Interview with soccer analyst Phil Weimer

Introducing: Phil Weimer, the video analyst at SV Wehen Wiesbaden soccer club, where every move counts in front of up to 15,000 spectators. Phil directs the game from his perspective, with a keen eye for detail and a strategic mindset. He uses the Refcom II system from Spintsoto communicate directly with the bench. Phil has a higher perspective than the bench and from the sidelines, shaping tactics and solutions in real time. Read the full interview to find out more about working as a soccer analyst, the challenges of finding solutions and problems live during a game.

Hi Phil. Can you tell us more about who you are?

- My name is Phil Weimer, and I'm the video analyst at SV Wehen Wiesbaden soccer club. I am part of the coaching staff. I'm responsible for pre-match analysis, post-match analysis and some individual work with the players. During the live matches, I watch the game from a higher perspective in the stadium. Using a video feed on my computer, I share the findings with the assistant coach on the bench. We use the Refcom II system for direct and effective communication between us.


Tell us more about how you started using this communication system in your coaching staff!

- We were looking for an affordable communication system that would work during live games. Our team manager, a former referee, gave us the tip to try it with a referee communication system from Spintso and so we are now using it for our tactical exchanges from the stands to the bench.


 And your live communication with the bench is done with...?

- The assistant coach. We share information about the game and he talks to the head coach about possible tactical adjustments.


 That's very interesting. What are your main focuses during a game?

- We look for problems and solutions! Normally during a game, one team tries to create better situations than the other team. Always looking for better spaces in possession and also to block important spaces of the opponent. In the game, the coach has almost the same perspective as the players on the pitch. You don't see the spaces and these solutions to the problems as easily when you look at the game from a higher perspective. I have a better view of the whole team and the whole pitch. But yeah... most of the time I'm looking for solutions of what we can do better, more than just pointing out the problems. Using the Refcom II system, I can discuss problems or possible solutions with the assistant coach.

 How important do you think the communication equipment is?

- It is very important for overall success. Because when I find problems or solutions, it's important to communicate this in a good way to the bank, the coach and the team. We also try to use this for other members of our team. For example, for the medical staff. If someone is injured, we can communicate even faster what the problem is with the injured player. Whether it's a knock in the tackle, a strain or maybe two players butting heads, they'll know on the way to the player and know what to look for. Communication between staff can be easier, quicker and more effective. This also applies to our athletics coach. Previously, changing players was a bit of a problem. Because the athletics coach is somewhere else, warming up with the players, and we have to change quickly. If you don't have these communication solutions, you could lift up your shirt and show who you want to change, there can be a lot of misunderstandings. If we have a communication system like Refcom II, we can make it much easier. We can let him know and schedule the substitution, and here we are talking about important minutes or seconds.


And you've been using Refcom II for about 6 months now, what are your thoughts on the system so far?

- For me it's a very good system. It's very easy to use. I just put the headset in my ear, start the system and it connects automatically. The quick and easy operation and the problem-free connection are important for us, as the assistant coach, with whom I connect to the system, comes to the game 3-4 minutes before it starts. The time frame here is very short and he just starts the device and we are ready to go. It's easy to carry and the weight of the units is very light.

That's right. You got a prototype from us with a push-to-talk button for our new SwiftFit headset.

- Exactly. It's necessary for us to have this function because talking all the time, like referees do, is too much for us. Together with the SwiftFit headset it works very well and easy for us.

Where do you see these kinds of technical devices in soccer in the next few years? Do you think we will see more of these mobile, smart tools in use in the game?

- I think it will increase and we will need it even more.
In the past, the big teams have had these things for a while, like video systems and communication systems for staff. But I think third division teams and even below will start to utilize these things. Now we're in a time where these tools will continue to grow in importance, for sure.

Thanks for the interview, Phil, and good luck.