The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has joined forces with sports performance tech specialist Catapult as the Welsh Dragons target further on-field success.
A new agreement will see the FAW use Catapult’s athlete monitoring systems across its national teams, including the Wales senior men’s team as well as the U21, U19 and U17s age groups.
It follows the success of the Welsh men’s senior team in reaching the semi-final of the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France, and comes as Wales embarks on new campaigns in the UEFA Nations League and the qualifying stages for Euro 2020.
Both the senior and U21 teams will use Catapult’s S5 and G5 devices to optimise performance and reduce injury risk among outfield players and goalkeepers. The U19 and U17 teams will be using PLAYERTEK by Catapult technology to access key technical and physical insights.
In addition to wearable technologies, the FAW plans to implement the AMS by Catapult system to review and share performance, medical and wellness data internally from a centralised software platform.
Catapult technology is already used by 1,800 teams in 35 sports worldwide, including a number of Premier League and national football associations.
Commenting on the FAW agreement, Curt Taylor, Catapult’s director of sales for UK & Ireland: “Welsh football has gone from strength to strength in recent years and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with the FAW as they continue to build a world-class performance infrastructure.
“With Euro 2020 on the horizon, this is an exciting time to be involved in Welsh football and we’re looking forward to helping the FAW to implement our industry-leading technology.”
Tony Strudwick, head of performance at the FAW, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Catapult as we continue to improve the way we monitor and manage the performance of our players across the age groups.
“Catapult are continually innovating in the field of sports science and their technology will be a key part of the way we review performance and ensure that our players are fully prepared for the demands of international football.”
The partnership comes at a time when the FAW is stepping up investment in its development and performance programmes, with work underway on a new National Football Development Centre at Colliers Park.
The project, a partnership with Wrexham Glyndwr University, is being financed by a £5million investment from FIFA and UEFA and £500k funding from Welsh Government and Sport Wales.
The centre will open in May 2019 with two top quality grass pitches, a FIFA quality 3G pitch and off-pitch support facilities.