Analytics FC in the Media: Kevin De Bruyne and Data Use in Women’s Football

Analytics FC featured prominently in The Athletic this week, highlighting two aspects of our cutting-edge data-driven consultancy work.

Charlotte Harpur’s piece, ‘Women’s football scouting is budget-constrained‘, looked at how data use is increasing in women’s football, in part to assist clubs with scouting due to other resource restrictions. Analytics FC’s Head of Content explained how data use can circumvent such obstacles, by using data to sift large groups of players, or unlock leagues where on-the-ground scouting may be impractical.

“We have seen an increased appetite for data-driven recruitment and strategic thinking in women’s football,” says Alex Stewart, head of content at Analytics FC, a football data company that has a scouting platform called Women’s TransferLab.

An increase in data and video footage from more countries allows women’s teams to scour a larger pool of players. Given the lack of scouts, sifting data intelligently is critical. “In-person scouting of the whole league would present logistical issues,” says Stewart. “So data unlocks a shortlist of players who can then be looked at on video or ultimately in person.”

These kinds of data-driven solutions, of which Analytics FC’s TransferLab platform is a market-leading example (and the first such platform to exist for women’s football), can also help address the growing financial inequalities in women’s football, or help clubs adjust to the potential financial constraints mooted in Karen Carney’s review.

“Clubs won’t be able to just spend their way out of bad decision-making,” adds Stewart. “To be competitive, smaller, less-wealthy clubs must be clever. Using data is a key part of this. It’s a schism we’ve seen in men’s football for a while, but the same solutions exist for clubs willing to be smart and agile.”

To find out more about TransferLab and request a trial, click here.

The second article in The Athletic was Gregg Evans’ piece ‘Kevin De Bruyne and the rise of data and analytics in contract negotiations‘, which looked at how players are taking control of their data, leveraging it for deal-making. De Bruyne’s work with Analytics FC was pioneering and laid the groundwork for many other players to use bespoke, impartial data work to understand their footballing and commercial value to clubs.

Analytics FC CEO Jeremy Steele explained the Signature service:

“The process is bespoke for each client. It’s not as simple as effectively printing off a scouting report and saying, ‘Look, you’re as good as this player but not as good as that one’. Each client has different aims. And the report is independent — we can’t make a bad player look good, and we are always objective. That said, all the players we have worked with have their own narrative. Taking the client’s objectives as a guide, we can shape that report to provide an objective assessment, but flagging up areas of real strength, aspects that maybe they hadn’t considered.”

The article also highlights the different ways we have worked with players, including our work with Héctor Bellerín, who wanted a transfer that would increase his chances of playing in the Spanish MNT.

Our Signature service continues to be very popular, and we continue to work with elite level players in the men’s and women’s games. You can find out more about the Signature service here.

Header image copyright IMAGO / Pressinphoto

At Analytics FC, we provide software and data services to entities within football looking to realise the gains possible from analytical thinking.

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