National League outfit Bromley FC have an analysis set-up that many Football League clubs would be envious of.

They use a drone and pan-tilt-zoom camera to film training, Studio to telestrate clips for both pre and post-match analysis, Sportscode for live analysis during matches and Wyscout to provide data and video for scouting and recruitment.

But what is perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that they’re using the same tools and workflows across both senior and Academy teams. To find out more, we spoke to Bromley’s Head of Analysis, Stuart McFadyen, and their Lead Academy Performance Analyst, Ronan Howard.

Last season, Bromley reached the National League play-offs, only to be beaten 3-2 at the quarter-final stage by Hartlepool. This time they are aiming to go all the way under the charge of Andy Woodman, the former Arsenal Head of Goalkeeping, who has been their manager since last March.

Analysis is a major part of their armory and McFadyen said: “The overall club aspiration is to get promoted into the Football League and to go up the leagues ultimately. The owners have invested a lot of money, especially in the department we’ve got now and the facilities.”

Video Analysis in the Bromley First Team

Stuart McFadyen has been working for the South East London outfit since June 2021, following stints with MK Dons and Coventry City. 

Hudl's suite of tools are integral to his workflows, from training to opposition analysis to live to post-match. First of all comes training and pre-match preparation. 

“For training days, we will film either from the side on the gantry or from behind the goal,” McFadyen explained. “We’ve got a PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) camera there, so sometimes we will look at it from that point of view, if we’re doing phases of play or working on defensive shape.

“After we’ve filmed at training, the coaches will review and if they want anything clipped from training specifically we can go through it with specific players or as a team.

“I’m in constant communication with the assistant manager and he also does a lot of work on the clipping, along with myself. Pre-match, he will give me tasks during the week. 

“We will do in and out-of-possession and usually split that into two days. We will look at the team we are playing and their last few shapes, how they like to defend and attack. We watch opposition constantly, we review our performance after games and go really in-depth with everything.”

Bromley FC are one of the few clubs at National League level to have a fully-integrated set of Hudl analysis tools. Including Sportscode, Wyscout, Hudl and Studio.

The Power of Studio for Telestration and Integration 

Studio is used particularly for the opposition analysis.

“We use Studio telestration on a regular basis,” McFadyen said. “It really helps us on opposition analysis. It’s good to look at other teams' shape out of possession - do they high press, have they got a low block and what are the areas and distances like between players? 

“It integrates perfectly with Hudl, because when we are bringing those clips into the meeting it’s so easy to get them into the organiser. We can also highlight whether players are slow at tracking back runners, whether gaps are happening. It’s something we use mainly for our post-match but also pre-match.

“It’s very important that Hudl analysis software is all integrated together, it just makes day-to-day workflow really smooth, knowing we can go from different platforms and everything’s incorporated. 

“From using Studio to linking that into the organiser to uploading to Hudl, everything is just really free flowing and smooth.”

“It’s very important that Hudl analysis software is all integrated together, it just makes day-to-day workflow really smooth, knowing we can go from different platforms and everything’s incorporated". Stuart McFadyen - Head of Analysis, Bromley FC.

The industry-leading Sportscode is used especially for live analysis and is “vital to my role and what I do”, McFadyen said. 

“Hudl Sportscode is a tool to clip during games, to code certain instances that have happened. I use it for live coding certain key events based on our philosophy and this is reviewed constantly at half time and full time. 

“We’ve tailored a code window to match what we want to see within the games. It’s one of the things I heavily rely on within my role. It’s easy to code and export clips and get clips into the bench.

“Sportscode separates us from competitors who don’t use it, purely from the amount of detail you can go into and how user-friendly it is. It doesn’t take long to get to grips with it, but once you’ve mastered certain elements of it I think it’s a brilliant tool to have. 

“Other clubs that aren’t using Sportscode are definitely missing out. They can probably do near enough the same things but it’s a lot harder and there are a lot more complications with it. Sportscode is the best software I’ve used and everything seems to run smoothly.”

An example of Studio telestration for Bromley's set piece analysis.

Wyscout: The Scouting, Recruitment and Data Solution

Aside from the workflows around matches, Wyscout is used heavily for scouting and recruitment. This is something McFadyen spends a portion of time on in his role.

