Grassroots Coaching

How to coach effective counter attacks

Counter attacking is a very effective attacking tactic. Once the ball is won, the counter attack has to be quick  to advance down the pitch and attack the opposition, whilst the opposition team still have players going forward and who are then caught out of position and briefly the wrong side of the ball and out of the play.

As a tactic, the counter attacking team have to make quick decisions about the best way to counter attack. Sometimes it is simple as pass the ball long and early for runners in behind a disorganised and out of balance defence.

Other times it might be a long ball, a flick and a runner. Or, it might require running with the ball or quick forward passing and running off the ball.

In the video we look at the different ways a team can effectively counter attack and how Grassroots football coaches can implement the same tactics.

  1. Opposition attack and commit players forward. GK gains possession of the ball, this might be from a cross or a save. They quickly run to the edge of their area and kick or throw long and early, taking opposition players out of the game. Needs aggressive and quick runners to chase the ball down before the opposition can reorganise.
  2. Opposition are high and attacking. The ball is lost and an early ball over the top is played for runners in behind. Very effective if your team has quick forwards.
  3. Positive and aggressive running with the ball. The runner has pace, runs quickly, aggressively and with their head up, looking to break the defensive line of the opposition and team mates run forward to support for a cross or pass.
  4. Aggressive pressing in midfield area. The ball is won and counter attack with quick passing, forward runs or running with the ball.
  5. Pressing high up the pitch. Need to commit players, which can be risky, but potentially big rewards if the ball can be won. Closer to the opposition goal when the ball is won, less time for them to recover.
  6. Defend deep and be organised. Invite the opposition to attack and commit players forward. Look to win or intercept the ball. Break quickly, before the opposition can recover and get behind the ball with quick passing, running with the ball and runners off the ball.
Posted in
FA Level 2 Tactics UEFA B