When we established Profile 90 as an academy based solution for recruitment; we never envisaged an auxiliary benefit of our system would be an enabler for GDPR compliance.
For those that are currently under a rock when it comes to GDPR; here is a reminder. GDPR is short for General Data Protection Regulation. It will come into force on the 25th May 2018, replacing the existing data protection framework in the UK and Europe.
At the core of the new guidelines is the protection and empowerment of all EU and UK citizens when it comes to data privacy. It is also designed to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.
GDPR is going to have a significant impact on sport; however while most sporting bodies are focused on supporter and consumer information, player information is also something to consider.
One key area of GDPR is the transfer of data, referred to as data portability. Basically it allows data subjects, otherwise known as people, to request that their data be made available to anyone they request, including themselves.
In layman’s terms this means that a player transferring from one club to another, can request that any internal data held on him/her can be obtained and transferred to his/her new club. GPS, fitness, psychological, diet data and of course, scouting reports (observational data) are key information held by a club on players.
The transfer of such information, or indeed it deletion (another key element of the new guidelines is the ability to delete information held), could potentially offer a short term competitive advantage to a rival.
The transfer of data could reveal the systems used to manage, collate and process information from the various departments. There is also the small matter of capture information on minors.
Clubs will be required to put adequate systems in place to verify individual ages of members/players and gather and store consent from members and guardians. Consent needs to be verifiable and therefore communicated to underage members in plain and simple language.
So how can Profile 90 aid this process?
Profile90 is a smart talent identification tech platform that integrates scientific insights taking traditional scouting to a new level. It gives a 360 view of a player covering the FA 4 corners (physical, tactical/technical, psychological and social) in the most objective way possible.
On the data tracking side we make it easier to capture data at a game with the ability to send that information straight away to systems. We also have built in accountability to the platform with GPS tracking of scouts and storage of credentials and permissions.
In addition we also have a product that focuses on the mental and social side of the game. We do tests on players for spacial awareness, decision making and emotional maturity. These tests are designed for 13-19 year old's and are designed to help identify elite level footballers and also those with potential but mature enough for the opportunity available.
Our back-end is flexible. As all scouts access the portal via an app; should they leave their access can be deleted from the back-end. No need to worry if they have information in their Gmail or yahoo account. You simply remove their access.
Likewise, in the back-end, if a player request scouting reports. You can simply export the reports created and be safe in the knowledge that the information is consistent. The reason for this consistency is the data first approach we have adopted with button technology applied to make it easier to capture information at a game.
Deleting a scouting report in the back end is very easy too. Just like a scout, a player’s information can be removed, ensuring GDPR compliance and safety.
Not only that but with tick boxes for scouts to ensure they have sought permission and have their relevant clearances, the Profile 90 brings accountability to the scouting process.
The fines for non-compliance will be up to 2% of total global turnover. This is a significant sum and one that could have ramifications for budgets within sporting bodies.
If you have wish to talk to us on the Profile 90 system, reach out.
Profile 90 Exclusive: Insights from Australia’s Greatest Export
by Peter Harte
The name Harry Kewell is one that, everyone even slightly interested in football recognises, he has won trophies all over the world including the biggest club trophy out there, the Champions League! Harry had a career that began so well and he was taking England by storm with Leeds United. Leeds turned down many offers for Kewell over the years including a substantial offer from Inter Milan. The Australian however would move on to Liverpool and that is where his career highlighted the very highs and lows of being a footballer. Profile 90 had the honour of talking to Mr. Kewell and asking him about his playing career, his mentality during the hard times, and his new managerial career with Crawley Town who are exceeding expectations in League 2.
Crawley are currently sitting 8 points outside the play-off positions in League two heading into the final lap of the season, there is still a chance we may see them at Wembley in May. Harry, however is focused on more immediate concerns.
