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The complete soccer coaching experience

SOCCERCOACHING No. 21 June/July 2007


Alberto Parreira, South African National team coach Foeke Booy, FC Utrecht head coach Empoli FC: Building a reputation for youth football WWW.SOCCER COACHINGINTERNATIONAL.COM

Contents 4

CARLOS ALBERTO PARREIRA, SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL TEAM COACH: Brazilian coach for 2010 host team starts work

From the Editor




Building a reputation for youth football

to the 2007 June/July issue and the 2nd issue with the new look!









“Continually developing the concept”

“Liverpool, Heading and Goalkeeping”

“Work, work, work and only work brings all the parts together to create perfection”





I would like to start by thanking everyone for their positive reaction to SCI’s new look and some of its new features. This issue will once again feature inter views with top coaches from around the world, such as Dutch FC Utrecht’s Foeke Booy, Empoli FC’s youth academy, Serbian FC “Mladost” Apatin head coach Petar Kurcubic, Claudio Braga FC Sparta Rotterdam U13 coach and last but not least we have our new(er) re-occurring features the ‘Brazilian Corner’ and ‘Training Sessions from around the World’ the latter featuring 18 exercises divided into 3 zones: Liverpool, Heading and Goalkeeping. Our cover stor y this issue features South Africa’s newly appointed national team coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who talks about the preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, before the big Pro’s compete with South Africa to win the World title, their younger counterparts will be competing in the Netherlands for the European title, in UEFA’s U21 championship. We will be attending games and training session for you and will report them in an exclusive special issue (issue 22) featuring inter views with the coaches, training session and game reports. I wish you lots of reading and surfing pleasure! Yours in soccer, Maaike Denkers

Carlos Alberto Parreira,

Brazilian Brazilia host t


No. 21 June/July 2007

South African National team coach:

n coach for 2010 team starts work

South Africa’s new coach, the Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira, is working in flat out to ensure the 2010 host nation will become a feared opponent. With only three years to go, the clock is ticking. By: Guy Oldenkotte

It is up to Parreira to transform the national squad Bafana Bafana (‘The Boys’ in Zulu) into true cup fighters. Something he has to deliver following a promise made by South African’ president Thabo Mbeki; that the 2010 World Cup would be won by an African team. And according to the fans in the rainbow nation it will hopefully be South Africa. Parreira is the 13th South African coach in the 14 years since they were invited back into FIFA, having been expelled during the apartheid era. This perhaps shows how difficult the position of being the South African coach can be. His predecessors are a varied bunch, including Carlos Queiroz (now assistant to Sir Alex

Ferguson at Manchester United), “the professor’ Ted Dumitru and the much-travelled Briton Stuart Baxter. The amiable Brazilian is no stranger to international soccer. Parreira brings with him the most glittering CV, with the 1994 triumph of his native Brazil at the top of the list and his return to coach the Brazilian side at the World Cup in Germany, somewhere in the middle. He was par t of three Brazil teams that won the World Cup in 1970 when he was a fitness trainer and in 1994 and 2002 as the main coach. In between Pereira also lead the teams of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to the World Cup. It shows that Parreira has the pedigree to turn things around on the playing front for Bafana Bafana. But never before has he had such a tremendous challenge. The Brazilian coach who, took over the Bafana Bafana reins on the 5th of Februar y this year, has a lot to do. The squad plunged from top 20 status in FIFA’s rankings to number 73. But for him his job description is clear “my program here is to build a competitive team for 2010. That’s it.”

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All for one, one for all The way the South African team is going to play, is very simple Parreira says. “My philosophy is based on a simple principle; all for one and one for all. A team only succeeds when the individual excels but l want that done within the confines of the team. With this in mind I think a very competitive team can be built for 2010.” Coming from a nation which annually ‘exports’ 5000 players to football clubs all over the world, Parreira will have to work with a limited number of players, capable of performing on the international stage. “South Africans cannot develop or play in three years time the Brazilian style of football. So we will be working on ball possession, technical drills and goal scoring. South Africans have their own style and l will not impose the Brazilian samba style,” he says.

