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Football Management Apps: Which One?!

Updated: Jun 1


The Ultimate Review of Football Management Apps: A Game-Changing Tool for Coaches

In the digital age, football management apps have revolutionized the way coaches organize, plan, and strategize for success on and off the pitch. In this comprehensive review, we'll delve into some of the top football management apps available today. Discover how these game-changing tools can streamline your coaching workflow, enhance communication, and elevate your team's performance. Check out the conclusion for our final recommendations. Let's dive in!


Team Management Apps


App Name: Spond

Overview: Complete transparency, I started this review and had Pitchero at the top, because I've used it before (a lot) and it had loads of features... then I reviewed Spond and it seems to do everything a manager needs, for free and lets be honest, that's what we're all about at The Football Hub.


Pros:

  • Very user friendly on a phone, with a nice interface that is easy to navigate.

  • Set up multiple groups and add extra coaches/helpers. (Pitchero and Heja both require you to pay to add teams).

  • You can add attachments to each event, so screenshot your team sheet or add a flyer for the club BBQ, I love this as a feature.

  • You can synchronise events with your calendar, a great feature for those organised ones amongst us, this is the feature I've been missing in my life. So much easier for planning ahead and integrating with work/family life.

  • It can collect fees however, there's a small transaction charge, this is obviously how the app is funded. It could work out pricey if you're putting a full clubs transactions through it, you would need to weigh up if it's cheaper than whatever process you currently use.

  • Can create polls to aide in planning, etc. Okay not the most amazing but a useful extra feature.


Cons:

  • Doesn't have much in the way of game management like player positions, score recording, etc. You can add comments to an event but that seems to be about it.

Best Free Sports Team Management App | Download Spond


App Name: Pitchero

Overview: Probably the widest array of features you'll get for free. It even includes a free website. The interface is clean and easy to use and comes with a management app and a club app for parents/players. Easy to use but also easy to get carried away with the features.


Pros:

  • Check player availability, then publish your selected team. This is a great way to make sure players will be available so you can decide the team and produces a nice visual display of the team once published, although it can be a bit awkward to set up in the right formation.

  • Free website, to share pictures, match reports (which have a free template), etc.

Can handle team fees however, the free version only allows 1 team to be added and the transaction fee seems high at 2.9% on the free version. This drops with the paid versions

  • Input match scores, goal scorers, etc and the app will track your teams statistics.

  • Player database to manage your players/parents details.

  • The club app is great for players to see their results and team selection, whilst maintaining safeguarding guidelines.


Cons:

  • Okay for a single team, not the best if you have multiple teams, as you would need to create a new club for each team. Unless you want to pay £30 per month as a club to unlock unlimited teams.

  • Membership database is much easier managed on a PC or laptop. It can be a bit glitchy and intricate on a phone.

  • Premium features are expensive, but could be absorbed if your club is quite large and multiple teams will utilise it.

Everything you need to manage your sports club online (pitchero.com)


App Name: TeamPulse

Overview: Very similar in functionality to Pitchero but without the cost or the free website. The app seems intuitive and is packed with features. There is a paid version to remove ads but at £0.79 per month it won't break the bank.


Pros:

  • Add multiple teams and easily invite players with a shared code.

  • Creates a chat room for each event, handy if you need to discuss plans for the day or update on traffic, etc.

  • Records attendance stats well, although doesn't appear to track game stats such as goals scored, assists, etc.

  • App is very responsive and intuitive with a bit of use. Some of the wording is more American so can take a bit of getting used to such as validating players attendance or the use of "Jersey" throughout the app.

  • Useful for tracking player kit sizes, position, preferred foot/hand, etc.


Cons:

  • Doesn't appear to record match details, only attendance levels.

  • Feels fairly limited in what it can do, more of an attendance tracker. Which is great but other apps out there that do more.

TeamPulse - Team Management – Apps on Google Play

TeamPulse - Team management on the App Store (apple.com)


App Name: Heja

Overview: This is my current app that we use with our Under 17s team and it serves a purpose but there is definitely better apps out there. It is easy enough to use but I find it logs out just when you want to record attendance at the start of training and seems to take forever to log back in, just when you have a squad of players staring at you for direction. It is limited in functionality.


Pros:

  • Seems to get positive interaction from parents with responses to matches. It generally sends an immediate notification of a new match or training session and then a reminder a couple of days before and then a reminder just before an event.

  • Pro version can collect match fees but costs £8.17 per month.

  • Easy to view and manage scheduler but doesn't integrate with calendar.

  • Will record match score but no details about the game such as goal scorers, there is space to add comments though.


Cons:

  • Only allows one team admin unless you purchase the Pro version. This has been my biggest frustration last season as it means you need to manage it rather than handing to an assistant coach when away.

  • Doesn't hold many details about players, no date of birth, etc.

  • Only provides attendance stats with the pro version

  • Very limited functionality, works okay as an attendance tracker but there is better apps in the list above


App Name: SmartCoach ++

Overview: This feels like a bit of a strange one. It will basically manage your game and is amazing for stats, but limited in a lot of other areas. The pro's and cons will explain more but possibly worth a look if your not as fussed about getting responses from players about attendance.


Pros:

  • Can build training sessions, add drills and turns into practice mode where it will show you each drill and how to run it as the session progresses. Great if you want to use one some of the 19 drills they have available. A bit useless after you've exhausted those drills (and some of them are just limited fitness activities).

  • Stats, wow, if you're using this aspect then definitely have someone dedicated to it as it records everything... I mean everything: Shots on/off target, possession, corners, offsides, fouls, cards and goal kicks. As a coach you shouldn't be spending that much time inputting this information as it means your not watching the match properly.

