Football is everywhere.
When it comes to consumption, there is an endless stream of entertainment that accompanies the sport. The podcasts, the social media, the analysis; the game seems to exist on an infinite continuum, where avid watchers are growing more and more obsessed by the day. To quote the mocking David Mitchell: there really is “constant, dizzying, 24 hour, year-long, endless FOOTBALL” which seems only the more relevant in this post-COVID age.
However, there is one gap.
There are around 2,000,000 active grassroots players in Britain, making football the most popular sport for participation by a big margin. Unfortunately, the endless fixation on the stats and results in the higher echelons of the game is yet to filter down to these more recreational channels. Until now.
Footsapp is a fresh, modern app that’s sole purpose caters to the needs of the Sunday-league footballer, matching their experience to those in the Premier League. Features include the squads and stats leaderboards, in which one inputs G+A data from matchdays, allowing for the continuous tracking of statistics across a season. This element affords a genuine sense of professionalism to the player, with all this information logged on a modern interface, displaying the successes (or failures!) of the season in a crisp and concise format. The seamless design of the app also allows for easily shareable customised team line-ups, with a messaging system that incorporates group chats, making it easy to exchange team tactics under one roof.
While these are all great additions to the modernisation of amateur football, it is essential to Footsapp that the jovial nature of the game is retained. Player of the Match voting helps to foster and enhance the community spirit that this type of football is so good at facilitating, with the post-game analysis certain to allow for the necessary congratulations. Another interesting feature is the unique individual player profile cards, akin to those seen in video games such as FIFA. Thrashing out team-mates’ various attributes is certain to bring about the joshing that so many enjoy in five-a-side, helping to solidify this nature of professionalism, whilst maintaining the light-hearted nature of the game.
Photo: Sam Cooper @ TheMancunion
I also spoke with the University of Manchester club captain, Max Swan, to get some on-the-ground feedback about the app. “Footsapp has found a real niche in the market and is definitely something I will be using when we can get back on the pitches in the future”, he remarked. “In the past, I have been storing data on my notes pages, so to have an app that is able to track all this for you is really revolutionary.” He adds, “the structure of the app makes it so easy to use and I will definitely encourage the club to get involved with it.”
In terms of future development, the app is also planning to introduce IOT devices, which would further add to the experience of the amateur player. These devices, such as performance tracking vests or boot trackers, would harbour data that could be collated and stored on the app. Analysis of this data would really aid coaches of these grassroots clubs, allowing them to pinpoint where their player could improve and introduce tailored drills to improve their side.
Overall, this app ought to be seen as a promising step in the right direction for amateur football. Creating this sense of modernisation will only add to the experience of those playing, with genuinely innovative ideas that can introduce a new angle to lower levels of the sport. It certainly is an exciting project and it’s safe to say that the future of five-a-side football might just be in Footsapp.