“I think it’s an improvement on the scouting and recruitment processes of the past,” McFadyen admitted. “For lower league clubs like us it gives more detail on players, rather than only going on recommendations of scouts and what their eye tells them.

“The people higher up will get targets and we use Wyscout to look at their best actions, their goals and assists, and try and get a feel for the player and what they’re like. “You can have a group of people sitting around watching key clips from a player and get more healthy debate and discussion about it. 

“If I’m doing it for the manager, I’ll probably take 10, 12 minutes of clips and select the best three, four minutes which he can then present if he’s trying to make a case to get the player signed.

“The key functions of Wyscout that help us with scouting and recruitment are looking at best actions. Wyscout usually filter through a players clips and give a video report which includes his best stuff.”

“Other clubs that aren’t using Sportscode are definitely missing out. They can probably do near enough the same things but it’s a lot harder and there are a lot more complications with it" Stuart McFadyen - Head of Analysis, Bromley FC.

Wyscout isn’t only about video nowadays, but also data. 

“With the stats feature they go really in-depth with certain attacking and defending stats, such as xG, assists, goals, expected assists,” McFadyen explained. 

“There’s tons of good stuff in there. We’ve actually done it where we’ve looked at two strikers, selected like 10 stats and looked at them and weighed them up and seen which one to go for.

“Wyscout has helped us successfully scout in the past, simply by the stats feature that we’ve got. We can select the last four seasons for each player, see the amount of minutes they’ve played, the goals they’d scored, the assists they’d got, and also how tall they are, age, what’s the value like for each player if we signed them, and we can compare them side by side.

“The advanced data feature on Wyscout is incredibly valuable to me and my day-to-day working. We’ve customised our own excel documents, so when we download the advanced data we then import that in and are able to collate our own reports and gather our own specific data we want to focus on. 

“This is from things from opposition and match reports of our own games. It’s customised for us and what we want to look for.”

Video Analysis in the Bromley Academy

Bromley have spent time and resources making sure that workflows in the Academy are the same as in the first team.

Lead Academy Performance Analyst Ronan Howard, who has been with Bromley since 2017 and in his current role since July 2021, said: “The workflow we are doing with our 23s and 18s is the same as the first team is doing in the National League.” 

He added: “In the Academy we’re always looking to progress our players into first-team football and further into men’s football as well. Being able to have analysis in the Academy to help them progress is a bit part of the goals.”

As with the first team, training is filmed for the 18s and 23s and a drone is used once a week. 

“We use the drone to film our patterns of play in and out of possession with the 18s and 23s,” Howard explained. “Then we are able to sit down with the manager and pick out the main clips we want to show the players and feed that back in a meeting to help us with our gameplan to take into a game.”

Bromley academy players reviewing their performance in a group setting using the Hudl platform.

The Value of Live Analysis on Match Day

Again, Sportscode is key for live analysis on match day.

“We take the feed from our handicam that will go into Sportscode,” Howard said. “This generates a package which we will be able to code into different match events, so our in and out-of-possession KPIs. We will then take that into a post-match meeting.” 

In this post-match meeting, Studio is used to telestrate video clips. 

“When we look at the footage we are able to identify certain things we can highlight to show the players, because there are things we’re able to see that they’re not,” Howard said.

“We’ll first highlight the shape the teams are playing by using the connected dots. We’ll use spotlight beams to see, for example, midfield deep runs or an overload in the wide areas; squares to show the space we are looking to exploit; and the individual player’s tracking so we can show the players the distance and speed they are covering.”

Hudl is a “one one-stop shop that covers all Academy needs,” Howard said.

"Sportscode integrates nicely with Studio because when we export a clip from our organiser we can then put it straight into Sportscode without coming out to export a clip into another software.”

He added: “That’s useful for us because it’s quick and everything is in one place and the workflow is more streamlined. My advice to other Academies thinking of bringing in Hudl? I would recommend it highly.”

Learn more about how the Hudl Pro Suite links together high-performance video and data on one connected platform. 

Check out our other football analysis case studies with Solihull Moors FC and VfL Wolfsburg