The Player’s Perspective

This season has obviously already been ground-breaking for the HFNL with the implementation of the Hampden League Live Match of the Round livestream and all the remaining games being filmed and then uploaded onto the HFNL website for everyone to enjoy.

While this is new to our league, it isn’t new to country football, with other major leagues in Victoria, in past years, having already invested in the digital assets required to ensure all their football matches are filmed for their players, coaches and supporters to access.

Along with this, one major league took its coverage to unchartered territory in 2019, which is something the HFNL, done correctly and with the support of all 10 clubs, should strongly consider.

Two years ago AFL Barwon, through the work of Warrnambool’s Daniel O’Keeffe, opted to have statistics recorded and match edits for all six of its GFL matches through Premier Data, a statistical and analytical provider, a move that was considered ground-breaking in grassroots footy and one which enhanced the GFL’s reputation as country Victoria’s number one football league.

These stats and match edits are detailed and comprehensive and break down games even further for coaches and players alike, with up to 55 statistical categories available to be collated.

They are then published in the Geelong Advertiser, creating an extra layer of chatter for followers of the league to enjoy as they have their coffees of a Monday morning, but they also add to the media dynamic of the competition.

After the GFL started the trend, the Ballarat and Central Highlands football leagues soon followed suit and had their statistics collated.

I guess what I’m getting at is, if it’s good enough for those leagues, then maybe it’s time the HFNL also took advantage of the trend, on behalf of its clubs and followers, and had its football matches statistically recorded?

The league has tried hard through its interleague program to add some status to its reputation, which it has achieved, and something like this (I must reveal the league has previously considered it) will only add to its recent progression.

Add in the success of the live-stream and new sponsors coming on board this year, maybe now is the time to take the jump and give the league another point of difference that others are already making the most of?

After all coaches would love the freedom of not having to collate stats themselves and players would enjoy seeing exactly how their games stacked up compared to their team-mates and opponents.

More importantly, the statistics would provide a greater indication of strengths and weaknesses of opposition teams and its players, which is only going to add to the tactical layers of the competition.

Hopefully the idea of matches being statistically recorded becomes a discussion point for everyone to consider and if the league really wanted to see if it was a valuable initiative before it committed fully, then why not set the wheels in motion now and potentially trial it during this year’s finals series.

I know that if I had any pull in what might be implemented, it’s what I would push for!

Author: Fraser Lucas