1st defender  

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The first defender is the player closest to the ball.

His job is to close down the space near the ball, getting between the attacker and the goal, preventing the opponent from dribbling forward, and cutting off passing lanes where possible.

·         Close quickly. Get close to the attacker as soon as possible

·         BUT do not jump in or over-commit.

·         Main objective: contain until the midfield gets back to cover

·         Make a stand at the edge of the box: stop back-peddling and containing as you reach the penalty area. You have to try to make a tackle before the attacker gets into shooting range.

·         Take a good defensive stance

o        Half turned but still facing the attacker

o        Overplaying one side to make attacker go the other way (usually toward the sideline)

o        Knees deep bent, as low as you can go

o        On your toes, not flat footed

o        Taking small quick steps

·         Be aggressive – use fake tackles to pressure the attacker

·         Look for the opening to tackle when the attacker’s control fails

·         Make your tackles solid. Make it a personal goal to win every 50-50 challenge

·         Fast recovery when beaten – get back behind the ball immediately (become the second defender – see “Recovery”)

·         Slide tackling

o        Only slide if you know you will get the ball. On the ground = out of the play

o        Slide with the kicking leg extended, other leg bent away from contact

o        Never slide in with both feet

o        Never slide with the studs up

o        Fast recovery is key. Jump up immediately



Contact: rgaster@north-atlantic.com