Onehunga Sports’ Road to Victory

The foundation of a winning season starts with preparation and commitment. This is how video analysis helped Onehunga Sports win big.

Onehunga Sports Football Club accomplished the pinnacle of success for domestic football in New Zealand—they won their first Northern Premier League Title, then advanced and won the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup in a thrilling penalty shootout against perennial power Central United.

Pundits and fans may wonder what led to the club’s rapid success. What occurs on the pitch during a football season is important, but Onehunga Sports’ implementation of video analysis in their scouting and training regimens arguably played a critical role in the club’s swift rise.

Change of Pace

This was Onehunga Sports’ first cup in the competition’s near 90 year history. Head coach Hiroshi Miyazawa even went on to win New Zealand’s premier division’s coach of the year. He attributed much of his club’s success to their commitment to improving analysis. One key improvement was adding scout video to their analysis meetings.

Prior to this season, Miyazawa’s video analysis was very basic—he would record the game, upload it to YouTube, then go over a couple highlights with his team during their Tuesday analysis meetings.

This double-winning season was different. They recruited interns familiar with Sportscode from a nearby university to record all 28 of their games. They also had an opposition scout tape for nearly every matchup.

Few Obstacles in Their Path

When Hudl was chosen to help with video analysis, Miyazawa received little push back.

“Obviously if we didn't get the results, then they might start questioning it, but we didn't find any issues. And personally it’s not too expensive, it’s quite affordable,” Miyazawa said.

“At the start of the season, video analysis was crucial,” said Miyazawa. “How we attack, how we defend, set pieces, things like when to press and our timing, it all wasn't there, so I had to use video analysis. Yes, we can talk about it, but to show them what it is exactly, that was very, very valuable. Reflecting from last season, we conceded so many goals, 45 I think, so that was one of my goals before the season. I have to fix this. Most of the time I was using the video for our defense, and this season we only conceded 14 or 15 goals. I have to say that the video work helped with our consistency.”

There were challenges, such as the facilities not always being conducive for filming. For the analysts, setting up their equipment for the first time wasn’t easy. They had to be smart in where they positioned their camera.

Extra Benefits

The ability to use interns as a resource proved invaluable to the club. It gave the students fantastic experience in their field of study, while also giving a club a resource to use within a sustainable budget.

To improve the club’s analysis, as well as the league’s, Miyazawa is in favor of a league exchange. 

“We film every game and I am happy to share to every coach in the league. But then if I do that, everybody else has to do that. That way everybody's going to get the benefit and at the end of the day, it will improve football here. I think these systems are vital at this level. It doesn’t just improve the players, but improves the coaches as well. Coaches learn how to utilise that resource to improve their team.”

And while Onehunga used their video analysis for games, Miyazawa noted how clubs across the league are expanding their analysis to the training ground.

“When I was in Europe and in Sydney with their A league teams, I saw all the coaches filming their training. It’s simple, coaches can film training and can look at the video to see a lot of information, like who is mucking around and how that session was received. You plan a session, you film a session and you get a lot of feedback to improve your session.” 

Many first team players on the Onehunga roster are also coaches themselves. Miyazawa encouraged them to utilize video analysis when they coach their teams.

“They see as players how I manage the video analysis and feedback to the team. I see them learning. So we are using the Hudl system for coach education as well.”

Video analysis made the difference for Onehunga Sports, on and off the pitch. Winning the domestic double doesn’t happen by accident—proper scouting techniques can create a championship team.

Check out how your team can implement video into your scouting process.