The Saints are widely recognized as one of England’s premier academies for developing world-class footballers. This is how they use video to measure player development.

Natasha Patel offers insight into a holistic approach to video analysis in this three-part series.

Southampton Football Club is renowned for its holistic approach to player development, with Real Madrid and Wales superstar Gareth Bale just one example of its incredible production line of homegrown talent.

But what happens to those players who don’t make it to the top of the English Premier League club? Natasha Patel, former head of performance analysis for the Saints, explains the role video, specifically Hudl, plays in their player audit process.

“Our player audit system goes across every department, so whether you’re a sports scientist, physio, analyst or work in the recruitment department, you give input to where you think there's potential in that individual.

“Video-wise, it’s used before the audit to inform the decision. It’s there in black and white to see. So if there’s any perception beforehand, it’s our job as a department to provide video on that player to showcase their strengths, and also their areas of development,” Patel said.
Gareth Bale is one of Southampton Academy's famous graduates.

In a time when many clubs are being criticised for throwing unwanted young players to the scrapheap at 16-years-old, Hudl’s video analysis tools are being used in new and inventive ways by Southampton to monitor their well-being, and to help a player’s career progression.

“The audit process is good at highlighting if there's a psychological issue, if there’s any welfare issues and if there’s something that we need to act upon,” Patel added. “When players are coming towards the end of their contracts, or they’re not going to be renewed, we’ll work with that player to produce a highlights package through Sportscode.

“They’ll be looking at their individual KPI’s in and out of possession and basically showcasing themselves as much as they can so that video packages can be sent out to other clubs to get them a career elsewhere.”

Want to learn how the international sports industry is using video analysis? Check out our resources page for more.