2nd defender  

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The second defender must do two things at once:

         Mark the second most dangerous attacker (the one closest to the man with the ball) (medium-to-close marking)

         Protect against the first defender getting beat

So being a good second defender is all about positioning, just as being a good first defender means being able to stop an attacker one-on-one.



         Stay close enough to your own man that you get there very soon after the ball if a pass is made.

         Watch for the second attacker making a run into space behind you

         Get the angle right to support the first defender

         Ideally, be close enough to the first defender that an attacker beating the first defender runs immediately into you before he gets the ball back under control

         Be prepared to become 1st or 3rd defender if the attack switches focus


The Second Defender


A. Well positioned defender.

D2 is the 2nd defender. He has taken up a perfect 2nd defender position:

         Backing up D1, and can quickly close if A1 dribbles past D1

         Close enough to close down A2 quickly if A2 gets the ball

         Blocking the passing lane from A1 to A3


B.  Poorly positioned defender

2nd defender is playing almost level with D1. This brings him closer to A2. But A1 now has three new options. He can:

         Dribble around A1 to the outside, where there is now no cover [1]

         Make a through ball behind D2 [2]

         Pass the ball in to the target man up A2 front 

         The 2nd defender, while only a few yards away from being perfectly positioned, is now almost useless.

So as second defender, you need to make small adjustments to get the positioning right. This critically important. Typically, youth players do not adjust until after D1 has been beaten. That is too late.




Contact: rgaster@north-atlantic.com