How PLAYR helped The F2 lift the Wembley Cup

30-minute games, 11-a-side and the most hyped up game in YouTube team history. For those not in the know, the EE Wembley Cup is a charity football tournament started by Spencer Owen of Hashtag United fame, featuring legends of the game and Youtube and social media stars. After a group stage, the four-team tournament culminated in an epic final day at — you guessed it — Wembley on November 25.

The Cup was lifted by the mighty F2FC led by the F2 Freestylers, aka Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch — two of Youtube’s most entertaining football vloggers. Their squad included comedian ManLikeHaks, Calum Best, fitness coach Simmonds, Youtuber Manny and ex-Juventus and France legend David Trezeguet.

We like to think PLAYR played a part in their victory. PLAYR partnered with The F2FC in the months before the tournament, tracking players’ performance data and helping them improve in the run-up to the big day.

In the group stages, held at Rotherhithe’s Fisher FC, all four teams played each other to decide the seedings for the final day at Wembley. The F2 started off with a 1-0 loss to XO FC and then beat Rebel FC 2-1 before losing their last game to Hashtag United (while playing with only 10 men due to injury). This left the table as follows and meant that F2FC would play XO FC in their semi-final at Wembley.

Fast forward to November 25th and The F2’s semi-final finishes 0-0 in normal time (30 minute games) — which meant a new rule came into play, introduced for this year’s tournament: Man Down. Every minute of extra time the teams are reduced by a man until one team scores and is declared the winner.

Comedian Haks started at right back and played the full 30 mins of normal time, eventually coming off during Man Down. During his time on the pitch he covered a whopping 5.25km: the furthest distance covered by any player on the day. Pros would usually cover double the distance he did in a full 90 minutes, but in three times the amount of time. Impressive stuff!

Back to the game and the teams are down to 8 each in Man Down time. Bradley Russell bursts into the box, whips it across the area and Bradley Simmonds coolly slots it away. F2FC are in the final.

The final pitted F2FC against Rebel FC, featuring Youtuber Joe Weller and legend Michael Essien. The match took a different route to the semi: 4 minutes in, the evergreen Trezeguet hit an awkward spinning volley which the keeper fumbled over the line. F2FC 1-0 Rebel FC.

The rest of the match was tense and cagey, and F2 closed it out with a 1-0 victory. Their second 1-0 on the day, and a place in history secured. Aside from Haks, the most notable stats belonged to Jezza Lynch, one half of the F2, who put in an impressive sprint speed of 7.7m/s in both halves of the first game.

In 65 minutes of football, Jezza covered an impressive 9.31km and made 38 explosive movements (power plays). The distance covered mixed with his ability to explode of the mark quickly, paired with his unreal technical ability meant he was a real game changer throughout the Wembley Cup, coming close to scoring on several occasions.

Being able to track the winners of the Wembley Cup was an awesome experience for us. From the engine that is Haks, to Bradley Simmonds many power plays, we were able to see how they performed physically, not just technically. And on the day where it really counted, the F2FC performed at a level above everyone else.

Learn more about PLAYR here.

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