Building a team Building a team in, like Bafana Bafana is not a job that can be done quickly. “Our build up to 2010 is a step by step process in building a competitive team. With the talent we have here in Africa, we must encourage attacking football yet at the same time we must learn how to defend. I strongly believe this can be achievable with the support of the South African Football Association SAFA. My plan is that the host team has to at least qualify for the second round of the World Cup,” adds the Brazilian. But he warns the South Africans not to expect instant miracles. “This is a long process you don’t implement a process within a week.” Pereira is not forgetting about the imminent requirements, such as qualification for the 2008 Africans Cup of Nation’s tournament in Ghana. His first match, a friendly against the Swaziland


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squad ended in a 1-1 draw followed by an important qualification match versus Chad (coached by former German national coach Berti Vogts) which he won 2-3 victory. “We must qualify for that first,” he says with a soft voice.

Parreira’s effort is seriously hampered by the lack of cooperation from important South African players, playing in European competitions. Several of them have openly doubted the cooperation the Brazilian can expect from the South African Football Association. Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy has already made clear he will not return to the national squad in the foreseeable future. “I know Carlos Alberto Parreira is a quality coach, but I want to wait and see if SAFA let him do this job,” he said. “I’ve seen this type of thing before where a new coach steps in and everything is great for the first couple of months,” he continues. The pressure of staying at the top in the English Premiership is enough to keep McCarthy away from the national squad and his experience with the national FA in the past does not contribute to an immediate reunion either. McCarthy’s concerns had hardly hit the headlines when it was already turned into reality. Leading South African players, who participated in the Chad trip, voiced their dismay about outstanding payments that still had to be settled one month after the trip. “Issues like this will make it even more difficult to get promising South African talents from overseas playing for our national team,” Parreira remarks.

The youth is the future Rebellious players is the last thing Parreira wants to have for the next few years, but he also believes that his team has to be assembled from the youth. Parreira is however understood to have been disappointed by the standards and organization of junior football in the country, but is ready to be pragmatic in his search for players to thrill an expectant nation in 2010. He is planning to implement an under 21s League in South Africa that will help the country to have a continuous production of quality players. “The main team for 2010 will be a mixture of both youth and experienced players that will give balance and depth to the national team.” Pereira says he does not see himself teaching a

player to score goals in four days time because these are thing that should be taught at grass roots level in soccer development. The SAFA has accepted Pereira’s proposal that international players be checked on every week for evaluation on call up’s for the national side as he says. “It does not help to call players who are not actively playing for their clubs.” South Africa has little talent spread around the leading leagues of Europe. Of the South Africans in the Premiership, Benni McCarthy and Aaron Mokoena at Blackburn Rovers and Quinton Fortune of Bolton Wanderers, only McCarthy is a regular starter. No South Africans play in Serie A, Spain’s Primera Liga or the French first division, and the former Ajax midfielder Steven Pienaar is having a mixed first season with Borussia Dortmund.

Not about the money The coach is very well aware of his humble role. “History remembers winners not good football. I have no problem imposing my ideas. I am not a humble person I am just a simple person,” Parreira says. The reward that comes with the job has nothing to do with that. His salary package provoked widespread outrage in a country with more than 25% unemployment and per capita GDP of 10 thousand US Dollars. It made him earn the nickname of ‘Thatha mamillions’ Parreira (many millions Parreira) in the tradition of South African football. Parreira will be costing Safa about $250,000 a month to transform Bafana into a competitive side, able to hold their own, in time for their big date on football’s greatest stage. “I have been in this business for 38 years and my feet are firmly on the ground. I chose to coach South Africa not because of the money but in history of being the coach who worked in the first African soccer World Cup.” To ensure Parreira will achieve his final goal, a good performance during the final event, the Brazilian will have the support of three assistants. Coach Jairo Cear Leal will be fulltime, Pitso Musimane and Khabo Zondo will be part time.

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Empoli FC: Tuscany is known to most people as a holiday destination not a hotbed of football, but with Empoli FC now in Serie A the region has four top-flight clubs – more than any other Italian region. The club was promoted in 2002, relegated in 2004 and bounced straight back up the following season. SoccerCoachingInternational visited the youth academy of Empoli FC to talk to youth coach Giovanni Vitale and recruitment and technical director Andrea Innocenti. By: Frank Dunne

Building a reputation for youth football Empoli was founded in 1920 and for most of its history the club operated in the lower leagues. The current president, Fabrizio Corsi, took over the club in 1991 and began investing to take Empoli up the ladder.

set-up. It’s the only way,” says Andrea Innocenti, who is responsible for player recruitment and technical development. “We have invested heavily for many years in the youth sector and the results have been good, particularly in the last five or six years.”

