To be competitive in the transfer market, to unearth the next stream of talent, and to maximise the club’s investments — these are the aims of Dutch Eredivisie side FC Utrecht.
We met with Chief Scout Alje Schut, to learn how his club takes advantage of data and video analysis tools to achieve these goals using the Wyscout Scouting Area.
Evidence in reports
If a club has to rely heavily on videos and data — as Utrecht does — it’s critical to have the tools, clear workflows and defined metrics to better evaluate which players may be the best fit for the team. Schut’s five-man recruitment team use the new Wyscout Scouting Area to report on a wide range of leagues and players.
“It’s critical for us to cover everything,” said Alje.“We use data and video in Wyscout to report on all the players we watch. If one of my scouts sees a player with good 1v1 skills or that can cross well, I ask him to go into reports in the Scouting Area to cut clips of footage that show me — as a Chief Scout — why he thinks that player is so good. This is also useful for our coach and technical directors, as they don’t have much time to look at reports and this makes everything easier and simpler for everyone. This way, everyone gets an idea of the type of player we’re talking about.”
FC Utrecht has a very defined workflow as to how they use Wyscout, that allows Schut and his team to have everything at hand, focusing on the players that matter the most.
“We watch all the players through the Playlist tool,” said Schut.“Then if they are good enough, we add them into Shadow Teams, where we can watch them displayed on the pitch. This allows us to have everything at hand and to watch clips and get information when needed. It’s a good solution for us — everything we need in one place — and it allows us to know what we’re looking for as a club.”
“For us, it’s very important to use the Scouting Area because it allows us to use video and put them into reports. As a scouting team, we want our coach and our directors to be aligned with us, and we want them to have a clear image of the players that we scouted and we think are good enough for the team.”
“The Scouting Area helps us get the right judgment from the coach and the technical director. Because if we are the only ones that have seen the player — and neither of them has, and they don’t have a clear idea of the player — we likely won’t sign him.”
As Schut explained, Utrecht’s recruitment team has to maximize time investments on live scouting, making sure to watch live matches that matter. This can be helpful for ultimately signing the right players. And thanks to technology, Schut’s team can also save time when reporting on players on the pitch.
“With the Scouting Area app I can select certain players, add them to the lineup and write down comments during the game, maybe at halftime, and add some more comments after the game. Everything’s linked to the system, so when I get back to the hotel it will only take me 10 minutes to finish my reports.
“When I didn’t have the app, I used to write everything down in my notes. It took a lot of time and I often had to take my eyes off the pitch. Then I had to get back to the hotel and fill everything in the platform. Now, almost every piece of information is already there, through the app. It makes our life easier.”