Marc O’Neill Interview by John O’Shea

It is safe to say that Video Analysts are now a very important part of the coaching setup in a football club.

Marc O’Neill is the man who is the First Team video analyst at Cobh Ramblers and he is a part of a very progressive and hardworking coaching setup at the St Colman’s Park club.

O’Neill: “Stuart (Ashton) is always asking for various clips on tactical things, so we’d be using it every week. Even if it is not always to the players, the coaches will always be asking for little bits of the game and go through it in the days after it.

O’Neill: “So there is a large variety of work done, but the coaches do use it. They could ask for certain statistics on the game or maybe compare it to another game and we find patterns and stuff like that. Then feed that back to the players as best we can.”

As we continue our chat on this mid-June morning, O’Neill goes on to describe what a typical matchweek as the video analyst at Cobh Ramblers can consist of.

O’Neill: “On a Monday and Tuesday, I would go through the opposition. That was something which took up more of my time when I first started, but know after a year I would have a better knowledge of the opposition teams and players.”

O’Neill: “So when I have that done, I would let the coaches know in a report. Then I would start getting ready for the live match. So when the match is on live, I will be on my computer doing things such as getting certain statistics and coding out little bits.

O’Neill: “Then after the match, which would be Saturday night or Sunday, I will spend my day going through it and retrieving both stuff that we are doing every week and then every week there are certain things which the coaches want.”

O’Neill: “If there is something we did well or something that we didn’t do well as a team or if there was something individual players have done. So that the player can then ask for stuff as well if they want and if they feel that it is going to help them.”

O’Neill: “It is quite a large variety of work that is done. But it is good and I enjoy it.”

In terms of what he sees as the most important aspects when it comes to opposition analysis, he adds:

O’Neill: “One of the main things is just to make sure that when it comes to a matchday, that none of us are surprised when the players go out on the pitch or from the coaches perspective watching the game.”

O’Neill: “So you would like to have a decent knowledge of how they play. We would be looking at a wide range of stuff and that would be different depending on every club and every manager as well.”

Prior to taking up the first team video analyst role at Ramblers, O’Neill was over in Scotland for a spell on an internship with Hibernian FC.

O’Neill: “I thought it was brilliant over there. That was my first experience of a role in performance analysis. It was an unbelievable standard and quality to go into. I was traveling to all of the home and away games.”

O’Neill: “I did all of them, Rangers away and stuff like that. You’d go and stay in hotels with the first team and everything. During the week you could be going training and filming it, or else going through matches, such as the post-match or pre match stuff.”

O’Neill: “The facilities that were there were unbelievable and it was an unreal experience. I am still in touch with the lads from there and I made some good friends.”

O’Neill: “It helped me before coming to Cobh Ramblers, as I had an idea of what I wanted to do following my experience with Hibs.

On an overall level, O’Neill is hopeful for the future for Cobh Ramblers and what the club can achieve in the coming years.

O’Neill: “I think that Stuart has shown we are there to compete and be competitive with teams. We are looking to win every game and I think people can see that from watching the team play.”

O’Neill: “We are very competitive and I think there is a mentality there. Stuart Ashton has high standards there on the players and staff.”

O’Neill: “There is a high standard expected of everyone in terms of performance both in training and at games. I think that will help the club in the future a lot and I think that it is important that everyone has high standards of how we perform.”

Marc O’Neill will hope to play his part in helping Cobh Ramblers challenge towards the top end of the First Division, with the ultimate goal for Cobh to get back into the Premier Division in the League Of Ireland.