The free kick simulator, an invention tested at the Fréjus-Saint-Raphaël football club

Developed by a company based in Montpellier, this free kick simulator comes in the form of 5 PVC mannequins attached to a metal structure. Automated, they can remain static or come alive to recreate the movements of the “wall” formed by the players when a set piece is going to be taken in a real match.

The mobile and automated simulator designed by Technikfoot company.  (L. Hebbache / France Televisions)

Equipped with a movement and shooting detector, it can be programmed and piloted in training sequences via a smartphone or a digital tablet.

“It’s not a toy, it’s a machine packed with technology underlines Luc Piperno, the co-founder of Technikfoot, the company which designed this simulator.

When you’re in front, you have to see a guy and hide the machine ”.

Luc Piperno

Co-founder of Tecnikfoot

This unique device, the players of Nationale 2 of the Etoile Football club of Fréjus-Saint-Raphaël were able to test it on December 8. And they adopted it right away. « Its very important confirms attacking midfielder Hakim Orina because « sometimes the matches are played on set pieces. « 

For the goalkeepers too, the simulator is interesting as recognized Mathis Dijoux, U17 goalkeeper: « Using this machine helps us progress because these are situations that we find in a match. » Its random aspect and its shooting angles allow goalkeepers to improve positioning and reflexes.

It took two years and several prototypes for the company Technikfoot to develop this automated simulator. The players of Juventus Turin but also those of Olympique de Marseille are already using it for their training. In a video visible on the manufacturer’s website, we also see Dimitri Payet training with the machine and then scoring – effectively – with a set piece in a match.

The Fréjus club did not buy it (too expensive for the club’s budget). It is just a loan made possible by the presence of Sébastien Pérez. Defender at OM between 1999 and 2004, he is the current sports director of the Etoile Football Club. « Today, we are lucky to be able to benefit from it, he emphasizes. This is a great opportunity given to us because there is a strong demand from the clubs and the Federation..  »

Extraordinary training session in Saint-Raphaël!  (L. Hebbache / France Televisions)

While waiting for this simulator (and its price) to become more democratic, players will have to continue to work their set-piece the old-fashioned way by repeating this technical gesture which, as the site reminds us, requires « skill, finesse and composure ». The site also publishes a list of the twelve players who have scored the most free-kick goals in the history of the game. Sequences to find and watch in replay to refine your technique!

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