The investment has paid off both in the first team (which is currently fifth in Serie A) and in the youth set-up, on which Empoli spends around €2.2 million a season – more than most clubs of a similar size. The youth set-up has produced many players who made their name with other clubs in Serie A, like Vincenzo Montella (Roma), Marco Marchionni (Parma and Juventus) and Mark Bresciano (Palermo). Empoli’s U20s won the prestigious Coppa Carnevale in Viareggio in 2000 and came third in 2007.

The financing of the youth set-up is guaranteed by the president and is not conditional upon whether the team plays in Serie A or Serie B. “I have been here six years – three in A and three in B – and I have noticed no difference in the way we work, no reduction in the budget. So we have the stability to work the long term. Our fantastic sports complex was bought in the same week that we were relegated.”

“Empoli is a city of 40,000 inhabitants, so a club like ours cannot afford to buy big stars. We have to develop a good youth


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Of Empoli’s first team squad in the 2006-07 season, 11 players are ‘home-grown’. “The ultimate objective of our work is to produce players for the first team. Of the 22 players in the U20

squad in the Coppa Carnevale this year, 19 have been with us since the U15s, at least. Inter Milan, by way of comparison, had only four who had been there since the U15s. We are about continuity, about grooming our own players, and not about trying to bring in boys from all over the place just to get a result.”

Soccer School launched Empoli’s youth set-up has 10 teams, three of which play in national professional leagues, three in professional regional leagues, and the other four in local leagues. Two years ago, Empoli launched its own Soccer School, which currently includes boys born in 2000, 1999, 1998, and 1997 – six-year-olds to 10year-olds. The Soccer School is open to all children but when they reach 10 there is a selection procedure to see who will make it into the youth sector proper. In addition to the dedicated Soccer School coaches, many of the youth coaches from the older groups double up as coaches in the Soccer School, giving the school 12-13 coaches. This means that every group of players has four coaches working in each session, including two physical fitness coaches who work on co-ordination and motor skills and one former professional player who works purely on technique. “The youth set-up is long-term project and we look for continuity. Until a certain age, the kids work almost exclusively on technique. Basic skills such as dribbling, and the use of the ball, from juggling to running with the ball, are the core. The key thing is touch, sensitivity to the ball. Once they get bigger there is also work on tactics and strength. I would say that 14 years old is the crossroads because they are going into the first national championship.” At the moment, only a small number of kids make it from the soccer school to the club teams after selection and the club is hoping to increase the number in the future. “The important thing is that we make it clear to the parents at the outset what the route is for their kids,” Innocenti says, “we offer three years of soccer school after which there is a selection. It’s tough to say to a kid of nine or 10 that he can’t enrol following year, but it has to be done. Once selected, they are guaranteed three years of coaching at Empoli. When we make the selection, technique is the decisive factor, but physique is important to a certain extent and so is having some sense of position.” The club has 25 scouts in Tuscany, 25 in the rest of the country and four working abroad. With four Serie A clubs recruiting in the same region, there is competition to snap up the most talented boys but Innocenti says that Fiorentina is the only Tuscan club which poses a real threat to Empoli. “Siena and Livorno [the other two Tuscan clubs] don’t select boys this young and they don’t have a youth set-up to compare with ours. Empoli offers a real chance to get into the first team and a first class coaching set-up. We are not worried about losing kids to the big clubs. The percentage that we lose like this is very small. We have established a reputation for youth football here.”

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Mental toughness Until the U15s, the coaching work is largely technical but afterwards results become important. “The approach of the club is that the result is never more important than the development of the person. You can get players with ability who are idiots and we don’t want that kind of player here; we prefer to have good players who also know how to behave. The rules are applied, even if that costs us a talented player.” Innocenti says that the mental aspect is fundamental in determining whether a player will make it or not. “Mental toughness, desire. These aspects are key and we work a lot on them. Can they be coached? Yes, but you have to start early. You have to lay down the rules. Here, kids of six already are given the rules, albeit in a ‘soft’ way, but they know exactly what they can and cannot do. That’s formative. From day one, the coaches talk only to the kids about the coaching, never to the parents. Next year we will expand the rules to cover things like personal hygiene and diet, so that they start to become more professional in their approach.” “You have to find a balance between developing the player as an all-round player and producing a player for a specific role. By 12 a player should start to know how to perform a role, to play in a certain position, without ruling out the possibility that he could still change and develop into another role. By 14 or 15 you have to be good at your role, you should be close to being a player who knows how to do his job. With little kids, you also need to start working towards developing players in various roles because at that age everybody wants to be an attacker.”

Coaching the U17s Giovanni Vitale has been at Empoli for eight years and currently coaches the national U17 team, which, at the time of writing, was top of its league and heading for the play-offs to decide the national champion.


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His big challenge this season, he says, was creating a cohesive team. “There were problems in the construction of a team because the players that arrived came from three different groups. There were those born in 1991, who had been playing in a national U15 tournament. Those born in 1990, who had played in a regional U17 tournament, which is a useful formation but not as difficult technically as the national league, and then there were eight players who had already done one year in the U17 national league.” “To build the team, we had to identify a system of play that made best use of all the players. I was looking for growth from a tactical point of view – a bit more depth than last year – and also to improve technique in match situations. They all knew how to perform the skill in isolation but it was difficult for them to put into practice in a match.” “We have noticed, for example, that there has been a ver y significant improvement in the use of the weaker foot, in all players. There has also been an important growth in individual tactics. For example, the defenders have improved a lot on areas like positioning, tackling, intercepting, anticipation; this individual improvement has also improved the team unit.” “The team is good in build-up play and scores a lot of goals – an average of three per game this season – and at the moment we are first in the league, even though I would have to admit that the technical quality of the league this year is not exceptional.” “Having a top-quality sports centre with artificial pitches has been a big help because we can plan the coaching and see it through, without being influenced by the weather conditions. Working on a perfect surface all the time also means that the players’ touch improves. Until a couple of years ago, we might plan to work on something like running with the ball and have tried to do it on a pitch that was in poor condition, which meant that you would end up having to change the work. Everything you do here improves technical skills.”

“The warm-up is always based on technical work, regardless of what comes next. We do a lot of ball possession, in intense games, with cardio-frequency stats to check their heart rate, as this is the aerobic work which replaces running. For example, we do a lot of 5v5s with support players stationed around the pitch. There are lots of themed matches, with a tactical objective according to our monthly cycle. We don’t get into tactical work on the basis of analysing how our opponents play.” “This year, the match at the end of the session is nearly always played two-touch. This group has lots of very skilful players with a good touch and left to their own devices they would hang onto the ball too much. After a couple of months we realised that they weren’t improving when playing with unlimited touches, so we imposed two-touch except for the last 7-8 minutes, when the fun aspect takes over.” In all Vitale’s sessions there is work on match situations and individual duels: 1v1, 2v1, 2v2, 3v2, always with progressions built in. “This is the essence of football: 11v11 is basically a series of 1v1s in various parts of the pitch.”

Session On a cold March day, Vitale takes a session with 20 players in an artificial turf pitch of about 50m x 25m. There are three phases: warm-up, situational play and match play.

Phase 1 Phase one lasts 15 minutes. It is based on psycho-kinaesthetic activities mixed with basic technique work. The players split into three groups, attackers, defenders, midfielders, with different coloured bibs. Each group has two balls and the players begin


Giovanni Vitale

Vitale does very little long-distance and middle-distance running for stamina – nearly all the running is done with a ball in some kind of football context – but does believe in work on strength in the gym.

Qualifications: Italian Football Federation Professional Coach Category 2 Experience: A former amateur player, Vitale has spent eight years with Empoli, working all levels from U15s to U20s.

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by moving around, using the whole space, and trying to avoid concentrating in the same area. Then there is a progression with a sequence of ways to pass and control the ball, within the colour-coded groups. These include: one player takes a throw-in and another catches the ball with his hand; one player throws the ball with one arm and the other catches it; one player throws the ball, the other and controls it with his feet and moves away; the ball is passed with a volley on the inside of foot to a player who controls it and moves away; a volley with the instep, control and move; a half-volley and control. Then the ball is played along the ground and the sequence continues. Two-touch pass and control; one player passes, the other controls it before moving back and wide. Then two players of the same colour create a one-two passing triangle around player of a different colour. Then there is a sequence of long balls, over a distance of 25-30m, between players of same colour. “The psycho-kinaesthetic element is the reaction to the colours,” Vitale says. “This activity is improving their technical skills but always with an awareness of space and the movement of the others. The players of the same colour should never occupy the same space. There are many variations you can do with the colours, like establishing an order in which the ball must be passed, and the direction of movement required after the pass. There is a didactic progression, with the activity getting harder each time. There is also a tactical dimension – the correct use of space (individual tactics) which is then applied in a match. The forward, for example, who must look to lose his marker by moving horizontally, the wide player who gives the ball


