York9 utilizes technology, panoramic footage on training return: ‘We can see everything’

If all eyes are on Canadian Premier League’s return to training, then York9 FC is trying to get the best view.

The Nine Stripes returned to the practice pitch last week, which features a CPL-and-government mandated multi-phase approach to training, starting with non-contact individual or small group workouts.

For now, it’s four players on a pitch split in quarters. With four subjects spread across 100-odd yards, Y9 managing consultant Angus McNab is busy using sports science to take better stock of his 2020 squad. Specifically, McNab will be recording all sessions via a panoramic midfield camera attached to a portable tower.

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“We have a fixed panorama camera at midfield so I’ll be able to log in and see training sessions,” McNab told

“Once they are finished, we can see everything – every drill in every session and see exertion levels for all of it. During sessions, coaches can see player heartbeats or injury monitoring details from their watches and tablets.

“The individual coaches will see everything they need to.”

McNab can watch all four sessions remotely if he desires, swinging between the quadrants. It’s in his nature. A long-time executive at Opta and SportLogiq – CPL’s data and analytics partners – McNab joined York9 FC as a management consultant with an extensive background in football analytics.

“You can sync up the timelines of these sessions with their heart rate monitors. We can click on that exact motion and see what effect it had on the player,” McNab said.

Without slipping into the minutiae, McNab is taking as much from these early sessions as he can… and rightfully so. York9 returned from pre-season training camp in Florida on March 14 and entered a 14-day isolation period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the players were training separately – with the odd Zoom session involved.

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There are concerns for injury and fitness, McNab suggested.

“We’re doing everything we can to manage wellness at this stage,” McNab said. “They’ve logged all their running with their GPS units to this stage. That info will help identify injury risk.”

Seven-of-eight CPL clubs have returned to training, with Forge FC and Cavalry FC the latest to receive confirmation from local governments.

York9 has given fans the most behind-the-scenes access of any club, starting with “Inside Training,” a long-form video feature showing players such as Kyle Porter and Manny Aparicio going through drills. Footage also showed newcomers Fugo Segawa and Gabriel Vasconcelos in York9 green for the first time.

As for footage from the air, York9 plans to release video from the eye in the sky… though the facts, figures, and analysis from such footage will remain a mystery.

“I sound like a broken record on the technology piece but it’s important to us,” McNab said. “In our athletes and wellness monitoring system, we’ll take everything to another level at this club.”