“It's a big ask, if you’re asking if I think my players are good enough, yes I believe they have the talent and attitude to do it. We were second favourites to go down this year after a bad spell of relegations but, there has been huge improvements. We can look at it as pressure or a challenge, I have great respect for the team being able to work the way I need them to, they accepted the challenge. In terms of moving up the league, it's up to us to push on and get results, we can’t think about where we will be at the end of the season because the next game is always our biggest game and we will continue to focus on that.”
The Australian certainly seems to have developed an effective style with his players early in his managerial career, some of this most certainly came from his years as a top player. How much though, has the game changed since Harry was gathering up records?
“The game has completely changed in lots of ways such and the rules seem to be changing every year. The basics from my playing days are still there but fitness levels are too focused on rather than the basics. Coaches need to keep it simple,” The former Leeds United player continued, “The size, speed and endurance of today's players is phenomenal but, they are missing a lot of the technical stuff. Players need to start working more on the technical stuff rather than lots of skills and flicks like the freestyle footballers. The hardest thing to do in football is the basics.”
Harry however was not saying that flicks and tricks are useless.
“It just seems like the youngsters are trying to be big on YouTube by showing off with, oh look at this trick or that trick”
Kewell commented. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying players should stop doing them (Tricks). The greatest players did their tricks too but, only when needed. They kept it simple the majority of the time,”
Harry knows all about being a youngster trying to make it in the world of professional football, he traveled from Australia to Leeds United at 15 for a trial at the then Premier League club. At 15 one would think the future Champions League winner may find it difficult, quite the contrary.
“I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t worried, I was doing something I loved, and the opportunity came to put myself up against a lot of young English players.” Kewell reminisced back to when it all began. “I enjoyed and thrived on the challenge. I played 1 or 2 games for Leeds United and they decided to sign me, from there I took it as a challenge to step up. Of course, I shed a tear when my parents left for the first time but, after that I put my head down because I knew I had to work hard.”
The Crawley Town manager certainly had the right mindset from the off but, what kind of effect can travelling so far from home leave on the career of such a young kid?
“Well I was always travelling away when I was at home to soccer camps, Mum taught me how to pack properly. I was always away for 2-3 weeks at a time for soccer camps. When I moved to England I was not homesick, I missed parents of course but, I was there to do a job, my Dad and my coach told me I was there to do this job. I was more focused on getting my family over as soon as soon as I made it.”
Before their moves away from home, most players are scouted by scouts sent from clubs around the world. Harry however had a different route to superstardom, that didn’t mean he doesn’t have opinions on the scouting process though.
“I wasn’t scouted, I won a scholarship from my academy that led me to a month with Leeds United and it all went on from there,” Harry remembered. “In saying that, I’ve seen the scouting system here in England, agents are looking after kids from 10 - 14 years old, how can you tell if they’re going to make it at that age, they’re such young kids?! At that age they shouldn’t be pressured with this, kids should be kids because if they were to go next level at that age it's so demanding. They need to live their life first, this stage of scouting is pointless.”
You would be forgiven in thinking that with these passionate views Harry only ever had time for football but, he played a lot of different sports when he was growing up Down Under and he believes all kids should be doing the same.
“Kids should be playing all sports at a young age,” He believes. “I started playing football because of my brother but, I also played golf, cricket, AFL, rugby, swimming, and tennis. Football was my true love but, I enjoyed playing other sports and playing other sports shaped me as a footballer.”
Kewell’s father had a big part to play in him embracing other sports and using them to better his football skills.
“Dad took me out of football for a year to play rugby, I missed football and at first I didn’t understand why but, looking back, rugby taught me how to be stronger in challenges and ride tackles. There was big differences when I went back to football, I could stand the shoulder barge and ride challenges due to the strength I picked up playing rugby.”
There are a lot of advantages in playing other sports, with every sport comes a new way to improve traits, Harry believes that most of the professionals in football have this experience.
