Australian soccer club Gladesville Hornsby Football Association Spirit FC took their pursuit of innovation and world-class development initiatives to new levels by becoming the largest PlayerTek user in the country.
Head of Football at the Gladesville Hornsby Spirit FC, Tim Thorne, is pleased to be able to utilise performance insights to enhance the club’s reputation as one of the top development clubs in Australia.
“PlayerTek by Catapult is technology that allows our players to be monitored, it allows us to see heat maps, and it also allows us to see the loads that the players get,” Thorne said. “Our aim is to be the top development club in the country. We want to sit just below the [Western Sydney] Wanderers, Sydney FC, Central Coast Mariners, and be the club that develops players better than anyone else.
“We want to make sure that our players can have the technology that used to only be in the realms of Manchester United, and now we’re bringing it down all the way to our under 13s. It’s all about preparing players for the professional level, so when they step into a professional setup, it’s actually the same.”
Gladesville Hornsby Spirit FC coaches have quickly embraced PlayerTek by Catapult, finding actionable insights that are helping enhance the wellbeing of their professional and amateur athletes.
“It’s good to see as a coach that if they’re playing the same position, in roughly the same game time, I can see who’s putting in more effort and it’s good to know I can adjust their session loads depending on how hard they work,” Coach Hugh Brown said.
“We had a game two weeks ago and this player ran 9.6km in 60 minutes, which was absolutely amazing, but we had to decrease his load due to that, which made it very beneficial for him the next day when he had to train, he wasn’t killing himself and burning himself out with injury.”
Under 16s Youth League Coach, Tony Makerry, views training analysis in a completely new way, and thinks the technology could be a game-changer when it comes to recruiting players that care about the future of physical development.
“It actually highlights areas as coaches where they should be sprinting instead of jogging, or jogging instead of walking, and where they are in relation to the game,” Makerry said.
“It opens up a lot of areas that we as coaches wouldn’t otherwise have access to. It’s going to absolutely attract players once the word gets out as to how beneficial it is for the wellbeing of the players, and also the development side of things.”
Spirit FC players are getting in on the act too, using the data to compete with each other and refine their approach to training.
“I can look at that session that night and identify where I can work harder, see if I can adjust it to the next session, make sure I sprint that little harder or run that little further,” midfielder Jacob White said. “It kind of gives me some motivation. A bit more push.”
“Every exercise that you do, it’s on your phone straight away. You don’t even have to plug it into a computer or anything,” striker Jordan Metcalfe said.