The importance of free-kicks cannot be underestimated in youth football. As a statement you may dismiss it, you may disagree with it, or you may actually agree but think that practising free-kicks is pointless. However, it’s a statement worth thinking about. MORE
Gazza Italia 90 – try it yourself
Free kick • 20-25 yards out • either side of goal
Difficulty rating ☆☆☆☆☆
The success of the free kick relies on a very good accurate chip over the wall and good technique to shoot on the volley or half volley.
The coach’s view
This free kick was played to perfection by England’s Paul Gascoigne and David Platt in the Italia 90 World Cup. Gazza’s kick was taken from too far out for youth players to try and emulate, so this is our version of it.
It is all about the free-kick taker making it look like a long range shot. Technically it’s very difficult, but with a bit of luck and lots of practice this is a very effective free kick and one that will catch out the opposition time after time, even if they have seen your team play before.
It needs clinical execution and players to concentrate. If it goes wrong this should be an easy kick to cover because it will take the opposition time to get the ball under control and launch a counter attack. However, players must be aware of the danger and cover accordingly.
- 1. Player 1 lines up as though he is going to take a shot at goal but must arc a clever chip over the wall into the space behind it.
- 2. Player 2 positions himself in the wall. As the kick is taken, he spins out of the wall. He must watch the flight of the ball, let it drop over his shoulder and volley home.
- 3. This kick is very tricky and there’s a good chance that it will go wrong, so attackers must be ready to pounce on any rebounds from player 2’s shot, or a mis-hit chip from player 1.