The next person in our blog is our first professional active player, Jens Cools. Cools played this season for KAS Eupen and played at Westerlo and Waasland-Beveren in the past.
In the beginning of his career at Westerlo, everything was communicated on paper, after that it evolved to collective powerpoint presentations. He has seen a big evolution over the years now the use of data together with video images is indispensable.
"I was aware of the evolution of the last few years in an upward direction and I am big a fan of the extra information that data gives me."
Not every player is equally positive about the use of data. Some players play on intuition and are not always that concentrated during the team meetings. These players focus more on their own style of play and actions. Cools gives a possible cause:
"I am a player who already has a lot of experience in Belgian football and I know almost every opponent I have to play against during the weekend. So I look less at the data if I already know the opponent well and already played against them. Other players who are new at the club or in the league do need to know more about the opponent so it is usually these kind of players who look more intensively at the data & video."
Also at KAS Eupen, video material is used to re-examine certain clips and to be able to draw certain conclusions about the performance of the team. The translation to the players happens more on a collective level in team presentations.
"Most of the time we are informed collectively about our next opponent or about the previous game but it happens only a couple of times the videos are sent to certain players individually."
Cools is also convinced that the future of the use of data will continue to increase.
"If you see that clubs are already making certain transfers just by looking at the data, you know that we are already more advanced than a couple of years ago, but this seems to me to be just the beginning. I think everything in terms of data is good but I think the combination of data and also the spontaneous should always be kept."