Premier League players happy to wear bodycams in the top-flight
Premier League players are HAPPY to wear bodycams in the top-flight with futuristic footage bringing viewers closer than ever to the action
- Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes and Aston Villa’s Youri Tielemans trialled the cam
- The upshot of the cam is a never-before-seen journey into the heat of the battle
- But due to IFAB laws, the technology can’t be used during competitive matches
Premier League stars have told their clubs they would be happy to wear bodycams every week.
Sadly, given the amazing insight from such footage here in the United States in recent days, that won’t be happening any time soon. IFAB laws do not allow for the technology to be used in competitive matches.
And what a shame that is, a regret shared by the likes of Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, who wore a bodycam during his side’s 3-3 draw with Aston Villa in Philadelphia last weekend.
Villa’s Youri Tielemans also trialled the cam, which is stitched to a GPS vest under the shirt. A small hole is cut in the jersey at chest level to give the lens sight of the game, and it takes around two minutes to get players wired up and ready to go.
A wide view of the pitch is captured and later cropped using AI auto-detection to hone in on the action. The cam has a shatter-proof screen and is so lightweight to the point of being marketed as ‘invisible’.
Premier League players have told clubs they would be happy to wear bodycams every week
Bruno Guimaraes (above) and Youri Tielemans both trialled the cam during friendly matches
The cam is fitted to a GPS vest under the shirt, with a small hole cut in the jersey at chest height
The upshot is a never-before-seen journey into the heat of the battle. At first, it feels like footage from a video game. Surreal, even.
As a viewer, you feel the pressure the likes of Bruno and Tielemans are under when receiving the ball in the middle of the park.
They have a split-second to make a decision with opponents bearing down and, invariably, the resulting pass finds a team-mate. This, though, is harder than any video game.
The feedback from Bruno was extremely positive – he sees the value in both bringing added entertainment to supporters and its use as an analysis tool. He, like many of his team-mates, would be willing to wear them week in, week out, and the Brazilian reported no intrusion on his movement.
Not all clubs taking part in the Premier League Summer Series here are so enthused, and some have expressed concern at the camera obstructing shirt sponsorship.
But Newcastle are all in. They were the first to trial the technology at home on Tyneside recently, with goalkeeper Nick Pope and former favourite Shay Given diving around the club’s training pitches.
Eddie Howe has allowed several players to try it and they are now queuing up to give it a go.
It is informative for the manager, too, who would have seen Bruno and £52million summer signing Sandro Tonali interacting during the game.
Viewers were able to feel the pressure placed on Tielemans thanks to the cutting-edge footage
Sources believes similar trials will lead to an ‘inevitable’ change in the laws to overturn the ban
Tonali speaks little English, but he clearly understood Bruno’s ‘one-two’ instruction when it mattered. Their breathless panting is also a reminder of how hard players actually run out there.
Referees have also worn the cams this week and, if anything, their footage provides a more watchable experience over a longer period, given they are following every kick and are never far from play.
On Sunday, via the view of whistler Peter Bankes, we saw Harry Wilson curl one into the top corner for Fulham against Brentford. Again, though, IFAB will not allow officials to wear the cams in the Premier League.
Sources believe that trials such as this will lead to an ‘inevitable’ change in the laws, especially if clubs make a united call for its introduction.
The Premier League have been working with an Israeli company, Mindfly, to provide their clubs with an opportunity to use the system, and the verdict of supporters in unanimous – they want to see it right away. One Newcastle fan tweeted: ‘No kidding, I flinched and put my foot out to control the ball at one point. Awesome!’
But, for now, it is foot on the ball when it comes to enjoying this fascinating and thrilling view on a more regular basis.
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