Bayern Munich have announced that they will install a 'Skills.Lab' football simulator at their youth training centre, the FC Bayern Campus, in order to help the club's budding young stars hone their abilities and technique.
Developed in Austria by Anton Paar SportsTec, the Skills.Lab is a variation on the 'Footbonaut' system already used by Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim, and demonstrates once again that Bundesliga clubs continue to lead the way when it comes to blending cutting-edge technology and traditional training methods.
The Skills.Lab has a playing area equivalent to roughly half a football pitch, which corresponds to the average amount of space a player has in a real game. With four high-speed ball machines and surrounding HD screens, the system allows users to practise a range of virtual match situations at five difficulty levels, providing detailed analysis of their movement, ball control, passing accuracy and shooting.
"Skills.Lab will allow us to increase the quality of our teaching on the FC Bayern Campus," enthused sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. "Our goal is to better understand the performances of our young talents and lay extra foundations for individuals to progress."
"In a normal training session, it's not possible to compare detailed game and movement data of individual players," added FC Bayern Campus director Jochen Sauer. "'Skills.Lab is the only comprehensive football training system in which we can test players' footballing skills and train them individually."
Theoretically Bayern will be using the system to help their youth players hone their skills, but don't be surprised if you see first-team stars like Robert Lewandowski popping in to try to break their high scores!