  • Player profiles are full of information and can create a wealth of attributes for player assessment, there's 30+ attributes, so plenty to analyse/update.

  • You can export plays/sessions from the CoachBoard app discussed below into the SmartCoach ++ app.


Cons:

  • It is horrendously full of ads, unless you buy the upgraded version. However, the upgrade is a 1 time payment of £5.99, so no ongoing subscriptions.

  • Can only manage 1 team unless upgraded and needs upgrade to access full list of statistics.

  • Doesn't allow player/parent interaction to send availability. So you basically send out the match/training details and need them to respond via message, email, etc.

  • This is a biggy, you can only add up to 14 players, probably great if you're at 9 aside but once you hit 11 aside this won't cut it. We currently have a squad of 20 which rules this app straight out.

Smart Football Coach++ on the App Store (apple.com)


Recommendations: Management Apps are specific to each coach or team in how they want to operate. Our 10 pence, Pitchero offers the most in terms of functionality and control, best if you can roll it out club wide and stomach the expensive £30 per month for the upgraded features. This may be worth it if you plan on using it for the clubs website, which can include a club shop. If you're using the free version it is great for 1 or 2 teams set up individually. Spond will be my app of choice for next season, it is full of features and without any frustrating pay walls or subscriptions, if you want to roll it out club wide it will handle payments and can create additional admins/coaches. The rest seem to have their own quirks that may attract some people depending what your looking for. If you want stats galore get SmartCoach ++, if you just want an attendance tracker then Heja or TeamPulse aren't bad bets, they're just limited at everything else.


Extra Apps Worth a Look:

These apps are just some useful recommendations for coaches to consider, they're by no means essential but can bring a different element to your session and match planning... Let's dive back in!



App Name: CoachBoard

Overview: I love this app, it is simple, easy to use and great for throwing a team together and playing around with formations or tactics. It can also be used to build visuals for sessions.


Pros:

  • Very user friendly on a phone, with a nice interface that is easy to navigate.

  • Team formations can be laid out with names under them, which are easily changed and has plenty of features to change player visuals, colours, etc.

  • Build a drill or set play and you can take step by step screenshots, building them into a sort of reel to share with the squad, or coaching team to review.

  • Some nice visuals for building drills, the cones, poles, goals, etc all look great. Very much cartoon style but vibrant and easy to read.

  • A few different pitch layouts available for more intricate details.

  • Can save your plans in a straight forward and simple file system, or if you're like me just screenshot them and send via WhatsApp.

  • There is also a free hand drawing option, to create lines and pre-built arrows that can be used for tactics/drills.

  • Will export apps into the SmartCoach ++ app discussed above.


Cons:

  • It can be a bit fiddly on a phone to create drills, I use this mainly for putting a quick visual of teams together for the weekend to discuss with the coaching team, rather than planning sessions with it, as there isn't a massive amount of space for drills due to the scale size of players. Don't let that take away from this app though, I'm just being picky now.

Coach Tactic Board: Football – Apps on Google Play

Coach Tactic Board: Football on the App Store (apple.com)


App Name: Tactical Pad

Overview: Similar to CoachBoard but with a lot more detail. This app is probably best used on a PC or laptop however, I've had great success using it on my phone with a stylus (Apple Pencil or similar). It is loaded with options to create some visually appealing team formations and drills.


Pros:

  • An extensive array of functions and visual options including: loads of pitch layouts to choose from, different camera angles to view from and even a 3D animation option.

  • Drills/teams can be easily shared although if you want to save more than one you will need to upgrade to the paid version, which is reasonably priced at £23.49, not bad if you're going to be using it a lot.

  • As with Coach Board you can build visually appealing animations using a step by step still screen to record each movement and then Tactical Pad puts it all together very nicely.

  • Select your favourite team from Tactical Pads repositories, this is a bit of a gimmick but a nice added touch if you wanted to give Gareth Southgate a run for his money with team selection.

  • Contains pre-built formations so you can automatically generate a formation without having to drag all of the players into position.

  • Store your own team and the app will display names so you can plan your match day formations or bespoke drills for your squad.


Cons:

  • The 3D animation of drills can be a bit off, with players sometimes making unnatural movements for the ball or if you're like me throwing a goalkeeper on a drill to keep the numbers right only to realise he picks the ball up every time it gets passed to him.

  • It takes a bit of time to get used to the different movement speeds when putting together an animation. Although there is some great examples on social media if you search Tactical Pad, they share some of the best ones.



App Name: Teamsheet (top image)


Overview: Not an essential app by any stretch but Teamsheet will allow you to pick a formation, add your players faces and names to it and can create a nice visual for social media, or just for sharing the team selection before match day.


App Name: Easy Tournament (bottom image)


Overview: This is a great app when running your next tournament. Basically, create your tournament and you can upload scores, update league tables, etc so everyone can keep track of the competition. With various different tournament formats you can add the teams and it will generate the matches for you. Get everyone's team sheets in advance and you can add players so it will track statistics for each team making choosing top goal scorers a piece of cake.



Football management apps have become invaluable tools for coaches, enabling them to streamline their coaching processes, enhance player development, and achieve better results on the field. As seen in our review of the top football management apps, each app has its strengths and weaknesses, and the ideal choice depends on your specific coaching needs and preferences. Take the time to explore these apps, try out their features, and find the one that best aligns with your coaching style and requirements. With the right football management app in your arsenal, you'll be equipped to lead your team to new levels of success!


Easy Tournament - Tournament Manager (copafacil.com)


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