Created on 18-07-2010 at 00:00 AM
In the rocky landscape to the north-east of Bavaria, close to the Czech border some 200 kilometres from Munich, the diverse streams of global football converge into one comprehensive resource. The International Soccer Bank (ISB) is based here in Neustadt an der Waldnaab, a borough town of 6,000 souls. ISB maintains a vast database, currently monitoring 95,000 players, 4,929 clubs, 539 national teams, 288 competitions and 76 leagues.
The Bayern scouting and match observation section, headed by former pro Wolfgang Dremmler, makes extensive use of this superb resource. ISB’s client list includes Premier League outfit Arsenal and the Brazilian FA. fcbayern.de spoke to FCB chief scout Dremmler (pictured below, left) and ISB boss Jürgen Kost (right) about where database analysis fits in modern scouting. Read part two of our exclusive interview below. You’ll find a link to part one at the bottom of the page.
Interview: Wolfgang Dremmler and Jürgen Kost
fcbayern.de: Wolfgang Dremmler, you mentioned the possibility of an individual approach with ISB. What did you want to achieve exactly?
Dremmler: “Let’s suppose we’re watching a game. ISB supplies a dataset with basic details such as the line-ups. But we also want to put our own observations on the system. ISB makes that possible too. And we can work graphically with a pitch that we can draw and write on. It’s a really good setup.”
Kost: “Of course, it’s practical being able to draw when you’re dealing with line-ups and tactical formations. As a matter of principle, we try to to give scouts a tool to make their job easier. ISB is that tool.”
fcbayern.de: Arsenal use the database as well as Bayern. So both clubs receive the same information on a particular player.
Kost: “Only the basic information such as date of birth and their end of contract date. The difference starts with the evaluation of the player. Every scout looks at a player from his own perspective. The scout then enters the report into the database.”
Dremmler: “And we are the only ones who can access our reports. They’re not available to any other club that uses ISB.”
fcbayern.de: Wolfgang Dremmler has already listed some of the data that ISB provides. Where do you get your data from?
Kost: “It’s not as exciting as you might think. It’s run-of-the-mill journalistic research with a lot of trawling through the internet and the media.”
fcbayern.de: So, you don’t maintain a network of informants across the world providing data?
Kost: “No, I haven’t got anyone in Peru, I must admit. That would be ideal. But it’s just not possible. We’re working with 76 leagues at the moment.”
fcbayern.de: How quickly can you get information on a game in Peru with ISB?
Kost: “We provide the line-ups for every game we cover within 24 hours. With some leagues we can do it straight after the kick-off. But it takes a bit longer for the Bulgarian second division. Collecting the data isn’t the hard part. Anybody can record a list of 95,000 players. The decisive factor is to manage the data as close to the event as possible.”