“Playing other sports helps with movement patterns and many other traits needed for professionals. I would advise everybody to go out and play other sports because if you ask around you will find out that most of the pros were excellent at another sport,” the former winger explained. “Look at the movement in sports like tennis, it's great for goalkeepers as it involves a lot of quickly shuffling from side to side and quick reactions.”
With his experience in many sports, passion for football, and a contract with Leeds United, Harry needed to make the next step up but, there was competition.
“Leeds was a great set up with very talented young players all wanting the same thing, I grew up with great players in my youth in Australia so I knew you had to do something different to make sure you stood out to the coaches, mostly it was working hard even after training had finished. At Leeds it was everyone practicing even after training, we were all hungry to make it but, it was about who was hungrier, who wanted it more, because we all had talent,” Harry recalled. “It's not just down to working hard though, to make it you’ve got be taught the right way and I was. I always say practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.”
All of that hard work paid off when a young Harry Kewell made his first team debut for Leeds in the premier league in March 1996 in a 1-0 loss to Middlesbrough. So what was going through this teenagers mind as he found out he would be pulling on that jersey?
“I was in shock. Usually when we went to the ground the first team went to the dressing room and the younger players sat in the gym. I remember sitting in the gym waiting until the first team were out of the changing room but then I was told, Harry you can come in,” Kewell recalled. “I was sitting in the first team dressing room and I was told I was playing left wing, I thought oh cool” He remembered. “When I got out there the pitch felt like home, it was my house and in my house I was boss. I remember after the game the first team congratulating me and that felt great. I had played Played 81 mins and I absolutely loved it, I wanted more”
1996 was a huge year for the Leeds winger as in April 1996 in a match against Chile, Harry Kewell became the youngest player to play for the Australian National team, it wasn’t all smooth for the youngster though
“Debuting in the biggest league in the world definitely helped me make that step, I had made it into the first team at Leeds and this felt like my reward for it. We ended up losing the game, I wound up playing left back and I will always remember marking Zamorano during a corner and thinking, I’m the youngest here why am I marking Zamorano?” He remembered. “I think he scored from that corner. The lesson I learned from that experience was that it doesn’t matter what age you are, if you’re ready, you’re ready”
Harry Kewell would go on to win the Champions League and the FA Cup when he moved to Liverpool. When his incredible career drew to a close in his homeland with Melbourne Heart, he began making strides into management. Thus far Harry has been exceeding expectations at Crawley Town and we at Profile 90 wish him success in the rest of the season and beyond.
STATSPORTS AND PROFILE 90 TEAM UP
Posted on Soccerex.com - https://www.soccerex.com/insight/articles/2018/statsports-and-profile-90-team-up-for-sports-data-research
Irish sport tech companies STATSports and Profile 90 have announced a research partnership that aims to bring together physical and mental fitness data relating to the sporting world.
The companies will work to enable clubs to gain a fuller understanding of the makeup of elite athletes, and ultimately seek to allow clubs to make more informed transfer decisions, reduce costs and enhance their chances of sporting success.
STATSports provides GPS player-tracking devices and analysis solutions which are worn by athletes during matches and training to gather data on their performance and physical wellbeing.
The firm has partnerships with teams in the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), among others.
Meanwhile, Profile 90 provides a smart scouting and talent identification platform that aims to provide teams with digital psychological profiling, and includes clubs from the Premier League, the English Football League and Major League Soccer (MLS) among its sports partnerships.
Jarlath Quinn, managing director of STATSports, said “The real-time data that we are offering at STATSports is at the forefront of sports technology and is transforming the sports science industry. Working alongside Profile 90 on such an exciting project, to align our data with psychological insight, can only be of benefit to the sports sector. “
Jagdish Basra, co-founder of Profile 90, added: “We are extremely excited about the prospect of working alongside STATSports. As an established name in the wearable tech and GPS sector, STATSports is acknowledged as a leader in innovation and behind their success is a focus on intelligence and insights.
“These are the same foundation stones that Profile 90 is solidly built on. We firmly believe that science is a key driver of innovation and this partnership between Profile 90 and STATSports is exactly that.
