Changing the perception of county FAs

Go West! Veo Technologies sign with Cornwall FA

This month, Cornwall FA entered into an official partnership with Danish tech company Veo Technologies, who’ve invented a camera that records football matches without a cameraman using artificial intelligence. Cornwall had been looking for ideas to advance football within the county using new technology, and this high-tech camera is an exciting fit.

Senior Football Development Officer Daniel Greenough is excited by this new partnership and says: “Cornwall FA are always looking for new and innovative ways to work and develop.  The new cameras and relationship can add to what we aim to achieve as a County FA whilst also providing an excellent opportunity for our football family.”

The partnership between Cornwall FA and Veo Technologies has been in the making for a while and is now materialised by e.g. two AI cameras given to Cornwall FA, who will offer free usage to teams who achieve greatness in fair play, community projects, and fundraisers. Specifically, the cameras will be circulating “on the road” throughout the year to give players the chance to watch themselves play and coaches the chance to analyse and improve the players. 

Women and Girls and Disability Football Development Officer Vicky Fisher stressed how impressed she is with the new system and added: “We used the cameras for the first time to film our U12 and U14s ACC fixtures v Devon to allow the coaches to analyse the game and to help with individual player development. This will help us develop in so many ways.”

Ultimately, the goal for the partnership is for more local Cornwall players to hone their skills with the most high-tech hardware and software available on the market. And if that will help establish a professional team in the region in the coming years, or if more young talent will be scouted based on video material, only time will tell. 

Veo partner with UK grassroots FA’s

This fall, Veo Technologies entered into partnerships with a remarkable five football associations in the UK. The five FA’s are Cornwall, ISFA, Norfolk, Middlesex and Surrey, who’ve all received Veo’s football cameras in a unique sponsorship package created to support grassroots football in the counties – and to spark awareness about high-quality and affordable video analysis now being available for lower league teams. The package includes a Veo camera kit, complete with tripod and subscription, as well as funding to invest back into their respective grassroots football programs.

Specifically, the Veo cameras will be filming the five FA’s representative teams, but they will also be circulating “on the road” throughout the year to give local county players the chance to watch themselves play and local county coaches the chance to analyse and improve.

Norfolk FA Chief Executive, Gavin Lemmon says: “We’re delighted to welcome Veo on board as one of our official partners and I’m extremely excited that we are able to make this fantastic device available to grassroots clubs.”

Mr. Jono Santry, Head of Player Development and U18 Coach at ISFA says: “Video is fast becoming a necessity in school football and Veo provides the perfect solution for all Independent Schools to develop, nurture and showcase their footballing prowess on and off the field”. 

The five FA’s were selected due to their positions amongst the UK’s most forward thinking football associations – all with a remarkably high level of both participation and engagement – and Veo has great confidence that the new partnerships will have a great impact for aspiring young players.

CEO of Veo, Henrik Teisbæk, says: “We’re happy to see so many progressive clubs and associations in the UK wanting to become part of the journey towards leveling the football playing field, and making video available to everyone.”

Ultimately, the goal for the partnerships is for more local players to hone their skills with the most high-tech hardware and software available on the market, and help them punch above their weight. Fingers crossed.

“Great product, great design, great quality”

Late this summer, Veo launched on the North American market. Approximately 200 pre-ordered cameras were sent to the US and Canada just in time for the beginning of the fall season.

In Veo, we are constantly working on improving our user’s experience. More than half of the 40 employees in our office in Copenhagen work on developing new features, improving the ball detection and upgrading the 180° camera. However, the most important component in developing our product is feedback from our users.

So needless to say, we were excited when we got in touch with Lee Hudson who is Youth Development Director of Liverpool FC International Academy in Michigan, USA. The academy was among the first clubs in North America to start using Veo and has been one of the most active users of the camera.

Originally from Southampton, England, Lee Hudson has several years of football coaching experience in both England and the US. He has coached talented footballers on all ages and genders. In many ways, Hudson is the perfect test person for our AI-powered football camera. And he offered to give us an honest, unfiltered and comprehensive review of the camera.

A first impression that lasts

“Our club has been using Veo for the last three months. We currently have two cameras, one that we use for our 11v11 games and another we use for our 4v4, 7v7 and 9v9 games. Over the last three months we have filmed more than games and multiple formats and found the set up and filming process to be very simple,” Hudson says.

