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Strong start for Technology & Academies 2017

The first Technology & Academies conference (#TecnologíayCantera17) has concluded with strong attendance figures in an unbeatable environment at the WiZink Center in Madrid.

The expected attendance was 50 but the final figure was 80, including experts from clubs, leagues and innovation partners.

This reflects a clear need in the Spanish sports industry for this type of event, which promotes innovation and highlights technology solutions.

During the event specialists analysed the latest trends and perspectives aimed at solving the challenges of digital transformation, the use of technology and the improvement in the management of training centres and academies in Spain.

The programme was headlined by four club presentations on different topics. Technological solutions were also spotlighted and a networking space was available for knowledge sharing.

The day began with José Luís García of Villarreal CF, who talked about the exhaustive analysis that the club’s performance team is doing into the routines of footballers to help avoid injuries.

Technology is used to make precise readings which can help improve injury prevention.

Later, Antonio Jiménez of Real Betis Balompié explained how he manages the digital transformation of his club, relying on start-ups, collaborators and fans.

He also highlighted the need to improve the organisational culture in Spanish clubs, starting with the technological training of staff and investment in improving the facilities.

Ignacio Urata of the IE University Sports Monitoring Lab gave a brief review of the current situation concerning football academies in Spain, concluding that the management is very positive but also indicating the need to continue improving through logistical procedures and quality controls like those applied by Toyota.

Ignacio showed a study highlighting Athletic Club as the best club at using the academy to contribute to the first team.

Before the end of the morning session James Demounfort described how Uscoutfor has developed an automated video-analysis tool capable of detecting player skills and communicating them in real time from anywhere worldwide.

The project seeks to support regions where there are not enough scouts or analysis resources, where talent may get lost along the way.

The afternoon session began with FC Barcelona’s (FCB) Raúl Peláez showcasing the principles of one of the most famous academies on the planet.

He explained the importance of leaving a permanent legacy and of understanding that players are now “Millennials” so the type of training and facilities should suit this profile.

Later, Matteo Campodonico, CEO of Wyscout explained the origin of its application in amateur football.

He explained how this tool is helping to concentrate the supply and demand of players along with precise analytics, allowing better opportunities for each type of player.

In the penultimate session of the day Toni Hernández, of the Academy and José Ramón Lluna of the technological area of Valencia CF, outlined the organisational structure of the academy and how it interacts with technology to improve the day-to-day performance of players.

In the last session, Julio Pernía, Director General of “Tecnología y Cantera” and CEO of director11 gave a review of the current technological state of play in football club academies in Spain.

He highlighted the importance of integrating IT in all club facilities, mixed with the use of video analysis, big data, GPS, scouting analysis, wearables and technology for physical rehabilitation.

He explained that this technology loses power if it is not supported by integration systems accessible to all areas and profiles of the club.

Finally, he pointed out the immediate future of the technology in football academies, going through artificial intelligence, neuro-coaching, virtual reality and the use of drones.

The outlook for “Technology and Academies” is very positive.

For 2018 director11 through its CEO Julio Pernía explained the event will seek to give a greater scope by concluding collaboration agreements with more institutional partners and opening the event to international participation with speakers, delegates and solutions from Europe and America.

Some figures from #TechnologyandCantera17:

  • 8 Innovation Partners
  • 5 Technological solutions
  • 30 Clubs and sports organizations
  • 80 football and technology experts
  • 5 specialised media

Twitter: @ TheDirector11

Linkedin: Director11

Hashtag: # CanterayDeporte17