“This alliance will not only allow us to understand the relationship between physical and mental fitness but ultimately enhance athletic performance. From this, we intend to deliver to the talent identification sector of the industry, the most comprehensive evidence-based athletic profiling product to date.”
The Dublin start-up changing how clubs
In an era when every movement is measured and each statistic is pored over by teams of scientists, a Dublin-based start-up believe they have found the next way to give Premier League sides an edge — through analysing young players’ psychological behaviour.
Swansea City and Burnley are among those who have signed up to use Profile 90, an app which the developers believe will revolutionise scouting. While psychometric testing has long become common in the financial sector, it has not been embraced in football. It could become the next way for clubs to seek an advantage.
The app is used for more than just psychoanalysis but it is that aspect which the teams who are using it have found compelling. Focused on scouting youth players…
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Making a Footballer: Interview with
Originally posted on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/making-footballer-interview-jimmy-harte-peter-harte/?trackingId=IxYLFK8Eb1AhDsxP3A5C8g%3D%3D
In life two things are certain, death, and being drenched in the middle of a football field as someone shouts at you to wake up.
In professional football a big deal is made when a player transitions from academy to first team but, most players don’t start at a club’s academy. Schoolboy or “Sunday league” football is a pillar for most youngsters growing up, it starts out as something your dad signed you up for and transforms into a major outlet for physical and social growth.
Many footballers today have at one stage in their youth been a “Sunday league” player, Jimmy Bullard, Charlie Austin and of course Premier League winner Jamie Vardy are examples of Sunday league football who have become top level players. Fortunately, for these players and others, they get spotted by an academy or first team coach and they’re on the first step to a long journey towards stardom. If the player develops well and is given an opportunity in the first team it’s the academy that gets most of the credit.
Indeed, the academy deserves huge respect and recognition for assisting the development of a now first team player but, what about the person who sacrificed their time to bringing orange slices, full water bottles, and clean kits to a field on a cold Sunday morning for free? The people who look after the earliest stage of development of players are often overlooked and yet, they continue to do what they do.
What is it like for a schoolboy manager to watch these youngsters grow and to watch some be whisked away to bigger opportunities? I sat down with James “Jimmy” Harte, the man who coached Damien Duff for his last year before beginning his journey to being one of Irelands standout Premier League Players.
Coaches for schoolboy football are the spark and provide many young footballers with the support and inspiration needed to make it to a professional or even semi-professional level. A lot of these coaches like James have put years of their life into the sport and often have coached many teams before they decide to call it a day.
“I am very happy being a karate instructor”
Jimmy has seen it all. Now a Karate coach, he spent 20+ years in the Sunday ranks and has experienced the pressures of enthusiastic parents, and the joy of seeing natural talent emerge.
“I spent 24 years as a coach. I coached at St. Kevin’s, Home Farm, St. Francis Schoolboys, St. Francis League of Ireland, Aer Lingus, Kinvara Ards, St. James’ Gate and St. Joseph’s Schoolboys. I saw some amazing player’s progress during those years. Nicky Byrne, I coached from the time he was 7 up until he went to play for Leeds. Damien Duff I only coached for the last year until he went to Blackburn, he was with 2 different clubs before that. It was great to see them grow and develop and get the opportunity to go to England to play in the pro leagues. Some players stand out early on and some are late developers, like Paul McGrath who didn’t start playing until late. Usually there are tell-tale signs if the player has ability to possibly make it. I had a few players that left over the years to go to England. Nicky, Damien, Alan Maybury, Alan Lee, Gary Smith, Mark Benson. Others went on trial, like Gavin Moore, Peter White, Brian Rickard and a few others.
