Sports Technology News

Leeds United Hires SciSports to Remove the Guesswork from Player Scouting

Leeds United currently sits in eleventh place out of twenty-four teams in the English Championship series. They’re vying for a chance to be promoted, but with only thirteen wins in thirty-three matches played, they need some help.

While the help may not arrive this year, they may have just taken a good shot on goal with new technology that will return them to the glory days of yesteryear. Recognizing some key needs for their organization, and with hopes to improve scouting, yesterday Leeds United partnered with SciSports, a sports analytics firm that was founded by Giels Brouwer and Anatoliy Babic in 2013 as a spinoff from the University of Twente.

This means that the British club from Elland Road will now have access to the platform dubbed Insight. This new portal will give Leeds United an efficient and clear overview of all the players available at the playing British Championship playing level. According to SciSports, Insight possesses “easy, usable search wizards as well as selection and comparison tools” that ensure teams stay up to date with all the professional players in the world. Additionally, they advertise being able to track and compare the players that meet the individual teams’ requirements.

When SciSports speaks of all the professional players in the world, they cite 90,000 players across 244 competitions with almost 3,700 different clubs.

What Does SciSports Offer to Leeds United?

Brouwer, the CEO of SciSports, seemed to intimate a long-term future between his firm and LU. He had this to say of the signing: “We are very delighted to have Leeds United on board. I am confident both organisations will stick together to get the best out of all challenges coming up during the recruitment process.”

Having a searchable database with detailed statistics could benefit the new manager, Paul Heckingbottom’s squad who could be looking for a diamond in the rough. They need to make some efficient changes and analytics has become a popular way to help in this process.

However, along with Insight, Heckingbottom’s front office will look to take advantage of another of SciSports’ tools. This one is called Datascouting. Rather than trying to build a separate department that compiles and analyzes reams of data, Leeds United will lean on the data specialists at the headquarters of their new-found partner.

This department will provide LU with, “data-driven, football-minded advice, produced by well-educated employees with a load of football experience.” That means they will have their own specific DataScout and have access to the rest of the analytic team at SciSports, whose clients include such European football clubs as KRC Genk, Vitesse, FC Twente, FC Utrecht and Estoril.

In terms of recruiting, this translates to being able to request country reports, position-specific reports, statistical comparisons, and even a background check prior to signing a potential player.

Being able to discreetly inquire about a recruit’s media profile, management, and club history plus his on-field development has the potential to streamline a labor-intensive process. With such a powerful tool in the hands of a storied franchise, the future looks bright.