Interviewing Haydée Agras, indoor football video analyst in Bangkok
April 4, 2018, 12:32 p.m.
1. How did you get started as an analyst? What’s your experience?
I got a Degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences at the UCAM and at the same time I was a professional player with the indoor football Honor Division. There was this course I took that made me want to expand my knowledge of game analysis, so started working as an assistant at the ElPozo Murcia FS. Those were two amazing seasons: the team won the titles. I learnt a lot and I got so much better at understanding the game and the daily work of a First Division team. So after my career as professional career as player was over, I started working at InStat as a professional analyst in football.
2. Your work at InStat is different from a daily job at a club. Which teams and competitions do you analyze?
My work at InStat is different from a daily job at a club mainly because there’s no direct interaction between technical staff and players. Deadlines are set by clubs, so the way I organize my work is completely up to me. This is why my work schedule varies. I’ve been working mainly for the Spanish League for the last couple of seasons, although, throughout the season, I get several requests from leagues from around de world. Plus, I do the analysis for different national teams participating at the World Cup, European Championship or the African Cup, among other competitions.
3. How do you organize your work?
The organization depends mainly on the club or national team requesting the analysis. My main occupation is the Spanish League, since the club I work for competes in the Champions, so very often there are matches on Wednesdays and Sundays. To do the reports, I have to preview and analyze at least 4 matches from the rival team. Then I write the detailed report about the main characteristics of their playing style, their offensive and defensive system, their counterattack characteristics and their set pieces both offensive and defensive. Moreover, a brief description of each player is added to this report. There are also video frames of each section and general and specific stats on the team’s performance during the season.
4. Talking about your sport, indoor football, which actions do you consider more relevant to be analyzed and having more to do with the victory or defeat?
I think it’s essential to characterize and study the development of the game phases based on the game model set by each coach. Knowing how your team and its rival start out, develop and put an end to each phase denotes the development of the game. In addition, I believe that the main characteristics of the team’s offensive and defensive systems should be analyzed, to find the strengths but most of all the weaknesses of our rival.
5. How important are analysts and video-analysis in indoor football? Would you say this job role is valued enough?
Performance analysis is growing in importance in the sports arena. Specially in football (soccer), this field is transforming into a professional tool for all clubs. Many of these clubs have not only analysts, but entire departments dedicated to analysis. In indoor football the level of professionalism is lower, so the analyst role is irrelevant or inexistent in many cases. There are rare exceptions, like the Spanish national indoor football team. Nevertheless, it is essential that the second coach or assistant coach knows how to handle video analysis, video editing and statistics, so the analyst role is, in most cases, developed by the second coach. I hope this will change in a near future, giving more importance to analysis and professionalizing all statements of indoor football.
6. What is your opinion on the latest indoor football cup edition in Spain?
I hope the success achieved at an organizational level is an inflection point to our sport. This Cup’s been full of surprises. The hegemony of the 3 big teams was threatened by the performance of the other teams. The Zaragoza surprised the FC Barcelona, the same way the Palma futsal did with the ElPozo Murcia. After these results, it seemed that Movistar Inter had free way to get a new tittle, but Jaén FS’ performance has been outstanding ever since they got their first title in 2015. From a technical/tactical standpoint, there weren’t many revelations, and all teams played at the same level.
7. You are currently living in Bangkok, in a culture different from that of Spain. Which similarities or differences do you see in the way they work or in the technical/tactical aspects of the game?
The technical/tactical aspects to be analyzed are the same, the main difference is the football level and the organizational skills. Little by little, Thailand is professionalizing football soccer and indoor football, something that is leading to professionalizing the technical staff as well. I don’t have a lot of information, as I just landed in Bangkok. I know there’s a Spanish analyst in the Bangkok Glass in the First division (Pablo Muñiz), working in a technical team integrated by many Spanish people, and that their coach is Josep Ferré “Coco”. Moreover, Luís Viegas is a Portuguese analyst with the Bangkok United.
8. You use LongoMatch for your analysis, why is it useful for you? Which functionalities would you highlight?
I use LongoMatch mainly for my personal analysis and my PhD studies. LongoMatch is a leap of quality in terms of organizing and analyzing matches, and carrying out live and after-match analysis for both the team and its rival. I’d highlight that it is a really intuitive and user-friendly tool. The free version is a good way to get started in the video analysis field.
For my PhD, I use LongoMatch PRO and Tag2Win as main tools for analysis. The possibility to create analysis dashboards that are 100% customizable is one of its best features. With these dashboards you can tag each clip, depending on the teams and players allowing you to easily access each action for the after-match analysis. The possibility to export data of each match in an excel file is its most relevant feature for my research.