They all had good ability, but one of the main reasons Irish players went away at that time was because it was a cheap option because there were no fees at the time to be paid to the clubs they came from. It’s not just about being good enough to get away, also a lot depends on being lucky when you arrive at a club in England as it just depends on what kind of player they need at the time, if you fit in and if you get a break to play on the reserves or the first team. One of my lads went over as a full back, and he heard they were struggling for wingers and when he was asked he said he was a winger, just so he would have a better chance of getting onto the team. But it’s a lot more difficult nowadays to get into a club because of the scouts being able to get players from anywhere they want.”
Jimmy Coached Damien Duff during his final year of amateur football
It may be hard to believe but these coaches are under a great deal of pressure when it comes to helping develop a young player in a fun and educational environment, whilst also trying to get good results for the club. Some of this pressure comes from the club and the parents but, as Jimmy recalls the most intense pressure being the expectation they have for themselves as coaches. “It was more the pressure you put on yourself to do your best to make them successful as players. However, if the team did not perform well the club would have looked to replace me so there was some pressure in that regard.”
When a young player moves from amateur football to semi-professional and then possibly to professional, it is quite common for the manager who coached them through their earlier years to slip their mind however, some managers leave an impression on players that lasts a long time. “I’ve kept in touch with a few of the lads who have played for me, they still keep in touch. Alan Maybury brought me over to see his matches a few times when he was at Hearts and at again at Leicester. Nicky even invited me to his wedding.”
For players to make the grade, there are elements that are crucial, on the physical and psychological side. For Jimmy you need both, you can have all the skill in the world but if the mind-set is not there, it doesn’t matter. It was what he searched for in his players.
“For me, the key ingredients were good work ethic and determination. You’re always looking for someone who is physically fit or capable of being fit. Mentally you look for a winning mentality and a team player. You can have all the physical ability possible but unless you have the mental balance and drive you are wasting your time.”
With big names undergoing part of their rise to stardom under Jimmy’s watchful eye, what advice would he give to today’s young coaches, “Get out and practice as often as possible for the players. For the coaches, I’d advise them to use more footballs when training and build the running into the drills with footballs rather than just running on its own.”
“For the coaches, I’d advise them to use more footballs when training”
The modern coach faces many challenges when coaching young kids today. There are too many experts on the side-lines looking to put structure into youth coaching while the pressure from clubs and parents on young players can be excessive. Young players should be allowed develop in a relaxed environment.
It is perhaps one of the reasons, along with the emergence and dependence on continental European talent, why we have not seen another Damien Duff emerge from Ireland yet. “For scouts it is a lot more difficult now because for players it was the natural option to go to England if they were good and it was cheap for the English clubs to bring them in whereas now scouts are sending players from all over the world to England, so I think its better now for players to play in their national league clubs here and get more experience before they go.”
We introduced James to the idea of Profile 90, a Dublin based smart scouting platform designed to make scouting for players easier. His thoughts seem to go hand in hand with the ideology behind it, “Anything that can help a coach get a better understanding of a player he is working with would be a good tool. As I said earlier the psychological side is a big part of any athlete.”
The former Home Farm F.C coach now owns his own Karate dojo in Dublin. Karate and football are very different sports but, does James see similarities in the physical and psychological traits of students of his dojo, that he seen in his footballers? “Stadium Karate in Blanchardstown is my dojo. There are similarities in the athlete’s physical abilities, but it is totally different because karate is an individual sport so to be successful as a karate athlete, you need to be even more single minded and mentally strong because there’s nobody around you to give you a hand or cover for your mistakes in a fight.”
“Anything that can help a coach get a better understanding of a player he is working with would be a good tool”
We asked Jimmy if he would ever consider going back to the side of a pitch on a cold wet Sunday morning in November and he gave us a short, blunt, and honest response, “I think after giving 24 years to football coaching I am now very happy being a karate instructor. This is where I will stay.”
From football to karate no matter where Jimmy goes he has an extremely positive effect on youngsters, helping them develop physically and mentally into the world of sport.
To Jimmy and all the other men and women sacrificing their time to bring us the future of sport, we salute you.
Using science and Big Data analysis to create a talent identification platform