After coaching academy age groups for the past six years, my coaching assignment for next season is a girls U14 D3 team. Tryouts for this age group have come and gone, with team meetings haven taken place and camp is coming up in a couple of weeks. I’ve seen most of these players train and play over the latter part of the spring season so I feel like I was adequately prepared for tryouts – the age group is pretty deep and my group competes with some of the top teams of other clubs.
I saw something several months ago that had me interested in creating a handout for these players at the very beginning of team camp where we’ll talk about objectives, expectations, and roles. It was on the Premier League Review Show and a former midfielder, I believe it was Freddie Ljundberg, spoke about the roles of the midfielders. I’m going to create the same for the Keeper, defenders, and striker.
We’ll initially set out to play a 4-3-3. A back four, one holding midfielder, two central midfielders, two attacking wide midfielders or wingers, and our main striker up top. The wide midfielders can also rotate with the top striker.
- Be an option at all times
- Be the originator of our distribution from the back
- Protect the keeper (make it as difficult as possible for the opposing team to score)
- Be a force in the attacking half (can we create numbers up situations?)
- Stay compact
- Be difficult to beat
- Be an option for the keeper
- Vision (find the runners)
- Feed the striker
- Don’t give away the ball
- Workrate (protect the team)
- Dictate the tempo
- Score goals
- Be selfless by making runs for the team
- Be a target (always be available)
- Defend from the front (put pressure on the opposition’s defence)
Once finalised, I’m going to put this into a PDF and hand it out to my players on the first night of team camp. I’d love to get some thoughts and comments on this. I’m fine if you want to use this with your own team, as long as I get credit.