APP OF THE DAY: The Master Tactician review (iPad / Android)
It's another FA Cup weekend and, as such, another excuse to take a closer look at one of the multifarious football apps that sit in the App Store. But today's App of The Day isn't a game based on flicking goals, or managing a team of virtual players to hollow glory. It's the real deal....
The Master Tactician
Developed by Education in Sport in partnership with Aldershot manager, and former Premier League striker, Dean Holdsworth, The Master Tactician is also an app used by West Ham boss Sam Allardyce.
In short, it's a football strategy app that puts a modern spin on the magnetic tactics board that you'll find in most top-level dressing rooms. But there's a lot more to the app than simply laying out formations.
The app provides a virtual representation of a football pitch, or a training pitch, where you can see the area as a whole or focus on key areas. You can then drag players into positions (assigning names and numbers if you wish to do so) to explain tactics, formations and set-pieces.
You can save your favourite set-ups to refer back to later should they prove successful. We imagine Big Sam has the “kick it up to Carlton as quickly as possible” loaded at all times and just points at it repeatedly before kick-off.
As well as players, you can also drag grids, cones, mannequins, poles, hurdles, balls and ladders onto the app’s pitch screen view in order to set up training ground exercises (or hilarious pranks). There's a notepad that you can use to assign drills and set-ups with added notes and it's easy to email, print or share your set-ups too.
“We’ve developed the Master Tactician app to offer managers and coaches an effective tool to control game strategy, manage training sessions and plan and practice formations that work,” said Holdsworth. “The feedback from my colleagues in the sport so far has been really positive.
“I have used Master Tactician throughout this season and the coaches at Aldershot also use it; in fact we’ve done so well in the season so far it’s actually been our secret weapon”
Sure, it all looks a bit Premier Manager 95 on the Amiga, but in it's simplicity hides its usefulness. Managers and coaches aren't going to need over elaborate animations or detailed graphics board. Just a simple to use app which is easy to understand and, no doubt, some colourful language.
It's out now and the prices have all just been reduced so there has never better time to download it.
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