Grassroots Coaching

UEFA “B” – Defending Wide Areas

I have recently attended a UEFA B football coaching course and was asked to coach a Phase of play ‘defending wide areas’, for my internal assessment.  This phase of play involved coaching the full backs in a 1v1 with the attacking wide player.  While coaching the full back I was a little bit confused on which way the full back should show the wide player.  Should he show him inside towards his covering defenders but towards goal or should he show him down the line were this isn’t space but there is a danger of him getting a cross into the area?   Also during my feedback, my assessor discussed with me that a full back needs to delay the attacking player but also be big to stop him from crossing the ball, this is a valid point, but if the defender is trying to be big how can he delay and possibly ‘jockey’ the attacking player, either down the line or inside?  When I’m coaching defending the main aim is to stay low, and be side on to try and win the ball with the front foot and be able to move into different directions quickly, by being big this quite impossible especially if the attacking player is quick, as they usually are!

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