Gone Are The Days When Physical Strength Is The Biggest Thing In Football – Abiodun Thorpe Talks Extensively On Data Analytics…Begs All Stakeholders To Engage Science/Technology
One of the Co-founders and directors of ‘kiniscore’, Abiodun Thorpe has admitted that the purpose of the organization is to solve the problem of data analytics and talent identification problem as well as helping stakeholders to improve player’s performance, use data to do head to head and opposition analysis, help clubs to be able to identify players that are going to be the next big thing in Africa.
In an exclusive interview with Sports247, Abiodun Thorpe took some time out to speak extensively on the major role Data Analytics plays in football.
*What is the importance of Analytics?
Analytics is very important in football today. Gone are the days where we play a ‘Kick and follow’ type of football, so across the world, if you look at it, you will realize that these guys have the entire department of their football dedicated to analytics. Football is now becoming a Science and it’s really important for African teams to begin to look at this for them to do incredible things.
*Why don’t we have a style of playing football in Nigeria, looking at the fact that every country ought to have a style of playing football?
Each country needs to have a National philosophy or a National identity. Really, that is the general thing. But when it comes to football, it is a game of 11 men and what goes into the pitch and the qualities of players that go into the game. It’s a different ball game. Football is governed by rules. while some country believes in science, performance, players improvement, data analytics, another country believe in Luck and calculations to qualify. Every country definitely has its own style of play. Every country is doing its best to improve its football.
*Why is it that our Coaches still impact the use of strength in our games instead of Data analytics?
Gone are the days when physical strength is the biggest thing in football. Physical strength is just one of the major matrix that scout looks out for. So when scouts speak to us, they see it as a recurrent thing, most especially in Western African Football. Gone are the days when you do kick and follow the type of football. Football is now science, where physically is now the parameter used to measure a player. Other little things used are ball control, touches, and how a player is able to influence a goal. These are the little kind of things beyond the physicality of the 90 minutes strength. It is still sad that we still have coaches who believe that a player would be doing short runs off the pitch. In big stage football, it is now more of data analytics and techniques than strength and stamina. Case in the study, Neymar has more techniques and football ideology than physical strength.
*Why do most teams shy away from Data Analytics in Football?
It’s a combination of different things, ranging from our culture, our people. We are a secretive people, so by that, we want everything secret, we don’t want people to know about it. Also, people in General administration in Sports don’t see the need for data analytics in football. You know that data analytics is something that you see with your eyes over time, it’s a process. It gives great results. We hope that teams will now begin to take advantage of grassroots football, most especially in our grassroots. We don’t value it because we find one person performing multiple roles, disregarding the use of data analytics. Also mostly because we don’t see football as a big business here. I just hope clubs would be able to take advantage of what we are bringing to them, as this will help develop our grassroots football.
*Are there clubs that have keyed into the “Kiniscore”?
Yes, We are a private company, not a Government company. We help both male and female club sides in the grassroots who are interested in our services. There are some club sides that have vindicated interest in us to be able to grow their team, from Olashile Fc, G12Fc, Danjuma Babes, Danna Fc, Team 360Fc, and the rest. It cost us a lot but we are doing our best to render these services to the interested teams. Team 360fc was even part of our portfolio company, they played in the just-concluded Champions Cup tournament.
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