Videoanalist Dieter Peeters: “I must be able to offer what the coaches ask me”

You are here at KVC Westerlo the data and video analyst . What exactly does this job mean?

In the first instance, technical support for the coaches and assistants. This means that they watch and analyse the match. I try to help them as much as possible so that they lose as little time as possible. I am also allowed to give my own advice, I’ve seen this or that, but in the first instance this is to reduce the workload of the technical staff.

Did you had to follow a training course to gain tactical insight for this job?

Not specifically, you learn the technical skills in the process. You have to have insight into football. This is what I have already learned as a football journalist. There is not really a football school for analysts. There are training courses via the football association, but they are also relatively new.

What images do the coaches want to see during the half-time?

That can really be anything. It could be about moments where the ball may or may not have it. Corner kicks, free kicks, fouls that are made. It can sometimes happen that we have selected a number of moments, which were selected from the bench. But we also choose not to show any images at halftime and then it’s only about the psychological. My task is to offer the images if the trainer wants to use them.

So how do you do it? Do you press a button? How do you find, for example, a superstructure or free kick immediately back on your PC?

The match is automatically filmed by cameras installed by the football association. This means you don’t need a cameraman. You can then simply watch the match and the images on your computer. If there is a corner kick, I can go back and watch those images again or even record them. I have 10 to 30 buttons to control.

Is it easy to follow, or is it difficult to keep track?

It is only difficult if I just have communication with the assistant coach on the bench via the earphones. When they ask me to review a phase and something just happens on the field, it is difficult to keep track of everything. But a match often comes to  stand still, so you have time to make corrections.

Do you do this all by yourself or do you have support?

At first Vedran Pelic sat next to me because he did the communication with Paul, but from the game on Deinze, I do this on my own again. The intention is that the coach says: “I want to see those phases”, but sometimes so much happens that I choose the phases to show. There aren’t a hundred of them, because during half-time you have very little time and then you have to go to the point.

Individual actions of a player, do you also discuss this after the match?

Yes, because today Eric had 3 more individual conversations based on images. They talked about this you do well, this you did less well, so that is certainly an important part.

Do you also take tactical matters out of those images? For example against Deinze, two goals were scored at the first post, did you mention beforehand that there were possibilities there? That the opponent was vulnerable there?

I did not make that point myself, but it did come up for discussion. But that is how hundreds are quoted, and we try to convey that to the players as much as possible.

Can you remember a moment that you can demonstrate that you have worked with in order to achieve a scoring chance?

In the game against Lommel in which we score after a quick free kick. That was mentioned by the coach. If we could do this quickly, there were possibilities. But once again, so much is discussed during a tactical meeting that a coach will always cite that they were trained there. But Lommel’s phase is really a good example.

Did you already have experience in this profession or is this the first club in which you do this?

I started two seasons ago at Sint-Truiden. I worked there for one year and then I joined the National Team of U16-U17 until May of this year, when Westerlo asked me to come and work half-time to provide support during the matches.

So how did you end up here? Was there anyone in the club you knew?

Someone from the scouting cell had called me, where I once came into contact. He told me that they were looking for someone and one thing led to another.

Then you probably made a very good impression on that person, otherwise he wouldn’t have contacted you?

I don’t know…

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