It’s not often that a top-flight football manager describes his own team as “horrible”. But when Joaquín Gómez, the 36-year-old Spanish head coach in charge of Finnish side SJK, breaks it down, it makes perfect sense.

“We divide our identity – how we give feedback, everything we do in training and in games – into five different pillars,” he explains. “We want to be a horrible team, a team that is relentless, that is dominant, that is ruthless, and to work together.”

“So on the pillar of being horrible to play against. For us, that means we want to be a high-pressing team; a team that doesn't allow you to do the things that you like doing, that doesn't let you be comfortable.”

“That breaks down into: how many times we won the ball in the opposition final third? How many passes per defensive action do we allow the other team? How many crosses have we allowed? And that goes for every pillar.”

Gómez uses the power of the Hudl Pro Suite and its connected suite of analysis solutions, firstly through Hudl Sportscode to review each game, then communicate data and analysis to the players. “Most of the time, numbers alone are not enough. You've got to look into the details, into what we've done well and why: to understand it, to review it, what we can do to keep improving.”

From studying coaching in Madrid to managing SJK in the ​​Veikkausliiga, Finland’s top division, Gómez has been on a remarkable journey. At 23, he became one of the youngest people ever to earn a UEFA Pro License. “I loved football but I realised early on that I wasn't going to be a top professional player,” he says. “So, like many of us, I chose a different pathway to get into the sport that we love.”

Gómez took a bold step when he moved to England to accelerate his career. In 2010, he began working at one of the biggest modern success stories in English football – Brighton – rising from coaching their under-sevens’ side, to a full-time role at the academy, to first-team coach, then assistant manager. He went on to coaching spells at Luton, Stoke and Derby County. But it was a piece of advice Gómez received at Brighton that proved vital.

SJK Head Coach Joaquín Gómez has a vast amount of coaching experience across multiple countries.

“I started using Hudl Gamebreaker when we were in the Brighton & Hove Albion academy,” he says. “I was doing the under-15s – but it was a full-time, professional environment. We used to have video analysis sessions on Gamebreaker, but I met this technical scout, a Spanish coach who was with the first team, and we got talking.

“He said to me: ‘If you've got the software and the opportunity to learn how to code yourself, how to clip a game, and to put together videos for your presentations, that will take you a long way.’

“And I'm glad I listened, because it did! It made a huge difference. I started creating my own presentations for the players, to be more proactive, to have different types of feedback. It's something that helped me to create a real pathway later in my career.”

The SJK team utilizing a big screen for live analysis on the training pitch.

Whether in England, Spain or in Finland – where Gómez was involved with the national team before getting the top job at SJK in 2021 – Hudl products have been a first-choice selection at every step.

“One of the main things about Hudl Sportscode and the products that I was using 10, 12 years ago: they have been developing and improving all the time. But once you get used to how quick and efficient these products are, why would you change?

“It's so reliable. Many other companies have come and gone – but the consistency of Hudl has been very important for me in my coaching career. It's been so supportive that you wouldn't go anywhere else.”

Gómez now runs his own coaching setup, having learned from various managers – including Chris Hughton and Gus Poyet at Brighton, as well as Nathan Jones at Luton. Hudl platforms have become an essential tool.

“It's in our work every day,” he says. “Not just when we are in contact with the players, but between coaches. When we as coaching staff want to cover a number of games, with Hudl we've got the opportunity to share all the video analysis, to have it in the same platform where we can exchange and delete or add different tabs, to help us prepare for the week ahead. It makes a big impact.”

The five pillars of play that SJK use - analyzed on the Hudl Sportscode platform.

Studio allows Gómez and his staff to easily share and edit videos, but also to introduce graphics to pinpoint with clarity what they’re trying to communicate to each player.

“Some players learn visually, through a video clip. But for many others, when you add in graphics it helps them to understand in more detail. So it allows you to be much more efficient. Studio and the graphics help us get as many players as possible to understand the message we are trying to send.”

Drawings in Studio that SJK use for opposition analysis.

But honing his own team’s game plan is only half the challenge. Gómez must also prepare for the opposition. This is where Wyscout, with an unmatched library of video and data on individual football teams and players, comes in.

“Firstly, Wyscout is the best way to get to the games and the data of our opposition; it lets us dissect a game, tactically and technically.

“From there, Wyscout allows us to create specific videos for players, where they can see the strengths or weaknesses of the position that they're playing against. So if I'm a right-back or a right wing-back: who is the opposition left wing-back going to be? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? I can go more into detail, so a player knows how to approach the game better – and help the team to perform.”

Gómez also uses Wyscout to inform recruitment decisions at SJK. “It’s the first step that you take,” he says. “It has such depth – so easy to examine data, to share, to save clips then send them to other members of the recruitment department or the sporting director. Wyscout is a place to gather our thoughts on players and help us to make a better, more efficient decision.”

Now that he’s progressed up from academies to taking charge of a top-flight European team, Gómez has a hand in everything from tactics and training to opposition analysis and player recruitment. “I love the thrill of fighting for three points every week, the development of players and working with top professional footballers,” he says. “It’s been a game-changer for me.” At least Gómez has had Hudl to rely on with every change along the way.

Fully customizable performance analysis: Learn more about Hudl Sportscode can take your analysis to the next level

Your new home for telestration: Add professional, dynamic drawings and graphics to your analysis with Studio