What has been your background with AC Milan?
I have been with AC Milan for 11 years, working with both the first and second teams. I am responsible for the Physical Trainers working with the athletes day to day and the overall fitness of our athletes.
When did you first hear about Catapult and from whom?
The first time I heard about Catapult was 3-4 years ago from a colleague, when researching athlete tracking devices to be used at AC Milan.
How long have you been using the technology?
AC Milan has been using athlete tacking technology since about 2003, with a variety of different systems. AC Milan and I have chosen to work with Catapult and have been doing so for over one year now.
How do you use Catapult from an injury analysis/rehabilitation point of view?
That is a good question; we especially use the system during the final phase of rehabilitation. We like to monitor parameters such as speed, heart rate, acceleration, deceleration, change of direction etc. Everything that can relate to the injury.
How do you think Catapult helps improve performance for your athletes?
Monitoring the training sessions is one of the most important things from our point of view. The system allows us to ‘check’ and ‘control’ the loads of the players, and adapt training accordingly.
During the pre-season we also ensure we have all of the technical and tactical information to make informed decisions.
What is the most valuable aspect of football that needs quantifying?
There is not one aspect of athlete tracking that is most important to us. For AC Milan it is important to present information that players and coaches understand. For example: PlayerLoad, high intensity running, number of sprints etc.
With the second team we strongly present information on acceleration and deceleration events. Catapult plays a big part in educating everyone on how these two parameters in particular are an important component of the overall load of the athlete, and is more important than just knowing the total distance.
Without revealing any data, has the system shown anything you wouldn’t have been able to detect otherwise?
Yes, it has. To answer the question ‘was training easy or hard’, the data we receive allows us to make a clear and informed decision as opposed to guessing as everyone is busy coaching during a session.
What is the one metric you find most important?
High intensity running distance. It is OK to know the overall distance, but what component of that was spent in high intensity?
How has Catapult affected your position?
Using Catapult has made my job easier, in particular to understand the real training effect. If I am not present for the training session, I can still know what they have achieved from a physical and loading point of view and not be influenced by what was seen on the field.
You can clearly see the working environment at AC Milan is fantastic, what do you love about the culture of ACM?
At AC Milan I love to work with technology like Catapult and to know and understand how the athletes are performing on the field. With all of our data, if a new fitness coach was to arrive tomorrow, they will know exactly what the athletes have done and are capable of.
I also love the organization, the people and the training environment. We have everything we need here: fields, sand, uphill and downhill running, track and field, swimming pool, gym etc. It is a great place to work.