“The first few times we used the system, it took a good five minutes to set up … And after five-six go’s that five minutes set up time became two minutes,” he continues.

In the development of Veo, it’s always been of highest priority to make an easy solution. We’ve always worked with the attitude that football coaches don’t want to be bothered with complicated setups. Not while standing on the pitch, nor while uploading and editing the recording.

“Uploading videos after recording couldn’t be easier. Take the camera home, connect to your router using the cord provided and away you go. The whole process from start to finish is incredibly easy and the long term benefits of this system are endless. Highlight goals and key moments of the game. Full tactical overview of the field and great quality pictures,” Lee Hudson says.

Roses and thorns

However, there’s no rose without a thorn. We wrote in the beginning that we asked Lee Hudson for an honest and unfiltered review. And he also does describe three less fortunate experiences of using Veo.

“Once the camera begins to zoom to the far side of the field, you lose picture quality. If you want the best quality video, you need to keep it in tactical view,” Hudson says. 

The way Veo works is using digital zoom and pan from a 180° recording. The digital zoom will inevitably result in lower resolution when zooming in. This is a compromise for building a camera that doesn’t need an operator and at the same time is a portable and affordable solution. It can be partly avoided by choosing to record with the tactical view that doesn’t zoom in on the ball and keeps an overview of the pitch.

Lee Hudson also experienced an issue where the two cameras didn’t record with the same brightness. We don’t want to bore you, the reader, with boring tech stuff about the reason for Hudson’s issue here, but a new firmware update is currently being rolled out to all cameras. This update will result in a more consistent picture quality and additionally lead to no color difference between the two lenses. 

“One last thing, the highlight clip system could be easier to use,” Hudson says.

Within a few months, Veo will introduce a totally redesigned interface to the Veo platform that we’ve been working lately. This update will make the experience of creating and sharing highlights even easier.

Final verdict

Veo is very excited to bring our cameras to North America and we are always open to hearing feedback from our users. Lee Hudson finishes his review with summoning up:

“Outside of these very small details, we love Veo and are proud to see the product grow. This technology is helping develop our players understanding of the game and tactical knowledge by watching themselves back.

Great product.

Great design.

Great quality.”

Veo features on national Danish television

Veo featured in TV Avisen, the daily news show on national Danish television, at primetime Saturday evening, 21st September. Here, we have subtitled the recording.

The participants in the feature are players and coaches from Boldklubben af 93, a local club in Copenhagen, Henrik Teisbæk who is CEO for Veo, and Martin Thorborg who is a serial entrepreneur and expert in startups.

The report was sent on Danmarks Radio 21st September 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

You can also find the report here on Danmark Radio’s website.

Veo raises $6M in Series A funding

New investment enables Veo to enter the North American market

Every year, millions of football matches are played worldwide. Almost none of these are recorded, and therefore millions of goals and other unique soccer situations are not recorded – and special moments are missed. Here at Veo, our mission is to solve this problem with a portable and affordable football camera that enables anyone anywhere to record and analyse football matches without the need of a cameraman.

Last month, the company raised six million dollars from American investors Courtside Manager LLC, French investors Ventech Capital V S.L.P. and Danish investors VC Seed Capital. The investment coincides with Veo’s launch on the North American market earlier this summer where 100 pre-ordered cameras were shipped to clubs in the USA and Canada and 100 more are on their way.

‘Henrik (CEO of Veo) and the Veo team have harnessed their impressive creativity and entrepreneurial vision to transform how important moments are captured in the sports industry. We are excited to support Veo’s global ambition to share their best in class, AI powered video solution to football teams worldwide,’ says Tero Mennander, Partner at Ventech Capital V S.L.P.

Veo was founded in 2015 by CEO Henrik Teisbæk, CTO Jesper Taxbøl, and member of the board Keld Reinicke. After a years long developing period, Veo entered the commercial market in August 2018 and is now available worldwide. 1,000 clubs in 50 countries now use Veo.

