Dash Football Academy scores a digital first

Fadhil Yunus

Dash Football Academy marked a significant milestone in accelerating the progress of football through technology after becoming the first football academy in Brunei Darussalam to develop a mobile application.

President of National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan launched the mobile app at the NFABD House yesterday.

The user-friendly app, developed for admin and players under the academy, records basic information of the players from across several age groups.

One of the features allows an admin – including coaches – to view players’ training attendance. Coaches can also input all information for the users, which mainly comprise players.

Head Coach of Under-12, Under-14 and Youth Elite of Dash Football Academy Hazmin Hatta bin Haji Hamzah said, “At the moment, we are only focussing on the age and attendance of the players. In the future, we would like to extend it to more detailed information.”

President of NFABD Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan with members of Dash Football Academy. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

He added, “We can also see newcomers based on the data who are coming for training and it also helps us establish which groups are more prominent.”

The academy also plans to make it more accessible and interactive by introducing fun activities and programmes as well as public outreach to general users.

With the availability of more data, Hazmin said they could make analysis, noting that it is important for football especially by looking at patterns of players’ or team’s weaknesses.

He said, “Data collection is one of the objectives to improve football. With this app, this is the first step towards our goal and in the near future, we would like to collaborate with the developers to provide us with more detailed app functions.”

Growing demand of people using mobile apps during the COVID-19 outbreak has stepped up the academy’s urgency to develop the app.

“We thought about this awhile back, to take advantage of technology. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has given us more confidence because we see more people using apps such as BruHealth. It has become a social norm,” he said.

“Now, it is high time for us to introduce it when society is using mobile apps daily.

“We are also taking heed of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s titah to promote the use of digital technology to advance society. We can do a small part in terms of advancing football in the country.”

NFABD President lauded the efforts and initiatives of Dash Football Academy and described the development as a significant milestone.

“We must congratulate Dash Football Academy for their efforts to develop the app. I think it is a significant milestone in the development of youth football or even the development of Brunei football,” Pengiran Haji Matusin told the Bulletin.

“Over the years, there have been a lot of football developments through academies. But I think Dash Football Academy has opened up new ways of engaging and compiling all the important data.”

The president stressed the need to identify the players from their demography while also assisting in talent identification.

“This effort and initiative by Dash Football Academy is an excellent example for other academies to follow.”

He said there are several football academies in Brunei, but most only focus on the field of play. He noted the need to gather more information as well as player demographics.

“I hope this will encourage others to follow including NFABD. We are also in the process of doing the same but on a larger scale as we are dealing with players of different age groups right up to the national team.”

General Secretary of NFABD Shahnon bin Haji Mohd Salleh echoed the president’s sentiment on the initiative taken by Dash Football Academy.

“I would like to congratulate the efforts and the milestone of Dash Football Academy as the first football academy in the country to develop a mobile application,” he said.

“Such initiative will help prepare football academies and football clubs to move towards digitalisation. As children and players move towards technology, this will help expose football further at a grassroots level, and encourage more kids to come and play football.”