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.