‘We have an ambition of making video technology a natural part of soccer. In all clubs, on all levels. Not only in the few big clubs who already have the resources to do so and just want an easier solution. But especially for the smaller clubs who haven’t had the opportunity to record their games and goals until now,’ says CEO Henrik Teisbæk.

What does the media say …

Several International and Danish media have covered the funding round.

The investment is covered by TechCrunch here: https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/12/veo-raises-6m-series-a/

Danish media also covered the news on both print and web.

Børsen covered the news on borsen.dk and in their printed newspaper on Friday September 13.

Finans.dk, one of the biggest finance news media in Denmark wrote a large feature about the investment.

And the tech niche media TechSavvy wrote about it here.

Do you represent a media and want to hear more? Contact our Head of PR Adam von Haffner at adam@veo.co.

Want to hear more about what Veo can do for your club? Don’t hesitate on booking a sales call here: Book a sales call.

New types of users find value in recording football

The vast majority of our customers in Veo are football clubs. Nothing sensational about this fact. Our product is essentially designed for helping players and trainers by making it easier to record football matches. But during the last months, we’ve seen new types of users who can also see the value of recording football matches.

In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to two organisations who use Veo, but who are not football clubs. We have talked to Jens Biel from Sønderjysk Fodbolddommerklub (Southern Jutland Football Referee Club) and Silas Bang from Jysk Fynske Medier.

‘It is very useful for the referees to observe themselves’

In the most southern part of Denmark in Southern Jutland, the local football referee club (Sønderjysk Fodbolddommerklub) has started using video technology in the development of the referees. 

‘We use our Veo camera to record our pre-talent referees that are members of our union. The purpose of this is to develop our pre-talents and qualify them for even bigger matches,’ says Jens Biel, Materials Manager and member of the talent development committee in the referee club.

For a referee, both positioning and physical appearance on the pitch are important in order to lead a football match successfully. So self observation is valuable.

‘We use it for instance for the ref’s running pattern or ref’s location in case of freekick and offsides. It could also be the act in how the referee handles certain situations as giving a reprimand or yellow-red card, and so on. It is very useful for the referees to observe themselves in the way they act and run during these matches,’ Biel continues.

A big part of the teaching philosophy behind the self observation is to make the talented referees choose their own development areas. The process is quite simple, actually:

‘When the recorded match is ready on Veo we invite the referee and some talent observers and have them study the match and all situations. The purpose is to make the refs come up with their own awareness and make them tell the observers which situations they could have handled somewhat different and how. But also situations they have handled right. In the end, the referees should come up with some point to maintain and some development points, which they should use for training in the upcoming matches,’ says Biel.

After our conversation with Jens Biel, the Swedish local football union Västergötlands Fotbollförbund has also started recording their matches with Veo in regards to referee development. The combination of video recording, football and refereeing sure seems to have a future (not a word of VAR here!).

‘… an extra dimension to our coverage’

Let’s take a little trip to another area in Danish football. Less than a hundred kilometers to the east, the Danish local media organisation Jysk Fynske Medier records matches from the local Funen Series, the fifth tier in the Danish football league system.

‘We record matches from the lower football leagues on the island Funen. We link to the full matches (on the Veo platform, ed.), but we also create highlight videos with just the goals, which we embed in the article on our website Fyens.dk,’ says Silas Bang, Editor for video and digital tools at Jysk Fynske Medier.

Normally, the coverage of lower league football in Denmark is not supported by footage from the matches. Only the three top tier leagues are filmed today. But as video technology has become more affordable and easier to manage, the demand for seeing highlights from local matches can be met by the media organisation.

‘Lower league football has thousands of players on Funen and a lot of them and their families like to keep up to date with results and comments from coaches on our site and in the newspaper. The ability to also deliver video of goals – and hopefully chances at some point – is an extra dimension to our coverage,’ says Silas Bang.

The extra dimension video gives football coverage has also been adapted by other types of media. Among users who started using Veo during the last months, we find the Brøndby IF fan media 3point.dk who records the club’s women’s and youth teams, and the Swedish local football blog TVG Fotboll

With this blog post, we hope we have inspired local media, referee clubs, and all other organisations who’s engaged in football to see the value of recording football matches. Contact us if you want to hear more about Veo and how our solution can help you and your organisation.

Interested in hearing more? Book a sales call here.

