Building Your Back Four: The Case for Using Video to Strengthen Your Defence

Hyde United FC’s remarkable turnaround has been based on solid foundations and creating an even stronger defence. This is how Hudl helped.

Hyde’s population is just over 30,000, sandwiched between the Pennine hills and the city of Manchester. Its football club now plays in the Evo-Stik League North (tier 7 of the English football league pyramid) after three successive relegations. Only four years ago they were playing conference football and were only one promotion away from the heights of the English Football League.

“We’ve obviously had a number of tough years here," said Hyde United CEO Mark Worthington. “We got three consecutive relegations so there was a big learning curve to see what we needed to do to make the club more professional. We took that opportunity and we’ve then looked to build a really firm and professional base for the club.”

This approach saw the appointment of former Sunderland AFC Head of Youth and Oldham Athletic Manager Darren Kelly as manager alongside UEFA ‘A’ licence coach David McGurk as assistant manager.

“I sat down with Dave McGurk and we spoke about the use of analytical technology to make sure that the players improve and that the team performances improve.” Worthington continued.

Clearly, with successive relegations, Hyde’s defence needed reinforcement. But rather than go out and sign a new back four, the Tigers turned to video analysis.

“In preseason we did a lot of work on the defensive setup and we’ve now got the best defensive record in the league this season by far (December 2017),” said McGurk. “Video analysis has contributed to it massively because it’s like an extra training session for us.”

Hyde is adamant this was the turning point for the club.

“Hudl gave us the base to allow us to look at what was happening in games, and then measure what the players are doing in training and games alongside that data,” said Worthington. “That has really pushed us forward. If you look at our performances since we joined with Hudl and look at our points per game they correlate completely.”

Learn how you can implement video analysis to start developing players from the best in the MLS.