Roberto Martinez: Unique analysis deal gives Belgium a head start

Martinez was one of the driving forces behind the deal

Martinez was one of the driving forces behind the deal

ALL Belgian Pro League teams are getting free 4k cameras and cutting-edge analysis software as part of a groundbreaking deal that national manager Roberto Martinez believes will give the country “a head start over the competition”.

The league-wide deal has been agreed by the Belgian Pro League, the Royal Belgium Football Association (RBFA) and video analysis firm Hudl.

Each team will have the following in place for the start of next season:

  • A fully automated 4k panoramic camera system with behind-goal or 18-yard cameras.
  • Three Sportscode Elite licenses.
  • Club-wide access to Hudl.
  • A video and data distribution platform called the Pro League Exchange.
  • Equipment including MacBook Pro and mini recorder.
  • Education courses for three members of staff.

Martinez, who took Belgium to the semi-finals of the World Cup last summer, said: “This is an ambitious project that will allow coaches and analysts to use the latest technologies. It will give the Pro League clubs and Belgian football a head start on the competition.”

Leander Monbaliu, legal and media rights officer for the Pro League, told TGG: “Roberto Martinez’s vision was for all Pro League teams to have the best possible analysis tools to work with.

“This deal means every club will be working with the same industry-leading tools - I think that’s unique within Europe. Some of the smaller clubs don’t have many analysts or haven’t been doing analysis for that long.

“We didn’t want to just give them the equipment and say ‘talk again in three years’, so there is also training and support.”

Englishman Luke Benstead, who joined the RBFA as Head of Performance Analysis and Innovation from Manchester United last September, has been heavily involved in implementing the project, with the 4k cameras being installed at the clubs in May and June.

He explained: “There will be three cameras at all 23 Pro League stadiums - one on the halfway line, which is an automated tactical camera that always captures 20 to 21 players - and two high-behind cameras, with the potential for 18-yard cameras if the stadiums have issues with the view.

“We also wanted to give the analysts the software to be able to improve their jobs, so each club got three Sportscode elite licences and the platform to be able to share all the wide angles across the league. All this was completely free for them.

“The Under-18s and 21s will also get their own platform to be able to share their wide angles. The overall vision was to be able to connect all areas of football for coaches and analysts.

“Alongside the Pro League, we’ll be doing courses for analysts and aspiring analysts. And if we qualify for Euro 2020, we will select an elite group of analysts to support us. We want to create opportunities for analysts in Belgium and allow them to test themselves at international level.”

The education and training, which includes workshops and online sessions, will take place in June and July.

Sam Lloyd, Hudl’s Vice President for Elite Sports, added: “It will help put Belgium on the map as one of the most innovative countries and competitions in the world. The close collaboration with the Pro League and the RBFA made it possible to develop an integrated solution, based on their innovative vision.”

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