A training field full of iPads in De Lutte

A training field full of iPads in De Lutte

Ajax took advantage of the training in Wednesday morning to test a new system from adidas. An international delegation from adidas presented the first version of a new measuring system to Edwin Goedhart, Ajax’s head of medical staff. Frank de Boer was also interested in the possibilities on one of the many iPads on hand.

“Does it work?” asks Frank de Boer as the practice is about to get underway. After a confirmation from the side lines, the practice starts in the usual fashion. If you forget about the men and receptors at the edge of the field, the session most likely looks like any other. But the players are wearing a hyper modern shirt under their training suits, with various measuring equipment and a hidden receptor on their backs.

Club doctor Edwin Goedhart explains what the tests are about. “With the new system, we can receive information about distance, speed and power in real time on the iPad. For a coach and other staff members, it’s very convenient to have access to that information during training. And the system is mobile, which is a huge advantage. That way, the same things can be measured at a training camp or another location, as we can measure with our own system at the Toekomst.”

“Who is number three? Is that Lukoki?” The language this morning unfolds in English. The international crowd from adidas consists of a German, a Brit and an American. Max Reckers, formerly Louis van Gaal’s video analyst at AZ and Bayern München, has travelled with the team to De Lutte. Each player’s data streams onto the tablets continuously. Frank de Boer occasionally sprints to the side line to see for himself what the system has to offer. The technical experts from adidas explain everything in detail. The explanation gets interrupted by Ajax’s keepers. “Can you see me yet?” asks Jeroen Verhoeven. “Yes, but I can’t see Maarten yet.” After pushing on a few buttons, Stekelenburg’s statistics come up on the iPad screen. Thumbs up.

Goedhart emphasizes that this is just a first test. “We’re still going to test a few things with adidas. We’ve gotten a good idea this morning on how we can recuperate the data and how quickly the information becomes available. In addition, the players were able to see if the new shirt is comfortable. Adidas will go to work with our findings, so that the system can be adjusted according to our needs. We’re the first football club in the word who will work with this, so it’s important that we give a lot of feedback. That way, the system can be optimally designed.