Groundbreaking: Sydney ahead of the A-League pack in high performance analysis

Sydney FC are leading the way in video and high performance analysis in A-League circles by introducing the groundbreaking EyeTower technology.

The Sky Blues are the first A-League club to use EyeTower – a video capture system which can record training sessions and minor games in a way never seen before in this country.

The system sits on a seven-metre high tripod with a High Definition camera on the top and beams a Wi-Fi HD signal to a monitor which can be up to 50 metres away.

The camera is easy to use, controlled by a remote control with in-built sensitivity control depending on the speed of the game. The entire equipment package is portable and easy to set up, taking less than 10 minutes and is versatile and reliable in all conditions.

Given the limitations of A-League training grounds and local stadiums, the technology allows clubs to record vision from an elevated angle, a perspective which provides greater tactical and technical insights. The system’s portability allows recording from a variety of positions too, such as the sideline or behind the goals.

Sydney FC assistant coach Rado Vidosic said the practical technology had a variety of benefits, including improving training sessions, the development of players and coaches, and as a scouting tool.

“At Sydney FC we identify the importance of meaningful video analysis, so it’s for elite performance,” Vidosic said.

“At the moment we’re the only club using the technology which makes us leaders in the A-League. Once the other clubs realise the quality of the tool and the advantages you can gain, I’m sure they’ll all invest in the EyeTower.

“Not only does it help players, but it helps coaches evaluate and plan training sessions. You can use this information to be more specific for the players. You can evaluate your own performance. It can be used for scouting.

“It has a number of features which weren’t available previously.”

EyeTower owner and co-founder Neil Tate said he had already begun receiving enquiries from other A-League clubs about the technology.

“This lifting of the standard of video analysis is right around the corner, especially because the game is getting more professional all the time,” Tate said.

“It’s almost like the bar in performance is being lifted. The clubs, led by Sydney, are trying to do things better in terms of their football department. This technology allows them to be better.”

Tate, who has a background in goalkeeping coaching, revealed the inspiration for the technology came after travelling to the United States with the Joeys in 2008.

“I saw similar technology in the US at their National Football Centre where they had lots of pictures with these big telescopic cameras,” Tate said.

“When I got back to Australia I thought something like that would be fantastic to use with the goalkeepers in my program but there was nothing available.

“After some more research, it was clear the technology was evolving. I knew an engineer and we devised a partnership. We used the concepts they have in the US but made improvements.

“Sydney like that the person who is controlling the camera can almost be on the pitch. The coaches can view the practice session from that seven-metre aerial position to show them the distance between the lines and the team shape.”

As a user of the system, Vidosic’s testimonial shows the practical side of the technology.

“It allows you to get great footage" he said.

"You can put it in and move it to whatever angle you’d want.

“The EyeTower system is portable. You can carry it, it’s easy to set up, it takes maybe five to 10 minutes.

“The remote control moves the camera left and right, zoom in, zoom out. You can use the camera like it’s in your hands. There’s many different uses for it.

“It’s a great tool for learning and development of all players and coaches and it’s easy to use.”

Tate said he had received interest from rugby, rugby union and AFL clubs about the technology, as well as several football clubs.