EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Retreat behind the ball (U9 game)

DEFENDING 1

Retreat behind the ball

GET BACK!

“Focus on getting your position” • “Nearest to ball presses” • “Cover the player and the goal”

Set up in front of goal. Put one cone 10 yards out opposite the goal and a cone either side, each 5 yards to the side of the first cone and 5 yards from goal.

Put an attacker on each of the wide cones, a recovering defender with a ball on the cone opposite the goal, and another defender about 3 yards in front of the goal.

The recovering defender passes the ball to one of the attackers then moves quickly to join the other defender.

This is all about getting into the right positions to defend when the attackers are bearing down on goal with an initial overload. Players need to know where to recover to.

You must get the defenders to take up the correct positions, with the first defender holding up play for the second defender to get into a covering position. In the bottom diagram the defenders get into a position that forces the attacker to shoot early and lose the ball through their tight pressing on him.

How many players do I need?

You need four outfield players and a goalkeeper.

Game play

Position of the defensive pair.
Good blocks or tackles.
Force play away.

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