The National Football Development Programme (NFDP) of Malaysia is a long-term plan to promote and develop sport across the nation. The programme hosts more than 230 players between the ages of 13 and 17, who are selected from across the country and follow a five-year development course.
Teams in the programme use Catapult wearable and video analysis solutions to support the development of their athletes. The programme aims to improve football standards in Malaysia by identifying talented young players and providing them with elite, international opportunities and experiences, helping them to maximise their potential and guiding them to reach their full potential.
The Academy has only been in full operation since 2018, and can already boast players reaching European professional leagues – Luqman Hakim recently graduated to join the Belgian professional club, KV Kortrijk.
We spoke with a number of Programme staff to see how they are using Catapult’s solutions to improve performance and develop their athletes:
Catapult aspires to unleash the potential of every athlete and team on earth, and the National Football Development Programme of Malaysia mirrors that vision by using Catapult’s solutions. The team is able to drive a new high-performance culture by using objective player data.
“We’re working on installing and improving a high-performance culture. An important part of that is how we monitor and evaluate our players in terms of player development. We try to objectify that and Catapult is an important partner in that,” said Programme Director Dennis Beking.
Ultimately, Catapult puts the programme in the best possible position to develop its athletes and be competitive with more well-established football programmes and teams.
“We can combine the subjective data from our experienced coaches with the objective Catapult data. It allows us to achieve a higher and more elite level,” explained Beking.
Ensuring game-day performance
Vector captures over 900 data points per second, enabling programmes and teams to best prepare for games. Technical Director Saad Ichalalène said Catapult helps the programme manage its team’s health and well-being in an attempt to maximise game-day performance.
“Catapult is really interesting for us, because we can store a lot of data in terms of player profiles, wellness, and training content. All this data allows us to engage with the players in a better way. It also increases our communication flow during the season and we can compare season to season now that we’ve used it for some time,” said Ichalalène.
“More than just collecting data, it allows us to link all this physical data with our philosophy and games models. So in that way, we can evaluate the player profile we need in the future, as well as understand what the demands of modern football are and eventually compare those with what is happening in other elite youth football environments.”
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Key metrics and live capacity
When assessing team and individual performances, programme staff look at a select few metrics to identify if they are performing at the desired level.
“Catapult is being used in both matches and our practices. We can compare the data across the two and identify the level our players are at. We specifically focus on training load, sprint distance, and intensity to make this assessment,” said Head of High Performance Khairal Afiq.
Recently Catapult introduced live metrics in the Vector device which creates advantages for staff like Afiq and Strength and Conditioning Officer Ahmad Azrae Rishal.
“The advantage of Catapult is that both the players’ live intensity and maximum heart rate are traceable. With the ability to track live heart rate and intensity there is the possibility to reduce injuries,” explained Rishal.
“Another advantage of Catapult Vector is that it processes hundreds of football-specific metrics and these continue to be innovated.”
Learn more about Movement Profile, Catapult’s latest football innovation:
To enquire about Movement Profile, click here.
Contextualised data – wearables and video
Catapult wearables and video analysis integrate together to provide the programme staff with contextualised data. Together, it builds a clearer picture of performance.
“Catapult’s video analysis combines with the wearable data seamlessly. Coaches can utilize the video analysis for physical and technical performance improvements as we now have a clearer picture of the demands of games, the tactical elements of our team’s games, and our opponents’ performances,” said Sport Performance Analysis Officer Mohd Aimerul.
Aimerul continued: “we’re proud to be one of the leading football academies and to be using the best available technology to help the players perform much better in the future.”
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SBG x Catapult
SBG Sports Software and Catapult shared a common vision for the future of sports technology and the significant impact data will have in helping customers optimize performance. It was even clearer that combining our technologies, product solutions, and talent would have an immediate and long-lasting impact on our customers.
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