Burnley turn to artificial intelligence in search for stars of the future

Players can use a free mobile app to upload footage of themselves.

By Press Association Published: 12 January 2021 - 12.13pm

Burnley have announced they are to use artificial intelligence to help them identify young talent.

The Clarets have partnered with talent identification platform AiSCOUT and launched an “open global talent search” in which they are looking to unearth players over the age of 14 that could join their academy.

Players can use a free mobile app to upload footage of themselves performing specific individual drills, first physical and then technical. Scores will be produced from that via AiSCOUT’s artificial intelligence capability, and the information can be used by scouts.

The club say “exceptional” players identified through the app will be invited to attend a formal academy trials day later this year, with the chance to earn a place in the youth system.

The Delaware-based ALK Capital investment group, which completed a takeover of Burnley on New Year’s Eve, invested in AiSCOUT last August.

Chairman Alan Pace said in a statement on the club’s official website on Tuesday: “This is a first opportunity for us to introduce new data-led technologies into the football club and promote Burnley to the wider football world by giving aspirational young players across the world an opportunity.

“We look forward to expanding the programme throughout 2021.

“With the pandemic currently leading a suspension of youth football in Lancashire and across the UK, this trial represents an open and inclusive opportunity for football players to complete a set of drills in their own environment that could end with them being scouted by a Premier League club.”

Burnley academy manager Jon Pepper said: “We’re delighted to partner with AiSCOUT and this represents an exciting opportunity to expand our academy scouting network beyond Burnley and benefit from cutting edge technology.

“I look forward to welcoming a selection of young players to the Barnfield Training Centre later in the year, assessing the talent on offer and hopefully ending the search by offering a place on our academy to a player with the talent to follow their dreams into the Premier League.”

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