JuniStat, 21.06.2024

How West Ham United Foundation & Choices International Recruits and Develops Talent with a Data-Driven Approach

How West Ham United Foundation & Choices International Recruits and Develops Talent with a Data-Driven Approach

West Ham United Foundation’s’ international player development program is renowned as one of the best in Europe, consistently producing pathways into professional football. The international academy in partnership with Choices International offers an intensive program designed to test and optimize young players’ performance by integrating the latest advancements in sports technology with Premier League training techniques.

Ian Mackay, the International Academy of Football’s general manager, is in charge of recruiting players and sought solutions to assess their performance levels impartially and remotely.

JuniStat provided Ian with a trial of the smart testing system, which included 50 performance tests for current Academy players. Utilizing smartphones and tripods, the manager and coaches conducted comprehensive tests, measuring technical and physical performance attributes.

Performance tests on the pitch

Complete 6 tests — 3 for each leg.

Tests examples Tests examples

Players’s cards

After completing the tests, each player receives a digital card and a detailed profile with accurate performance data extracted from various individual football tests.

JuniStat Cards

Player detailed profile

Detailed profile of player

The data belongs to the West Ham United Foundation Academy and can be accessed through personal web accounts. Academy management can choose to make the players’ profiles public or keep them private at their discretion. The Academy’s web account serves as a digital talent database, allowing players to be sorted and selected by rating skills and other metrics. The Academy can link branches and coaches, facilitating the collection and analysis of unbiased player data across the organization.

Academy web-account

JuniStat Web account for academy

One key feature the West Ham United Foundation International Academy uses is the remote screening and recruiting of players. They have launched a web page describing the program and inviting players from all over the world to complete tests. The link to the program’s web page is junistat.com/academies/whuf/

Players participating in the program pay for a JuniStat license to take tests and create their digital profiles. The unlimited annual plan is $99 per player, and the Academy can use promo codes to offer discounts—in this case, a 50% discount for young footballers.

Using AI-driven objective data, each player is compared with peers globally and benchmarked against academy-level players, receiving a rating based on various macro and micro skills.

In addition to performance tests, JuniStat allows players to describe their bio and experience, indicate their preferred pitch position, and upload videos to their profiles—helping them showcase their best game moments.

Player profile with video highlights

JuniStat profile with highlights videos Highlight video

Ian Mackay

“JuniStat has enabled us to become much more accurate in our recruitment. We regularly test our academy players to assess our benchmarks for new candidates. Candidates who meet the minimum requirements are further evaluated. Even though we carry out the tests with all candidates, this is particularly valuable when assessing candidates who do not have recorded match footage available. This is often the case in countries where football technology is not so advanced, however, everyone to date has had a mobile phone! We have found it invaluable and very accurate. It not only gives us a good insight into their athletic stats but also their ball mastery so we know that their physical and technical corners are covered if we can’t analyse any footage. We then aim to assess the ‘social and psychological’ corners through interviews and references”.

Potential Outcomes for Ian Mackay using JuniStat: