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Soccer Equipment

Coach Outside Flank Players on their Attacking Responsibilities

Session to train the outside flank players on their responsibilities in the attacking phase.  Develop attacking patterns using the outside flank players. Modern formations give increasing importance to outside backs getting forward into the attack.  In a number of formations these players are responsible for providing width in the attacking phase.
  • Drill No:               AFD3
  • Age:                    15-Adult                             
  • No Players:        13
  • Difficulty:            Medium/Hard
  • Area/Time:         2/3 Field  (25mins)
Diagram 1

Mark out 1/2 of a full size pitch. Mark out a no play zone where the players do not play to allow play to be compacted to one side of the field.

  • 6 attackers (Yellow)
  • 5 defenders (Red)
  • 1 goalkeeper  (Green)

In the example above the yellow attacking team combines with each other using the flank player to create opportunities on goal. Switch the roles of attacking and defending after 10 minutes. The restart positions can be varied.  The coach works with the attacking team to identify the key points of attacking down the flanks and opportunities of the wide player to create space and contribute to the attack.  In the above example the starting position is the centre spot:

  1. The center midfielder  (A1) passes into A2 who looks for passing opportunities forward.
  2. A2 looks to play the ball into A4 (the wing player).
  3. Discuss the options available to player A4:

3A) A4 is positive and attempts to dribble past and take on D3 in a 1vs1 scenario.

3B) A4 cut inside and looks to draw defenders centrally or exploit space inside.

3C) A4 looks to combine with a checking forward (usually near side) to draw out the centre backs or for 1-2’s around D3. Or perform an inside 1-2 for a shot.

3D) Lay a cross field ball back to A3 to keep possession if pressured.

3E) Lay a drop pass back to A2 to maintain possession and make another run.

Refer to diagram 2 (below) for a graphical representation of the options further.

If the defenders win the ball back they look to pass/clear into A1.

    2 teams compete and attempt to score.  The attacking team scores by scoring on the goal.  The defending team scores by clearing the ball out to player A1.  The defending team has only 7 touches to play the ball to A1.  The touch restriction can be removed if necessary.

      1. For option A3 discuss 1vs1 feint moves to beat an opponent. How to run at a defender, assess the defenders feet positioning.
      2. Attacking as a full unit so that A3 is left isolated with D3 for a 1vs1. I.e. Do the forwards and Midfielders make runs to draw away defenders.
      3. Stress the quality of the final ball into the area (2nd 6 area).
      4. Discuss a possible early cross (near post or far post?).
      5. Possible overlapping run by A2 to deliver a late cross.
      6. Discuss a pass into the second striker running behind the checking striker.
      7. Is A3 able to create enough space by checking long onto the shoulder of D3 and then checking back to receive the ball open?
      8. Look for possible runs by A6 to the corner diagonally to cross.
      Diagram 2 - Options of the Wide Player
      1. Remove the ‘No Play Zone’ and add another winger on the left side, an additional outside back and another attacking midfielder.
        1. Perform on both side of the field (switch sides).
        2. Alter the starting position and have the wing player start with the ball at their feet.
        Encourage positive and energetic runs from the wide player to find space. Look for assessment of the options available to him/her. Ensure that supporting players are contributing to either supporting A3 or helping to create space (isolate D3). Structure the practice to allow A3 to get time to look up and assess the options (don’t allow D3 to creep too much at the beginning).
        Diagrams were generated using EasyGraphics.