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and then goes on an overlapping run.” “Sometimes, as a warm-up, I get all the players in the centre of the pitch and assign each corner of the pitch a different colour. When I call the colour they have to run there and the last one there pays a penalty. Sometimes when they are running towards one corner, I call another colour and they have to change direction. Then they do all this with the ball. So they have to combine speed of reaction with technical skill. Every warm-up must have a playful aspect. It has to get the blood moving without being too intense but it must also improve them.”

Phase 2 Phase two lasts 25 minutes and is carried out with half the group, while the other half works out in the gym with fitness instructor. It is a situational exercise: 3v2 with a keeper, progressing to 2v2 with a keeper. The offside rule applies throughout The 3 v 2 starts with a long ball from a player stationed behind the goal. The central forward knocks the ball down to one of the wide players then overlaps. Then there is a series of passes and overlaps with one player attacking the central area and the other two moving wide. The attackers in groups of 3, defenders in pairs, rotate, so that one is active and the other is resting. Vitale calls for pace and rhythm and is always looking at the quality of the pass from the forwards, but this is an exercise for attack and defence. “Although it may have looked like I was focusing a lot on the attackers, I was also working closely with the defenders. We have eight defenders here who still have a bit to learn tactically. I was looking closely at the posture of the defenders, how they turned, making sure that they weren’t covering the same ground, knowing when to attack the ball, knowing when to close up the space. We have two central defenders who are very tall, and if they are unprotected they can have problems with fast skilful players running at them.” From the 3v2, one attacker is removed. “The 2v2 is a progression and helps to verify if the attackers have learned the lesson of the 3v2, which is to always take on the defender in a 1v1 and use the overlapping player only when necessary.” The group which has been in the gym now comes in and Vitale repeats the activity with them.

Phase 3 Phase three is a match-play phase lasting around 30 minutes. It is a 10v10 match, which is played two-touch except for last 78 minutes. The offside rule applies. “The final match is very intense, and given the number of players in such a small pitch there is very little time or space on the ball, which helps to significantly improve the skill level and touch on the ball. There’s constant pressure, speed and skill.” “I always like to play the match with 20 players, two complete teams. Everything is geared to the formation of the team, which is 4-2-3-1. So we train with four defensive players against six attacking players.”

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Warm up Organisation: The players are divided into three groups according to their usual team role, defenders, midfielders and attackers. Each group has a different coloured bib. The players have to move around the pitch, finding space. There then follows a sequence of passes, in which one player in the group passes to another, beginning with passing and controlling by hand to passing and controlling with different surfaces of the foot. The technical demands of the pass and control increase as the session goes along.

Coaching: Occupy all the space on the pitch, without bunching in colour groups. Awareness of how to move into space in relation to both own team mates and non-team mates. Accuracy of passing. Speed of thought, rapidity of the execution of the passing and controlling skills.

3v2 Organisation: The group of 20 players is split into two groups. One group goes to the gym, the other stays on the pitch. Three attackers take on two defenders plus a keeper using the full length of the pitch. The players who have remained outside but who are not involved in that moment are stationed behind the goal. One of these players begins the move with a long, high ball played down the field towards the central of the three forwards. He has to control it and lay it off quickly to one of the wide players. The player receiving the ball immediately attacks one of the two defenders and tries to get past him to get a shot on goal. The offside rule applies. The two wide players try to offer different support options to the player with the ball.

Coaching: Attackers: Good first touch; speed of passing and movement off the ball; crisp accurate passing; keeping onside in the overlapping runs; attacking the defender at pace, only using the overlapping player if necessary; powerful, accurate shot on goal.

Defenders: Good body posture for starting position to allow the greatest flexibility of movement and quickest reaction times; closing down the space quickly; not both attacking the same player or space; awareness of the movement of wide players; good strong challenge or interception if possible, otherwise hold up the forward without committing to the tackle.


