The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has set a goal to improve the performance of their national teams through the development of young players.

In this article, we speak to the FAS Technical Director and Football Analyst to learn how they are using technology to advance the game in Singapore by creating new high-performance pathways for their national team players of the future.

The long-term objective of the FAS is to raise the level of their players throughout the age groups for both genders, and the centerpiece of this strategy is based around two initiatives, the National Development Centre (NDC) and the Junior Development Centre. These centres are managed by UTR (Unleash The Roar) with technical direction provided by FAS Technical Director Michael Browne.

“We recently introduced a Junior Development Centre for Under 8 to Under 12 levels and a National Development Centre for our Under 13 to Under 16 age groups,” said Browne. “We know that these centres will produce senior national team players in the years to come.”

There’s plenty of work ahead for Browne and his team as Singapore’s Under 19 teams have not qualified for the Asian Football Confederation finals in recent years. This highlights the need for the youth player development pathways they have begun to put in place. 

Player development at FAS is based around a newly-introduced system of personal accountability, which is executed through the individual analysis of performance for each player. This focus on individual development will also help young players make the step up from club level to national level over time.

“National Development Centre players do not play as a team on a regular basis, the selected players return to their clubs in the Singapore Youth League to play at weekends,” said Browne. “So all National Development Centre players will have their own individual development plans and coaches will monitor their performance both in training and at club games in the Youth League. It is really helpful for the players to have the opportunity to reflect on their own performance.”

The newly introduced National Development Centre will aim to increase the level of talent coming through the ranks of national age group teams in Singapore.

The production of these individual development plans are based around the work provided by FAS Football Analyst Daniel Lau for underage national team players and NDC staff for NDC players.

Lau uses the integrated set of Hudl Pro Suite tools, including Wyscout, Hudl Sportscode, Studio and Hudl to provide a deep analysis of FAS matches. The output from the Pro Suite is then presented to players for their individual feedback.

Let’s take you through the workflow:

  • The Wyscout platform gathers video and data from over 600 competitions around the world. After match footage is captured, an XML file containing match data is downloaded from Wyscout, which is then imported into Hudl Sportscode.
  • Hudl Sportscode provides a fully-customizable platform where instances are coded, tagged and clipped from the XML import. 
  • Selected clips are then imported into Studio, where dynamic drawings and graphics are added to the footage to provide a higher level of visualization.
  • Clips from Studio are then used directly for player and coach presentation, or exported to the platform for individual review sessions. The Hudl platform gives the option for more drawings to be added and two way feedback by way of a comment section.
Wyscout provides a platform where coaches can break down video and data from both their own and their opponents performances. This content can be exported out to Hudl Sportscode for a deeper review.

Within Hudl Sportscode, databasing is used to track player development over the course of a season.

“In databasing, what we do is to pick up a specific aspect of an individual's performance relative to his or her position, and include them in the database,” said Lau. “This occurs throughout the season and throughout this process we would provide our feedback to the players and from there, we monitor their improvements over the course of the season.

The objective is for our players to finish the season stronger than when they started.”

The ability of the Pro Suite tools to integrate together streamlines the FAS analysis workflow and saves the valuable resource of time. 

“It’s absolutely useful in modern day football analysis that the Hudl Pro Suite tools work together,” said Lau. “Time is the most crucial aspect for the modern analyst. Especially with the aid of the Studio tools, the ease of telestration it offers can help save plenty of time as compared to other video editing tools.”

Using Hudl Sportscode, FAS analysis staff database the performance metrics of each player to benchmark their improvement over time. This allows FAS to track the development of their youth players effectively.
Studio links directly through Hudl Sportscode - the two platforms are integrated together via a single click of the mouse. In Studio, FAS analysts can add high-quality graphics and drawings to their Hudl Sportscode analysis.

This high-performance workflow is geared towards understanding the level of current players in Singapore and improving them ahead of new challenges. This also includes understanding their upcoming opponents in terms of the way they play and how to counter opposition playstyles themselves.

“We have fallen behind other ASEAN countries in recent years in terms of the level of our players,” said Browne. “Other countries have made good progress in relation to their development programmes whereas we have probably stood still.

We have a new youth competition, the Singapore Youth League, with the aim to create a better level of competition for our young players so that when the youth national teams play the step up in level is lessened.

We know that in the vast majority of games our national teams play at underage level we are going to have less possession, less passes than our opponents. This can be changed over time by improving the level of our players however in the short term we need to focus on being effective with the possession we have and the way we play.” 

Wyscout and Sportscode allows us to monitor whether or not we are playing according to the style of play implemented by the head coach,” said Lau. “The value comes from identifying our opponents style of play and coming up with our game plan from there.”

Want to connect all of your video and data analysis into one integrated platform? Take a closer look at the Hudl Pro Suite