The island’s national soccer programs got a huge technical boost in training and performance thanks to the addition of video analysis software used by professional sports teams across the world, the Guam Football Association announced in a press release.

Thanks to a qualifying certificate community contribution grant from the Guam Economic Development Authority and QC contributor Guam Regional Medical City, Guam Football Association’s Technical Department received more than $10,000 in funding to procure two portable artificial intelligence technology cameras and video analysis software from Sweden-based company Spiideo, GFA stated in the release.

Utilized correctly, the technology will elevate GFA’s national programs for coaches and players, providing the ability to analyze training and game footage in real time, according to the release. Quick tags and phenomenal user control makes the software and the cameras a valuable tool for players and coaches in the program.

“I am delighted that we received the Spiideo Portable SmartCam cameras – it provides the GFA Technical Department with essential footage from training and competitions, enabling us to elevate the development of football in our National Team programs,” said Ross Awa, GFA assistant technical director.

Awa said the software expands what can be done as far as individual and group analysis, elevating knowledge for all involved in the competition and planning process.

“The cameras and video analysis software are essential to best prepare teams for international competitions. It enhances technical meetings with my coaching staff, allowing us to review the necessary moments of training and matches to prepare quality training sessions and identify areas for improvement,” he said.

National teams, coaches get a boost

The Masakåda, the Guam Women’s National Team, got the opportunity to use the system and its software to film training matches for coaches to analyze.

The setup and real-time video footage make it possible for coaches to train specifically or target areas more quickly. The system uses an ultrawide four-angle camera sensor system, covering 180 degrees horizontal and 90 degrees vertical. Cloud-based software and high-speed capability make it possible for controllers to pick a fixed point or follow the ball as it moves in play, GFA noted in the release. The change in view on the pitch can go from encompassing all 20 players on the field to following a player or the ball, similar to broadcast-type footage.

The software allows users to tag in real time. The quick tags allow for coaches to identify footage immediately for analysis.

Awa said he has had individual and group analysis sessions with Guam-based players training with the Masakåda, and has shared footage with players abroad to view and study team tactical strategies.

“As a player, I had never done a video analysis before, so the whole process was new and exciting to me,” said Elisha Benavente, aiming to make her debut for the Masakåda. “The individual video analysis sessions are very helpful and a great way to really look at how I played and how the team played. I was able to see everything happening on the pitch from a different perspective and see things I probably didn’t see while playing. I am more aware of the movements that I need to make in a game and I now better understand how my movement affects the team’s overall play.”

The Masakåda currently are training to compete in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 Qualifiers, Guam’s return to the continental competition after an 18-year absence. The team will play in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, beginning Oct. 18 against the United Arab Emirates, followed by matches against Myanmar and Lebanon.

On paper, Myanmar is the top-ranked team in the group at No. 46, while Guam ranks second at No. 83, with UAE at No. 100 and Lebanon at No. 145, based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking posted Aug. 20, 2021.

The winner advances to the final round of the tournament. The top teams from the final round, in addition to Australia, will qualify to compete at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.

The Matao will get the opportunity to test the software as they prepare for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Qualifiers Playoff Round later this month. The men’s team is expected to travel to Bahrain to compete against Cambodia first on Oct. 9 and again Oct. 12.

The winner of the pairing will move on to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Qualification Round 3, another set of qualifiers before the final teams are determined for the continental tournament’s final round.

Awa said the software has great potential to help train coaches.

“The cameras will be utilized to enhance our Coach Education courses, using the modern approach of self-assessment to develop quality football coaches in Guam,” Awa said. “Coaches will be able to review their sessions and use the feedback to improve their practical sessions during the coaching certification courses.”