Watchful eye: India football team use drone to improve play

  • Amit Kamath, Hindustan Times, MUMBAI
  • Updated: Apr 02, 2016 19:12 IST
The drone which is being used for Video Analysis by the Indian National Team. (HT Photo)

First it was vests with GPS trackers. Now, the latest gadget causing a buzz in the Indian football camp is a drone.

In a bid to improve the national team’s positional play, coach Stephen Constantine has used a drone to film the Indian team’s training sessions.

While reports after India’s 1-2 defeat to Turkmenistan in the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup joint qualifying campaign on Tuesday have cast doubts over the future of Constantine as India coach, the use of added technology such as the GPS vests and the drone to improve training may well become part of the legacy of his second stint with India.

“The drone gives us the aerial view where you can see the entire team in one shot. So depending on what’s happening on the pitch, this view can tell us if we have the right shape and these images are really good for the plays. Any bit of knowledge which you can get is something I would like to use,” Constantine told Hindustan Times.

As coaches seek newer perspectives and insights into their team, the use of drones in football is becoming increasingly widespread. While coaches often see the team from the sidelines, the drone offers a new angle.

Only last year it was revealed that English Premier League outfit Everton had been using the technology at their Finch Farm academy. Arsenal legend Thierry Henry too had been using the technology to assist him while he was working on getting his coaching badges.

Drones were also used by Brazil during the 2013 Confederation Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup to help security agencies with surveillance.

Other sports too have used the technology. USA’s National Football League (NFL) uses drones to create footage which can be used in commercials, television programs, feature films, and documentaries on the league while broadcaster ESPN used the technology to follow skiers and snowboarders down the hill for the Winter X Games last year.

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