Monday, July 2, 2012

The Defensive Midfielder in the 4-3-3 (point back)

Sourced from Nike Academy at

If you are Coaching a Junior or Youth team you should be using the 1-4-3-3 system of play.

If you are coaching according to the FFA National Curriculum......

Younger teams play the midfiled triangle "Point Forward". Put simply, one player is at the point of the triangle is forward and behind the front three players, while the two other players are to the rear but in fromt of the back four players. Essentially, the emphasis is more on defence than attack.

However, at about 14/15 years the formation in the midfiled is changed to "Point Back". The midfield now plays a triangle that has the point in front of the back four, while the base of the triangle is now forward. With two players in the midfield triangle behind the front three, the empahsis is on attack.

Its really important that the young players get a chance to play this position and for them all to know the basic repsonsibilities of each position in the midield. Well all positions really. But give them a chance to play these midfield positions.

When you play point back, the single player at the base of the triangle has a lot of responsibility. He / she is now called a defencive midfielder.

The video below is very instructive on the subject of the Defencive midfielder.

Playing Out From the Back

Sourced from

If you coach junior or youth teams, you should be playing out from the back.

Not just letting your GK kick the ball as far as they can. Conducting an aerial bombardment on the other team is not football, not even close to it.. Long ball second ball is bollocks for young players. Teaches them nothing. They won't get better at the game, they get far less touches, it reduces the beautiful game to kick and chase. Not Football!

Play out from the back. Take the time to make it happen, explain how it works at training, let the young players sort it out, let the game be the teacher. Don't let them stop just because it gets a bit hard or parents whinge. Explain what you are doing to the parents. If they don;t like it, keep doing it and tell them you are the Coach and this is exactly what the FFA  requires you to do for young players. Try keeping the ball rather than hoofing it up the pitch. There will be mistakes, you will get stuck in your defensive third a bit, there will be the occassional disaster, at least until the young players work out how to play their way out of it. It will take time. Be patient but stay on track. So many more touches on the ball and so much more Football!

If you have your GK kicking long, lets face it, you are pursuing wins. You should not be caoching junior and youth football. You are undermining the FFA National Curriculum and Development plans. If you play out from the back, you are developing your young players, you are doing exactly the things the FFA requires of you and in time, these lucky young players will be the winners and so will Football in Australia.

Here is an excellent instructional video from the Nike Academy on how to play out from the  back. Well worth a look.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Majura FC Under 13 Girls - Borneo Bound!

In a stroke of Junior Football genius, Majura FC is sending an Under 13 Girls team to Borneo to play Football against the local teams.

Majura FC Under 13 Girls - the wild girls of Borneo!

A very small number of ACT junior football clubs have sent teams to campaign overseas. There is an enormous amount of work associated with getting things organised. Woden Valley SC has a fine record in both boys and girls overseas tours. Monaro FC has a wonderful relationship with the South Korean Singok Primary school. But it's Majura FC that is cutting new ground in Asia.

Why is this important? Really important!

Simple. Asia is our region, they play a lot of very good Football in our region and we qualify through this region to compete in all the Age and Open World Cups, men and Women. It makes a lot of sense to go to Asian countries to develop the young players. There is an established Boys Borneo Cup tournament and next year there is the inaugral Girls Borneo Cup. And the Majura FC girls are doing a first rate Football recon.

This is the way to develop our young female players. Europe is nice, South America too far away - but Asia (Bornoe) is spot on.

So its the young Majura FC Under 13 girls who will pave the way for the rest of Australia at Club level. All research to date indicates that this is the first girls junior team to tour Borneo. What a coup for Majura FC!

Now remember, this is a community based club girls age team, not an ACT representative team, but they are certain to represent our football community in good style.

The Coach, Heather Fitt has them playing good football, following the FFA's National Curriculum, 1-4-3-3, playing out from the back and playing possession based football. In so many ways they are a model for how it ought to be done with our young players at every competitive level at Clubs. Just as the FFA Technical Director would wish it to be.

As ever, its the selfless efforts of Club officials, Coaches and parents that make these Football adventures possible. Just fantastic. This one started two years ago. The girls will remember it all their lives. They are only this age once! And one other thing - it may be the experience that inspires one of them to go all the way in the beautiful game. You never know what lies ahead. But perhaps more importantly, it is likely to be the reason they simply continue to play for as long as life allows. That would be a priceless dividend for the Club and the game in Australia.

Good luck to them all I say and plenty more of it from every other junior Club.

The Majura FC press release, with all the details  is below.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kanga Cup 2012 - A Festival of Football

The Kanga Cup 2012 will start on Sunday, 8th July 2012, with an opening ceremony at the AIS.

Go to the Kanga Cup website for all the right information and match results:

The Football starts on Monday, 9th July at venues around Canberra, culminating in the finals on Friday.

The will be no shortage of good football, girls and boys, international teams and teams form every State and Territory in Australia. The finals are sensational. Just doesn't get any better than that!

In this program we talk to the Kanga Cup supremo, Capital Football Events Co-ordinator, Adam Castle. This will give you a good understanding of the scale and scope of this tournament and of course, just how big it could become on the world football scene, with the assistance of a substantial sponsor. The event as a whole brings and estimated $3 million "new" dollars into the local ecomony, but sadly, Football in the ACT sees very little of this expenditure. This must change!

Download Podcast here:

Kanga Cup 2012 - Vandals strike and destroy playing venues!

How would you like your local Football field to look like this?

The following two images show some of the damage.

Yes its hard to beleive, but just as Capital Football organisers reach the critical point  before the start of the biggest Football tournament in the Southern hemisphere - The Kanga Cup 2012 - vandals drove one or more vehilces on to three well prepared and maintained fileds (Belnorth home ground fileds near Hawker Enclosed) and absolutely wrecked the playing surfaces.

The fields are no longer suitable for use by the Kanga Cup organisers, and no longer fit to be used for the remainder of the ACT Football season. Belnorth must be sick with worry. Its a body blow to a good local Club. It will not doubt be expensive to restore these grounds to a condition fit for "possession based Football".

Will the ACT Government come to the rescue? You can't expect Capital Football to carry the can for this outrageous anti social and criminal behaviour toward its constituency.

Whoever these miscreants are, they are absolute bastards!

I hope the Police find them, charge them, succesfully prosecute them and they are sentenced to lengthy periods of community service. In fact, I hope the work these mongrels are required to do is assigned to Capital Football, who will no doubt have a lot of work for them to do around the Clubs.

And fine these vandals the cost of repair of the playing surfaces.

If they turn out to be Football players, haul them before the CF Discipline committee and ban them for life from Football. Matter of fact, whoever they are, cite them anyway and ban them from football for life. That way we can be certain they never have anything to do with Football.

You know the worst of this vandalism? There is likely to be a good chance these anti social muppets are minors in a stolen vehicle. Depressing really.

However, the Kanga Cup is a slick operation and plans are already in motion to rework the venues to cope with the 20  plus games a day that would have been played on these fields.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Boomerangs FS - Trials for NSW Premier League Competition Teams

Top three skills for young players

Sourced from

1. A good first touch
Having a good first touch is, perhaps, the most important skill any young football player can have. This is because the more confident a player is she can control a pass, the more likely she is to keep possession, and the more time they will have to get their head up and decide what to do with the ball.

How to recognise a player with a "good" first touch

The player gets her body into line with the approaching ball - not moving into line is a very common fault and will almost invariably result in too hard a first touch.

If a pass is under-hit, she moves quickly to meet the ball.

She chooses the correct part of her body with which to receive the ball - while 90% of all passes can be controlled with the inside of the foot, it's important that your players practise receiving with other parts of their feet as well as their thigh, chest and head.

The receiving surface is relaxed and withdrawn on contact to cushion the ball - I tell my players that the receiving surface should be like a sponge.

The first contact with the ball moves it out of her feet and away from pressure - this can only be achieved if the receiving player has scanned the pitch before the arrival of the ball. Help your players do this in your warm-up by giving them numbers and asking them to pass to each other in numerical order while moving around a small playing area.

All these elements can be practised with any game that involves passing the ball - the coach simply shifts the emphasis from the pass to how the players react to and control the ball.

2. Being able to shield the ball

While a good first touch will help a young player control the ball, she must also know how to keep the ball if she is prevented from passing, dribbling or shooting.

This is done by "shielding" the ball - keeping your body between the ball and your opponent.

It's easy to practise. Demonstrate the technique then put your players into pairs, standing opposite each other and about 10 yards apart.
One player passes a ball to their partner then follows the pass, putting pressure on the receiver who puts their body between the ball and the approaching player by simply stepping across the path of the ball.
Note: The receiver's front foot should rest on top of the ball so she can concentrate on keeping her body between the ball and her opponent without having to look at the ball.Make it competitive by playing a series of 1v1 competitions in which the player shielding the ball earns a point if she can hold off her team mate for five seconds.

3. Be able to dribble!

The biggest sin a youth football coach can commit is to discourage dribbling by insisting his players pass the ball.
All young players need to be given the freedom to express themselves and there is no better way to do that than be allowed to dribble and take on players to their hearts' content.

So let's not hear any more shouts of "pass the ball!" from the touchline. Please.