INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Covering defender

When a defender is applying pressure to an attacker with the ball it’s important that they have back-up in the form of a second or ‘covering’ defender. That’s to ensure that if the attacker beats the first defender, any progress is stifled by the second one.

What this session is about

  • Providing cover for a team-mate who’s face-to-face with an opponent
  • Directing attackers away from goal
  • Making opponent’s play predictable

What to think about

  • The covering defender should be in a position to make an effective challenge if the first defender is beaten
  • Stand at a slight angle and goal-side of the first defender.
  • Communicate early and clearly – for example, advising the team-mate to “get closer” or “force them down the line”.

Set-up

  1. 4 players – 2 attackers versus 2 defenders – in each group.
  2. Each playing area measures approx 10×30 metres.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

  • Attacker 1, acting as a server, passes the ball to attacker 2
  • Attacker 2 attempts to dribble to the end line
  • Defender 1 challenges the attacker
  • DEfender 2 provides cover
One defender challenges, the other covers - get them to organise themselves!

One defender challenges, the other covers - get them to organise themselves!


Development

After playing the first pass, attacker 1 joins in the attack to make a 2v2 situation. The defenders will now have to constantly switch roles depending on who is nearest the ball, with the covering defender becoming the main defender and vice versa.

Now it's 2v2 so the defenders have to constantly adapt.

Now it's 2v2 so the defenders have to constantly adapt.


Game situation

Play a 4×4 match with goalkeepers in an area 30×20 metres. Encourage both sides to shoot at every opportunity as this will force players to close down their opponents and provide cover.

In the 4v4 the defending team have to make many decisions and communicate effectively

In the 4v4 the defending team have to make many decisions and communicate effectively


What to call out

  • “Show them wide”
  • “Talk to each other”
  • “Stay on your feet”
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