FC Inter brings Veo to the top tier of Finnish football

In the Finnish club FC Inter, new winds are blowing. The club’s newly appointed Spanish coaching team has had a great start in the Finnish Veikkausliiga, top tier league in Finland. After 11 games, FC Inter is number three in the league with only a few points to the top (the league starts in April and ends in October). We’ve had a conversation with the assistant manager Sergio Almenara about their use of video technology in the club for analysis and development of the team and players.

FC Inter is situated in Turku, the third largest city of Finland. The area is mostly famous for being home to the Moomintrolls, the busy harbour, and for being declared “the official Christmas City of Finland” in 1996. In other words, it’s an exotic spot on the football map of the world that we visit in this blog post.

A Spanish take on tech

Sergio Almenara has a long background as a coach and analyst in Spanish league football in and around the city of Valencia. In FC Inter, he works together with fellow Spaniard José Riveiro. And for the two, implementing video technology has been a natural part of the new approaches in the club.

‘For us, video analysis is one more part of the process to develop our players inside our game model. We show players our own games and opponent games, also trainings,’ said Almenara.

Not only do they record matches for evaluating and improving. Recording training sessions is also an important part of the player development strategy. And as time is a limited resource for the coaching team in a somewhat small club like FC Inter, a solution without the need of an operator for the camera has proven to be a good match.

‘Recording training is also part of the process, so we use it to help the players to improve. Our physical coach is also doing a database where we have our drills in video, graphics, gps metrics, and so on. Not having a camera man in a small staff is very useful and helpful,’ said Almenara.

This captures the philosophy of the clubs use of technology: it has to help their process. And nothing more.

‘For us, using technology is important only if the use of that is to increase the quality of the process. We don’t like use tech only for being “modern staff”. The strategy is giving the players only the tools they need to perform better, not giving something that really doesn’t help anybody. We want to use tech that doesn’t give us extra work time.’

Prefers Veo over broadcast

In the Finnish Veikkausliiga, all matches are transmitted by television and are therefore -obviously- recorded. For many teams, it would be sufficient to use these recordings for analysis. But the coaching team in FC Inter has decided to record make their own recordings of the matches. Almenara explains why:

‘The main reason is we have a general perspective of the game that the broadcasting can’t give us. Because they focus especially on the spectators, for example zooming situations where we are interested in seeing something far from the ball,’ he said.

On the contrary to a broadcast production, a solution like Veo offers a panoramic view of the pitch which brings new perspectives to the tactical analysis.‍

Even the smallest detail matters

With the help of video technology, even the smallest details are adjustable. Like in this situation where one players’ position was exactly how it was supposed to:

‘Our winger was not closing the interval space between him and the center midfielder when the ball was in opposite corridors. This was much easier to highlight with a recording of our match,’’ said Almenara.

For FC Inter Turku, the season looks bright. Not only have they put themselves in a good situation in the league. In the beginning of July, they will compete in the Europa League qualification for the first time in six years. Back then, they lost over two legs to Faroese club Víkingur Gøta (who also uses Veo).

Hopefully, with the help from the necessary technology and proficient Spanish guidance, they will manage to go on an even bigger adventure this year.

C.D. Trintxerpe have their eyes on new scopes

For every user of Veo, there is a unique story behind. With this blog, we want to tell the stories in order to inspire, educate and entertain. We’ve already described how an Australian grassroots club uses Veo, how Sydbank Pokalen—the Danish FA Cup—brings attention to the cup’s earlier stages and interviewed staff from Burnley’s youth academy on how they prepare talents for the Premier League.

This time, we’ve had a conversation with Joseba Sein, member of the coordination board in the Spanish club C.D. Trintxerpe.

Bringing Veo to the Basque Country

The club is situated in San Sebastián in the Basque Country, approximately 10 kilometres from the French border. Actually, we’ve met them before. In this post we described how C.D. Trintxerpe was one of the first clubs to use highlights recorded with Veo on social media to engage members of the club and strengthen club cohesion.

And it wasn’t a random decision to start filming and sharing highlights from their matches. For a period, the club had been searching for a solution to record their matches:

“We were searching the internet for information about a camera to record our matches manually and therefore found out about Veo. We found it to be a very interesting system and with many possibilities since the fact that nobody has to be filming physically simplifies the work a lot.

