EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Wingers fly in

When a team is defending wing attacks, the fullback will often get drawn out of position and away from the backline into a covering position, leaving a big hole in defence which the opposition could exploit. In this situation wingers need to drop back to reform a solid backline.

Set up

Use half your normal pitch. The goal is full size at the penalty area end and you need two two-yard goals made from cones either side of the halfway line. We’ve used 19 players. You need balls, bibs, cones and a goal.

How to do it

A team of 10 playing 4-4-2 attacks a team of nine in two rows of four plus a keeper. The team of 10 attacks the normal goal while the team of nine attacks the two wide goals. The number of players will naturally take the ball out to the wings where there is more space, and where the team of nine have to attack. This means whoever rules the wings will dominate.

Technique

The area covered by fullbacks is a key defending zones in youth matches. Here the fullbacks on both teams will have their hands full and their winger team-mates will have to drop into the backline to help them keep an organised defence.

Player movement in defence

    1. Play starts with a pass out from the back to build up an attack against the opposition defence.
    2. The centre of the pitch will be the most congested area with a strong, compact defence that will be difficult to break down

    3. With more space on the wings the fullback will come under pressure to cover runs and he gets pulled out of position
    4. Here the winger has dropped back and covered the space left by the fullback as he tracks his opponent

    5. With a compact defence plugged by the supporting winger, the attacker has nowhere to go and loses the ball to set up a counterattack
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