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Foeke Booy, FC Utrecht head coach

“Continually developing the concept”

Foeke Booy is one of Holland’s longest serving coaches at one club. The former FC Groningen, Club Brugge and FC Utrecht player began to focus on coaching at the age of 34. After coaching the U17s, the second team and serving as assistant to the first team, he took over as Utrecht’s head coach in 2003. One year later he also became the club’s technical director. With two Amstel Cups and one Johan Cruyff-cup, Booy is the most successful coach in the club’s history. Regardless of this he is always trying to take steps forward. Booy is the kind of man who brings structure and long term planning into developing a team. Although thinking long term is the main goal he does not forget short-term performance, which is extremely important in football. This requires a careful balancing act. By: Hans Slender and Paul van Veen


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Generally speaking a coach strives for perfection, which will most likely never be completely realized. Foeke Booy always has a picture in his head of the perfect game. The ideal he wants to strive for. “The perfect game for me consists of dominant play, a lot of possession, creativity, creating chances, scoring and not giving anything away. You almost never play a perfect game. Whenever I look at a game I always have a picture in my mind. I always look at how my team could play against the opponents. Where should we defend against them? Which players should I position where? I also have this when we are playing our own game. I immediately think about what we can do. Whenever a game is going a certain way, I am, when necessary, still thinking about where and how we can change things. I am frequently discussing how we can win with the technical staff. A lot of images go through my mind and I mirror the game to these images. I have to, however, be careful not to start acting impulsively. The concept is in my mind and I try to select the right team in order to implement my concept. My technical staff compliments or corrects me.”

“Investing in yourself will eventually pay off” Paradox “Pursuing long-term aims is not simple. FC Utrecht came through a difficult time, whereby there were cuts in all areas, including the organization and squad. In this case you are somewhat forced to focus on the long-term. This must be done with people who have a certain feeling within the club and who are prepared to think about the long-term. However, within that longterm framework, short-term performance is of course very im-

portant, with which Booy refers to a well-known paradox. Of course long-term thinking should lead to results. This is not easy as the everyday routine will dominate. You must be able to look past that and the organization as a whole must be able to think and act in accordance. If results take longer to accomplish, calm must be guaranteed throughout organization. The double-function which I have (coach and technical director - ed.) results in short lines. The role of technical manager at our club is thereby very important. Because of this we can keep the football vision and the club vision within each other's reach. This must also be translated to the technical staff and eventually the players. The calmness within the organization also works positively on the squad. The basis of making progress exists; however, it is an interesting tension between the club and the football vision.”

Objective "We pursue results from an objective. You must always try to place the bar as high as possible. An objective must be realistic, where club vision and football vision come together again. You must start with the objective before the start of the season. We are now trying to strive for the current objective, but we are also preparing for next season. The budget of course has an effect on how high you can finish in the rankings. But you can finish higher than your budget suggests. The season afterwards is frequently disappointing. You must therefore make steps within the entire organisation. No progression is reversal, not only in the development of a player, but also as an organisation and as a youth academy. We try to progress in all areas. You must know your goals and limitations. You must formulate this and communicate it to the outside world. People must know what FC Utrecht is and what is possible and impossible. There is a big difference between wanting and being able to realize something, realism is a must.”

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Quality “An objective is more than just a standing in the rankings. The way of playing is also of great importance. The way of playing must fit with FC Utrecht and must be the basis of selecting a squad. During the season we look at where the strengths and weaknesses lie. Subsequently we look for reinforcements, creating more security in certain positions and thereby increasing the demands on the players. Quality is essential, and dependant on injuries, because a club with a smaller budget cannot permit a very broad selection. We do not have twenty equal players in our squad, but when you have about fifteen or sixteen of them you can get into the top group in the Dutch League.

“What are players doing to improve themselves?”

Start of the season “At the beginning of the season you look at what type of players you have in your squad. I know I cannot win the title with them and a spot in the UEFA-cup will also be hard to accomplish. But you will try to play to the best of your ability and try to make it hard for the opponent to beat you. First of all the battling qualities have to be good in my team. Everybody has to participate in this. Whenever this is good, you will automatically start playing your way. Whenever the battling qualities are poor, you will not attain enough possession. You will constantly be chasing the ball. All players will have tasks and functions to execute this as well as possible. Afterwards you start building the team in certain positions. You have to know each others strengths and weaknesses and support and compensate one another in these areas. You start creating couples in your system of play and you show this to the group. What are the possibilities? What is not possible? All of this should be within a certain system of play. At FC Utrecht there is a positive way of playing; more deep than wide. It is quite offensive and may be executed with risk and with a healthy dose hard work. In addition to this you want to see good football.”