“Since we started publishing videos recorded with Veo, it has helped us get more and more players, family members and fans to follow us on social media. It’s something that brings us a little closer to our fans and also does so our players can see goals and plays from other teams,” said Sein.

A new scope

But C.D. Trintxerpe also has another motivation to invest in the club’s infrastructure. Recently, they began a collaboration with their local townsmen from Real Sociedad whose first team plays in La Liga. This means that the local kids from the Trintxerpe neighbourhood have a direct route to one of Spain’s biggest clubs. So every possible tool is used to make talent thrive and help players reach their threshold.

“We use Veo for analysis of the game, highlighting both technical and tactical aspects that the coach or the group of sports coordination believes appropriate. We have a training room where we show our players the most relevant parts of the recorded games on a big screen,”

“We believe that being able to record matches of our teams gives our coaches the possibility of improving both tactical and technical aspects both at the level of the player and the team,” said Sein.

A beautiful memory

And sometimes, it all comes together in Campo de futbol Trintxerpe:

“A couple of weeks ago our first youth team had a crucial game because a victory would secure avoiding relegation in the division. So it seemed like an exciting match to have recorded. We won 3-2, we got another year in the top division and we’re happy to have the game recorded as a beautiful memory,” said Sein.

This was the 3-2-goal that secured C.D. Trintxerpe another year in the Juvenil Honor division 1:

Veo in Spain

In Spanish, “veo” literally means “I see”. And at the moment, we have our eyes on Spanish football. Already, Galician club Bergantiños FC, Barcelona based CE Sabadell and Rayo Vallecano’s academy in Madrid use Veo. Hopefully, we’ll be able to tell more stories from Spain soon.

*The interview was conducted in Spanish and has been translated afterwards.

Four times we lost our focus on the pitch

It’s no secret that we love watching and sharing our team’s recordings here at Veo. Most times because there is pure gold to be found among the performances. Great goals, cheeky dribbles and exciting last minute winners.

But sometimes it’s not only the things that happen inside the pitch that takes our focus. Here, we have collected four highlights where what’s outside of the pitch steals focus in different ways.

Faroese landscapes

First is this Faroe Islands league game which appears to be played right by the sea with a view to the neighbouring rocky islands.

Just between us, there is actually a city, Leirvík, between the pitch and the water (see a picture here), which maybe even makes the pitch’s position even more spectacular. We could show literally hundreds of picturesque Faroese landscapes, but let’s continue our tour to continental Europe.

Swedish wood

Luckily, it’s not only in the Northern Atlantic we can find beautiful backgrounds for football pitches. The Swedish city Karlstad is situated right by Sweden’s biggest lake Vänern so it’s no surprise that the local football teams play their matches overlooking the great lake. In this recording, we find a beautiful seaside pitch in what appears to be in the middle of a forest.

This time, there is no optical illusion.The video is recorded in the local match between FBK Karlstad and Karlstad BK. The pitch is situated next to the lakeside by to the forest.‍

Urban ambience in the local barrio

Okay, now we change the scenery completely. CD Trintxerpe in the Basque metropol San Sebastián has the most charming arena in the middle of a local neighbourhood not so far from the city’s harbour.

The club’s neighbours really has the best seats for following their local team!‍

Who let the dogs out?

It’s not only the setting around the matches which can take focus away from the pitch. In this match from the Danish Series 1 (sixth tier in the Danish league system) on Lundtofte BK’s pitch, the away fans from Hundested IK make this lower league match something special. Hundested (which literally translates to “dogs place”) may have the most active fans in the Danish lower leagues and in this match from April, they celebrate their team with blue smoke, chants, flags and flares.

Have you recorded something with Veo in amazing environments? Please let us know at hello@veo.co.

“Keeping up with technology and innovation is really beneficial”

We went to Burnley and interviewed Shawn Young, U18s performance analyst, and John Townson, U18s assistant manager, about how they use video technology to improve talents in Premier League club Burnley FC.

Learn how Burnley FC use video technology to help their players become ready for playing Premier League football. The interview was filmed on a beautiful spring day in Barnfield, Burnley FC’s training ground.