SINGAPORE – In a bid to equip coaches here with better insights into their players’ fitness, speed and intensity, clubs in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) will be provided with wearable tech, starting from the new season.
The Football Association of Singapore’s two-year partnership with South Korean football science technology company Fitogether will see all eight SPL clubs equipped with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices – among other performance and tracking gear.
The deal is worth around $620,000.
The FAS’ head of football science, Haiyum Jaafar, said that with the expertise provided by Fittogether, “SPL clubs will be able to leverage on cutting-edge technology to assess player performances, as well as to develop and deliver better training programmes to help raise the standards of play”.
In Europe, especially the English Premier League, GPS devices have become a standard piece of a player’s training and match kit over the last 10 years. They allow clubs to retrieve data on the total distance players cover, the distance at high intensity, and the acceleration and deceleration during training or a match.
Coaches will then be able to build a picture of their players’ condition and performances, allowing them to make tactical decisions based not just on their judgement but also on solid data.
The latest announcement is part of the FAS’ drive to have fitter and faster players in an overall bid to raise standards. A fitness-focused revamp ahead of the 2018 season saw the governing body introduce the Yo-Yo Test as a replacement for the 2.4km test.
Razif Ariff, Geylang International’s fitness coach and video analyst, welcomed the opportunity to incorporate technology as part of the team’s fitness tracking schedule, saying: “The utilisation of tracking and performance data has become a key and widespread application in modern football. At Geylang, we have used and been impressed with Fitogether’s devices, which have helped to inform our strategies for training and matches.
“This partnership can only benefit the entire league as we look to improve our standards.”
Tampines Rovers had used the Fitogether system last season.
Head coach Gavin Lee told The Straits Times that the data allowed him “to counter-check things we see in matches or training”.
“Sometimes it led us to discover things we missed with the naked eye like, for example, we may have thought a player wasn’t putting in the yards but his data showed he actually covered more distance than usual.
“I think that it is always a good thing for Singapore football when we attract new investors and partners into different areas of the game like sport science.”