Exchanging videos on flash drives; analyzing games using pen and paper and videographers editing the video ad hoc. This used to be the case for most teams in the lower divisions of Russian Football including FC Nizhny Novgorod. 

However, last season the club implemented technology into their workflow which made their video analysis more efficient. Learn about the steps that helped FC NN get promoted to the Russian Premier League. 

Andrey Ankudimov has been working as a video analyst for football clubs in the city of Nizhny Novgorod for more than 10 years. He joined the newly created FC Nizhny Novgorod in 2018, when the club was in the FNL, the Russian second division. The goal was to win promotion to the Russian Premier League, but after several attempts, it still seemed far.

With the advancements in sports analysis technology, Andrey realised that both he and the club needed to keep up with the latest football trends. “I came to a turning point during the pandemic, when I had time to rethink my whole workflow. I realized that life is moving forward. If you’re late, you might not be able to catch up,” says Ankudimov. 

Andrey Ankudimov is a vastly experienced video analyst with over 10 years of experience.

Andrey started this process by looking for people who could help him and share knowledge of video analysis. “It was difficult to find information as I don’t speak English,” explained Ankudimov. “Luckily, I stumbled upon an online course given by Evgeny Shevelev, who is now head of analytics at CSKA. He is doing a great job developing video analysis in Russia by sharing his knowledge with others and recommending the best tools to use. After this intensive course, I broke down my new workflow.” 

On the first day of preparing for the new season, Andrey got the club’s coaching staff together and shared the new vision with them. He explained that there is a way to break down video using Hudl Sportscode and then share clips through the Hudl platform. The club management bought into this vision too “I was lucky to have their support in every way,” adds Ankudimov. 

It was the perfect time for FC NN to incorporate technology into their video analysis. The FNL season was disrupted due to the pandemic and the clubs had to squeeze 42 matches into a shortened season of less than 7 months. 

“I came to a turning point during the pandemic, when I had time to rethink my whole workflow. I realized that life is moving forward. If you’re late, you might not be able to catch up". Andrey Ankudimov - Video Analyst, FC Nizhny Novgorod.

That means playing at least twice a week and being on the road all the time. “For example, we had a game in Khabarovsk on Sunday, a home game in Nizhny Novgorod three days later, and after three days more we had to be in Kaliningrad for another game,” explains Ankudimov. To put this in perspective, there could be almost 6000 miles of travel in one week.

This posed a very different challenge for the coaching staff. The team had no time for practice, let alone theory classes. And this is where technology came to the rescue. “If it hadn't been for Hudl, we just wouldn't have been able to fully prepare for the games,'' says Ankudimov. “With Sportscode, I could analyze our games and the games of our next opponent much faster than before. I could do it anywhere - at home or on the road. Then, I just had to upload videos to Hudl to discuss everything with the coaches and players.”

The tight schedule hit those clubs that delayed implementing technology to their workflow. “I know one club that had difficulties preparing for games, as they found themselves lacking new tools in these conditions,” shares Andrey. “We, on the other hand, knew immediately that the new reality would make it impossible to prepare for games in the old way. So, we had no doubt about whether to use Hudl or not.”

Coding during live matches using Hudl Sportscode is a key part of Ankudimov's analysis workflow.

The new workflow in video analysis was simple but powerful. According to Ankudimov, Hudl Sportscode is the most user-friendly and functional program out there. “All you have to do is to set up the code window properly to easily code videos later on,” he adds.  “Of course, you can’t set up the code window in one evening. 

This skill comes with time, when you clearly understand the coach’s requirements for his team and for analysis of the opponent. But when all these requirements become clear, everything comes together like a puzzle.”

After the analysis is done, Andrey shares video with players using the Hudl platform. The ecosystem of Hudl products allows you to share video with one click and saves a lot of time. “It's much more convenient than getting together in a conference room and waiting for the coach. Hudl speeds the process up. And then, sometimes you just need to show the players a few instances. 

The Nizhny Novgorod Stadium will now be host to Russian Premier League matches for the first time ever.

There’s no point booking a room and getting the whole team together just for this. It is better to let them spend this time on recovery,” explains Ankudimov. 

A new tool that Andrey has just incorporated in his workflow is Studio, which allows him to add graphics and 3D animations to the clips. “Studio is built into Sportscode, which makes it highly practical. I can send video directly to Studio from the organizer and add all the necessary drawings. And then I upload the completed video to Hudl,” he explains. 

“Studio is built into Sportscode, which makes it highly practical. I can send video directly to Studio from the organizer and add all the necessary drawings. And then I upload the completed video to Hudl". Andrey Ankudimov - Video Analyst, FC Nizhny Novgorod.

The results are there to see as the club finished 3rd in FNL and were promoted to the Russian Premier League for the first time in their short history. Andrey understands that their debut season at the elite level will not be easy but if everyone does their job in the best possible way, success will come. 

“I’m here to help the coaching staff and the players as much as I can in terms of information and videos on our games and opponents,'' says Ankudimov. “I don’t want to pile them with unnecessary data, but rather to communicate the coaching staff's vision to the players in a clear and gradual way showing them highlights.” 

To learn more about how Hudl is powering modern football, check out the Hudl Pro Suite, or take a look at our other professional case studies from FC Zenit and the Brazilian National Team.