed game footage from ana­lyst lap­tops direct­ly to iPads coach­es can con­trol from the side­line. This means train­ing and match footage feed­back can be deliv­ered instantly.

Before Replay came into the pic­ture, FAI head per­for­mance ana­lyst Gerard Dunne often expe­ri­enced annoy­ing time delays in get­ting infor­ma­tion to his coach­ing team before the all-impor­tant half­time analy­sis pre­sen­ta­tion. He was quick to out­line how Replay’s speed and effi­cien­cy has improved his team’s processes.

“Normally what would hap­pen is infor­ma­tion would be pro­vid­ed to the coach­es on arrival to the chang­ing rooms at half­time, where­as now Replay allows for footage and sta­tis­tics to be pro­vid­ed to coach­es before they enter the dress­ing room,” said Dunne.

“For exam­ple, it was a huge thing for us in our game against Poland as we were hav­ing quite a few prob­lems in the first half that need­ed addressing.”

A key road­block for ana­lysts work­ing in for­eign sta­di­ums is oper­at­ing in areas that are far from the coach­ing dugout and dress­ing room.

“The infra­struc­ture for our home games in Dublin is fine, we have a direct route for access and know secu­ri­ty, but in some for­eign sta­di­ums you might be sev­en or eight floors up, or you can’t use a lift so you’re run­ning up and down stairs,” Dunne said. Replay has saved him a huge amount of leg­work and stream­lined his workflow.

“When we played in Moldova, they scored a goal three min­utes into injury time in the first half, so I was five min­utes late to the dress­ing room while I looked back on that goal sce­nario from my posi­tion in the gantry. Previously the man­ag­er wouldn’t have a chance to look at the footage of the goal until I arrived, but now If the man­ag­er knows I’m going to have trou­ble get­ting down at half­time, he can look at the footage on the iPad and report back to the players.”

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“Replay allows for footage and statistics to be provided to coaches before they enter the dressing room.”
Gerard Dunne, FAI head performance analyst

Diagnosing on-field injuries is an increas­ing­ly impor­tant part of mod­ern sport, both for play­er safe­ty and for coach­es to judge if a sub­sti­tu­tion is nec­es­sary. Instant replay has rev­o­lu­tionised their abil­i­ty to quick­ly iden­ti­fy sever­i­ty of injuries.

“In our cur­rent Nations League cam­paign we have already had five injuries, some in games, some in train­ing ses­sions,” Dunne said.​“Our med­ical team like to assess injuries as quick as pos­si­ble. So while they are treat­ing the play­er on the pitch, one or two med­ical staff are des­ig­nat­ed to take a look at the Replay footage on the side­line iPad in real time to see how the injury occurred and how bad it looks.

“In one case dur­ing our last cam­paign, we had a con­cus­sion, so by the time the med­ical staff got out to him, dealt with him, got him off the pitch, they need­ed to know the exact amount of time it had been since the play­er took a hit.

“They can assess [injuries] straight away on the iPad using Replay, which is huge.”

Replay inte­grates with Sportscode for live tag­ging and gives any­one on the team the abil­i­ty to cre­ate and share playlists in real time. It’s the qual­i­ty and effi­cien­cy of the sta­tis­ti­cal out­puts that makes Replay such an asset to Dunne as an analyst.

“It’s real­ly easy to get the app set­up on your MacBook and iPad, and it’s easy to edit instances on the fly and send playlists direct­ly to the coach’s iPad on the side­line, includ­ing com­ments, descrip­tions and anno­ta­tions of game play,” Dunne said.

“Exporting analy­sis doesn’t take long at all. You get three export options, SportscodeXMLor video file. TheXMLfiles are done in a mat­ter of seconds.”

Since adopt­ing Replay as their video analy­sis solu­tion in May 2018, it has been a resound­ing suc­cess for the FAI.

“I have found it to be a real­ly pow­er­ful so far,” Dunne said. ​“Trying to get infor­ma­tion to our play­ers quick­ly was the miss­ing piece of the pic­ture for us, espe­cial­ly because with inter­na­tion­al teams, play­ers are away from our envi­ron­ment with their clubs until they come into camp.”

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