playing philosophy (ages 6-18)
Players and teams will be encouraged to play football using a controlled, possession-based game with emphasis on playing though the thirds with intelligent support & movement.
Our players will try to win possession of the ball at the earliest opportunity and retain possession, to penetrate opposition at correct time, if counter attack possibilities are denied.
The style of play will encourage all players to contribute to the attacking phase with considered risk taking and variety.
Our players will be encouraged to win the ball back at the earliest opportunity in an aggressive, organised and controlled manner. All players in all positions will be involved in team and unit defending and understand the importance of getting into good defensive shape at earliest opportunity with recovery runs. If we have good shape and numbers the nearest player should press the ball to try to regain possession at appropriate time. However, if we are out of shape the nearest player should try to delay attack, deny forward passes or isolate attack.
If we cannot regain possession immediately, we should force opposition to play backwards or sideways, improving opportunities to intercept and defend in higher areas of the pitch.
Our players will understand the importance of defending in units with balance and compactness. When the opposition has controlled, settled, possession to be patient, waiting for the first opportunity to press the ball at appropriate time (e.g. careless pass into poor areas or heavy 1st touch).
When defending deeper, trying to stay out of box as priority and using edge of box as deepest defensive line if opposition attacks centrally. Only dropping into box if attack proceeds past edge of box high and wide. All players to have high standards of work ethic and enthusiasm to regain possession.
We play out when ever possible from the back, with GK expected to initiate a lot of our attacking play, becoming a sweeper and using feet whenever possible to distribute early. The GK is also to be used as a pivot and outlet for our defence, when pressed by opposition. All defensive players should be comfortable to receive ball off GK and to make good decisions with distribution, or driving into midfield if appropriate. Full backs to be encouraged to join in attacks to create overlaps and to give team width high up pitch, especially when other wide players have rolled into central areas.
Our players will be encouraged to play into midfield with all midfield players trying to create space for forward passes, or to receive the ball themselves.
Our midfield unit should retain possession, until opportunity to attack and penetrate the opposition appears through incisive forward passing, clever individual play, or combinations.
Our forward players should be available as target and platforms in build up play, but should always be looking to make penetrative runs in behind the opposition’s defence. One of our forwards (no 10) could drop off into hole and play in between lines.
Wide players should be looking to either play outside and producing crosses from high areas, or rolling inside to join in attack centrally at appropriate time.