Brighton legend hopes his football app will revolutionise the grassroots game
Albion legend Kerry Mayo has created a football app which he hopes will help revolutionise the grassroots game.
The 40-year-old played 413 times for Brighton from 1996 to 2009 and with Ross Osborne has now designed Proballer - an app which allows grassroots clubs to record team and player stats, manage payments and organise training, club events and matches for players, parents and coaches.
The Proballer ambassador is Southampton legend and former England international Matt Le Tissier and Proballer is backed by the PFA and Sussex County FA.
More than 150 clubs nationwide use Proballer, which has been shortlisted by The FA as a potential third party product they would use from the 2019/20 season.
Mayo says Proballer will save clubs hours of time a week and on how the idea of creating the app came about, he said: "When I retired from football through injury, I wanted to stay in the game.
"I went on coaching courses, became a UEFA B licenced coach and started running an academy. I'd set up sessions and where I'd expect 16 under-12 players to turn up, only eight would and 16 under-14s would turn up instead of 12.
"I'd then spend the first 20 minutes of each session - which parents were paying for - readjusting the sessions.
"I felt the administration side of things was holding me back from developing the players to achieve their full potential.
"I'm one of these people who likes to do things to the best of my ability and to be organised.
"We went to see the Sussex County FA to see if they had anything that could help me manage things a lot better but there was nothing out there.
"Ross and I had an idea of building a website to help save grassroots coaches and volunteers hours of time a week having to chase payments and chase people.
"We had a year's trial with Stone Cross Royals FC in Hailsham and worked very closely with them to get the app how we wanted it.
"Thanks to Darren Bland and his club members at Stone Cross Royals, the app is now fully functional and will send out training session details, match fixtures and club events. All the players and/or the parents will receive a push notification and they can confirm their availability or not.
"Coaches and volunteers don't have the time to scroll through hundreds of WhatsApp messages, so this gives you all the information you need on your mobile phone for games, training and club events.
"Individual participants and players can also make payments - club fees, training fees or annual subscribtions - through the app, which is in a fully safeguarded environment."
Players can also build their own portfolio on the app, with videos, pictures and reports and Mayo adds it's a way for club members and parents to communicate in one hub.He said: "The feedback we've had has been nothing short of sensational.
"A product like this doesn't get the backing of the PFA or county FAs if it's not a viable product. I'm over the moon and really proud, honoured and humbled that something which was borne out of an idea with Ross is now a fully working model for the world to use.
"With England reaching the semi-finals at the World Cup, there's going to be a lot more children looking to play football.
"Clubs are going to be inundated with new players and the best way to manage them and keep on top of things will be to use the Proballer app. It costs clubs next to nothing per month and is a huge timesaver.
"Grassroots admin is still very much set in the dinosaur years with good old fashioned pen and paper, so this will revolutionise grassroots sports.
"It will allow the coach more time out on the field with players as they'll know exactly who is turning up, they will put on a better session accordingly and that improves players individually and as a team.
"We're very much about trying to get high volume and low payments to make it affordable for all to use. Essentially we want to give back to grassroots and help other coaches who are in a similar situation to what I was, so they can run a club or team better."
Mayo is currently developing a similar app for other sports to use.
The cost of Proballer is Â£4.99 a month per club, which includes all teams. For more information, visit www.proballer.co.uk