Google Cloud scores FA digital transformation partnership

St George's Park will receive a big tech upgrade with a view to enhance player performance

England football shirt

The English Football Association (The FA) has partnered with Google Cloud to digitally transform its St. George's Park national training centre used by 28 national teams.

Google Cloud is now the official cloud and data analytics partner to the FA and during the multi-year partnership, Google Cloud aims to put G Suite at the heart of everything. It will see a shift from siloed working to a more collaborative approach between coaches of all the teams.

"The first step in our transformation at St. George's Park was to unify the way our coaches train and develop our 28 national teams to increase productivity," says Craig Donald, CIO at the FA. "We needed the ability to collaborate and share across the coaches and team managers. G Suite allowed us to do that and was the first part of our Google Cloud partnership."

The FA has terabytes of data stored in Google Cloud collected from tracking player activity and the analysis team will use the tools provided by Google Cloud Platform, such as smart analytics tools, machine learning, AI and BigQuery to unearth new insights from the data.

The organisation's next step will be to build out its Player Profile System (PPS), a proprietary tool built on the platform, to measure performance, fitness, training and form of players at all levels.

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The goal is to automate near real-time data analysis which will give the pitchside coaches a better indication as to how the players are performing in training, which could influence decisions such as player selection for matches.

The PPS will be further enhanced by Google Cloud smart analytics, data management systems and machine learning capabilities to analyse even more player data signals.

"Smart analytics and data management play a critical part in our PPS," said Nick Sewell FA head of application development. "Everything we do at St George's Park for this workload is built on Google Cloud."

Over the multi-year partnership The FA aims to tackle three key areas:

  • Success: Preparing both men's and women's senior teams for the next World Cups.
  • Diversity: Doubling female participation in the game.
  • Inclusivity: Making football more inclusive and open to all.

"We believe technology is a key area of potential competitive advantage for our 28 teams and everything we do at St George's Park," said Dave Reddin, The FA's head of team strategy and performance.

"We have progressively built a systematic approach to developing winning England teams and through the support of Google Cloud technology we wish to accelerate our ability to translate insight and learning into performance improvements."

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