Seeing Success: A View from the Top with Rangers FC
With more league titles than any other club in the world, Rangers FC are no strangers to having a view from the top. Learn how they use IP camera technology to automatically capture video and quickly analyse it.
With high quality footage a prerequisite for coaches, managers and players, Rangers FC have turned to Hudl’s capture solutions to get a view of the game they’ve never had before.
Hudl’s IP cameras can send and receive data directly over the internet. With this setup, the Rangers analysis team has live footage of the match fed directly to the analyst sitting in the stand — meaning high quality match footage can be analysed in real time.
In their 50,000 capacity Ibrox Stadium, Rangers have a master camera providing a wide tactical view of the whole pitch, plus two cameras behind the goal to capture more specific actions such as team positioning, set plays and goalkeeper analysis.
Rangers first team analyst Bradley Wall explains how the enhanced view allows much more impactful analysis on match day.
“From what I can see from my vantage point within the stand, maybe the manager can’t see down there (on the touchline),” said Wall. “I will want to feedback information to coaches in game or at half time and it’s key for me to be able to go in there and show them basically what I’m seeing in the tactical view.”
“Tactically it’s really good, we can use this view to work out how we can beat this block, where the spaces are on the pitch and where players are moving, making runs and where they are not making runs.”
The traditional approach for analysts capturing match footage is to have a man operating a camera from the stands. In some stadiums the view can be obscured, but Hudl cameras ensures the best possible angle is available for Wall and his team.
“Your cameraman with the wide view on the gantry, he might be restricted to where he can stand, so in terms of the Hudl camera, its positioned in such a place that you are always going to get the widest tactical view you can,” said Wall.
“It also frees up another pair of hands to do a more detailed code within a game, which adds another layer to our analysis.”
Teams will often go to Rangers and set up with defensive tactics, placing several men behind the ball in a low block formation. Cameras placed behind the goal supplement the wider tactical view and play a key part in providing tactical feedback on how to break down defensive opposition.
“Tactically it’s really good, we can use this view to work out how we can beat this block, where the spaces are on the pitch and where players are moving, making runs and where they are not making runs,” said Wall.
“This would only be picked up by this view behind the goal and we would maybe not get this key piece of detail from the side view.”
Smart cameras are part of an effective end-to-end analysis solution the Rangers have. Their cameras automatically capture game footage, which directly feeds into Sportscode and uploads into Hudl. This ecosystem is a real time saver for Wall, especially during congested fixture blocks.
“It’s very important that everything connects, because football games come thick and fast and you want to be able to move onto the next thing, but also have focus from the game you just played,” said Wall.
“Having a lot of this done for you seamlessly enables us to debrief a lot quicker. You can sync your code straight away and you don’t have to worry about uploading after the game as you know it’s going to be there to share and push out to the players and coaches who can then review straight away.”
“With this tactical view, everything is clean and you can see all of the pitch, getting those bits of extra detail that you might not have got before from traditional footage.”
As Wall explains, existing video angles don’t give analysts and coaches the view they need.
“With broadcast footage a lot of it is panned in on close-ups and replays so you miss certain bits in the game,” said Wall. “With this tactical view, everything is clean and you can see all of the pitch, getting those bits of extra detail that you might not have got before from traditional footage.”
Aside from challenging for a record 55th Scottish Premiership crown, the next steps in the Rangers legacy involve expanding their IP camera setup to their training facility. They’ll be able to live capture training footage and streamline their analysis process in the same manner as they have for match day operations.