System “This vision is the FC Utrecht philosophy. Within this you look for a certain framework that you can build your team around, but within which you have to be flexible. At FC Utrecht our basis is the 4-4-2, but we try to organise the team in such a way that we can easily switch to a 4-3-3. I am not a fan of changing this every week, I like steadiness. The 4-4-2 is clear for the players. But when the game is locked, for whatever reason, you must have the opportunity to change something tactically. By substituting a striker for a winger and by switching to 4-3-3 during a game, the opponent may be caught off guard and the game may be turned around. You must however have the players to do this. We have a concept that we work on that is clear for everybody. We can change some things when the game demands this, but within the qualities of our team.”

Flexibility “The variations can be trained. Usually we train with two strikers and how they work together, but we sometimes include a winger


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to train the variation. This will be trained in possession games, small sided games, but also in exercises to perfect the running patterns. There are also variations within the 4-4-2. We can play it with a diamond in midfield, but also a flat four (see diagrams 1-3). We can do a lot with the group of players we have, but we also have to stick to a main organization. We think about a 4-42, but the players are willing and able to switch when necessary. Personally I enjoy a team which is adaptable, so you automatically integrate this into your training sessions. On top of that you are sometimes forced to be adaptable, for example when playing a really good opponent. In this case you have to be flexible and not stuck on one singular concept.”

“Players must look for the solution within themselves” Diagram 1 - Basic 4-4-2

Training “Of course you look at each game, what went well and what did not. But you have to continue to believe in yourself. Of course certain things go wrong in a game and you will want to spend time on this the next week during training. But you also need to continue to develop the concept, constantly repeating certain aspects. You have to bring your players into situations where they can improve themselves technically. We, as the technical staff, plan block training sessions on this, but I also look at what players are doing to improve themselves. We use the block training sessions to improve the players, to point things out and to further develop the playing style. Besides this we have one individual training session per week. Outside of the regular training sessions there is enough time for the players to train themselves. What does a player do to improve himself? When a player immediately leaves the training field after a session that is not really enough. We looked at Arsenal and Manchester United and saw how the game is experienced at the absolute top. You see the top players staying after training sessions to continue to train on their own. This can consist of shooting, moves, a goalkeeper training his goal kick or a defender trying to improve his timing when heading the ball. They are doing something extra before and after the training session. Investing in yourself will eventually pay off.”

Diagram 2 - 4-4-2 with diamond in midfield

Willingness “You try to guide a player’s willingness to learn and try to give them guidelines and sometimes even force them. This is also a process which gradually develops. We see more and more players training after the main training sessions, which gives me a good feeling. I want to work with players who want something. Players also have to look out for each other on this, training together on their strengths and weaknesses. When the central defender wants to train the timing of defensive heading, the goalkeeper has to be willing to participate in this. In turn the goalkeeper will be improving his own shooting technique, but he must also be satisfied with simply helping a team mate, because you will need each other in the game.” Diagram 3 - 4-3-3

No. 21 June/July 2007


“Within those tasks the players will have enough freedom to be creative” Individual training “The individual training sessions are divided into both a general part and a specific part. The warm up can for example consist of the general part and we then follow-up with specific technique training. For the creative players this may mean we train on moving the ball or mastering a move. Beating/passing moves for the attackers, functional receiving for the midfielders or strikers, for example receiving the ball in offense and learning to take risks. For the defenders we work on the through pass. Take Rick Kruys for example, he often had problems because he received the pass too defensively. He had to train turning open and thereby being able to find the solutions forward. He worked on this individually and you notice his work in possession and game play, although there is still room for improvement. Players must not show initiative, and look for the solution themselves. In the individual training sessions they learn how to improve themselves and they have to continue these themselves around the training sessions.”

