Technical Considerations for Defenders

Techniques Vital for Success as a Defender:

  1. Heading ability.
  2. Tackling.
  3. Intercepting balls followed by quick distribution.
  4. Clearing ability.
  5. Quick and accurate passing.
  6. Range of passing (short and lofted)
  7. Crossing from varying angles.
  8. Long range shooting.
  9. Dribbling to beat an opponent (advanced areas of field)
  10. Finishing.

Application of Techniques:

Central defenders – defensive:

  • Providing cover and balance.
  • Zonal, man-to-man or a combination of both.
  • Denying space, closing players down and controlled tackling.
  • Angles of recovery.
  • Ball winning.
  • Organizing the back line, midfield players through quality communication.
  • Maintaining appropriate spacing in relation to midfield and goalkeeper.

Central defenders – attacking:

  • Quick distribution, both short and long.
  • Set-pieces, use aerial advantage.
  • Provide depth in attack to advanced players.
  • Step into midfield to create a numbers-up situation.
  • Start counter-attack.

Full-backs – defending:

  • Providing cover and balance.
  • Deny penetration from wide areas.
  • Angle of recovery runs and tracking opponents.
  • Pinching-in when ball on opposite side.
  • Marking assignments.
  • Quality communication to other defenders and midfielders.

Full-backs – attacking:

  • Provide width in the attack.
  • Play as a wide player with or without the ball to unbalance opposition.
  • Provide an early outlet for Goalkeeper as well as other teammates.
  • Offer support from behind and in advance of the ball.
  • Maintain team shape (ball on near or far side).

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