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Chelsea Stars Relying on Augmented Reality Training Application

Several future stars of the Chelsea Football Club are working on improving their skills by utilising the football club’s new augmented reality (AR) mobile application. Chelsea FC’s junior academy players are making use of the club’s new Perfect Play application for enhancing training outcomes, according to a recent Sky Sports report.

Reece James, an up and coming academy graduate who is a first-team choice, was the first one to receive a digital masterclass for the tool. The application is currently available as a download.

The application uses video tracking for mapping a user’s space and giving back precise data about their ability and performance. It offers a range of team and individual challenges to users. The new application is a result of all the efforts put in by the developers and academy staff since 2018. Launched recently, it is being considered as a solution to up the stakes of digitalised youth training.

Sam Page, the head coach of Chelsea U11s who has helped the likes of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount rise through the ranks, has stepped into a prominent role with the new application. According to Page, the club staff have already utilised the application with academy players, and he regards it as an essential part of the club’s home learning setup developed during the recent lockdown period.

Page stated that Perfect Play provides a prime option for training augmentation, and its testing version has been offered to academy players from the U9 to U13 levels, as part of their programme. The application was tested by the academy players and became a part of their training programme. As a result, the club could get some valuable feedback and make further improvements based on that.

Page said that in the future, the application can be used as a supplementary training programme for academy players across the youngest age groups, who attend training on a part-time basis. According to Page, the club wants to stay on top of worldwide academy football trends with the use of immersive technology. He acknowledged the role played by youth development head Neil Bath in helping the staff grow more enthusiastic about technology adoption. Page considers Perfect Play as a standout example showcasing how coaches can work with technology to enhance their techniques.

The Perfect Play augmented reality app which is used by Chelsea FC. Image: perfectplay

Many home-grown academy graduates have been awarded a record number of senior debuts under Frank Lampard, at the head coach’s first season at the club. Page expressed his pride at the achievements of the academy graduates like Mason Mount. He said that he was quite proud of the youngsters getting their chances at Stamford Bridge. The coach said that the academy staff are conveying the values of dedication, commitment, and hard work, and trying to uphold them through the Perfect Play application.

Steve Didd, the product owner, will work with Chelsea to fine-tune the application which he believes can transform sports training. According to him, the Perfect Play AR application can become quite influential in changing how people train.

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