Convincing “You try to convince players by talking to them, but also by showing them things. By means of video we try to show players their strengths and weaknesses. Players do not always re-call things from the game. Because of this a coach’s view on certain aspects may vary from how the player views and experience things. By using video it is easier to convince players, making it easier to communicate with them. You must be positive about this though. Players must be allowed to make mistakes, within their framework of tasks. I give players the freedom to be creative in their play. This counts for all players, not just the creative ones. All players must know of one another who is more creative and who is more supportive. They must tune their


No. 21 June/July 2007

Rick Kruys worked on opening his body

game to this. But everyone has the opportunity to choose how to play within their own game. As a coach I give them this space, but I do check to see what they are doing with this freedom. When a player is going to hide, I will point this out to him. A player may not always notice this. Are you free to receive a pass? Do you take the initiative?

Players need to have the feeling they are allowed to make a move, but they must know where and when. I want players to at least perform well in the basics. For a defender the basics is defending. He must ensure he is the boss over his direct opponent. But a defender can also be very valuable when we are in possession. Per line and per position we have basic agreements, but when the additional value can be applied they have freedom to do so. When a player performs the basics well, he can generally speaking not fail to play well.”

Individual talks “I start the preparation on day 1 by all agreement with the objective. By doing this everyone will know the goal. The team will form itself within the preparation. You slowly work towards a basis. In the preparation I will have a chat with every player to let them know which direction I want them to take. A good time to evaluate this presents itself during the winter break. You can give players individual points of attention/improvement and look at what their role in the team can be. You must however not forget that you are constantly evaluating your players, during postgame talks and during training sessions. And every player is evaluated in the media every week. There are plenty of evaluation moments. At this level players are constantly receiving feedback. Everybody has an opinion about the players nowadays. This is often good, but sometimes oversimplified and the player can be hurt by this. As a coach you must also do something with the mental aspects.”

Planning “Of course every player has a year plan. This is a must, especially conditioning. Besides that you also have the football aspects that need to be planned. I think repetition is important in this. At FC Utrecht this means a lot of possession games and small sided games. But you also train by line and look at this on an individual basis. We train all of this against various systems of play. How do you defend against 2 strikers? Against 3 strikers?

Against 1 striker? What are the backs doing compared to the wingers? These kind of things can be trained. On the one hand you are building your team within your own system of play. For every player there are tasks and responsibilities within your system of play and these are determined by our playing style. What do we do in attack and in defense? What I expect from an individual in a position is predetermined. But on the other hand you are also dealing with an opponent. We try to link the opponents’ different systems of play and the qualities of their specific players to our training sessions as well. By repeating these things you prevent your players from being faced with surprises in a game. But it is still football, players need to be able to adapt to situations which arise throughout the game.”

Preparation “This season we started with the build-up from the back. For two weeks we solely focussed on this aspect. The build-up against three strikers, with three defenders against 2 strikers, with fours defenders against two strikers, movements in midfield. Starting with the goalkeeper organise the build-up. We then took the step from the buildup to the offensive strategies. From midfield to the two strikers. We spent two weeks on this aspect. After those two weeks we started to focus on defense. How do we defend, on which part of the field, where will the strikers start exe-

No. 21 June/July 2007


cuting pressure, how do we organize from the back and who is responsible for guarding this? You can also start with defense, but I believed it to be important that we have a solid build-up. Because we attracted a couple of new players I wanted to look at ourselves first and that is why we give a central role to the football aspect during the first month. During the season you continue to work on this. The last thing we added was set plays, both offensively as well as defensively.”

“Players must be allowed to make mistakes”

Block training “I make blocks within which we offer various different strategies. We have a block of defensive, offensive and build-up strategies. I will then decide which topics can be tackled within those strategies. For example within the build-up strategy I deal with the topic ‘the fastest way to the goal’. I like organized football, but I also believe a team should recognize when this is not possible. When the opponent is completely covering through and is pressuring us, you will have to go deep faster. So we not only work on an organized build-up, whereby we want to go deep at the right moment by means of circulation football, but sometimes it is better to go deep quicker. A strategy must also be coupled to a transition. What will we do when we win the ball? Will we go deep right away, or will we build-up from the back? How do we decide the tempo of the game? When do we have to unsettle the opponents tempo? The setup on midfield, with three or four midfielders, is another one of these topics.”

Transition “In football the transitional moments are often most important. Whenever a team is organized football is not very difficult. But a team will one way or another lose the ball at some point. Whenever this happens your positioning is crucial. These moments are often more important and decisive than the moment when you are in possession”, said Booy. Especially during those transition moments execution of tasks is of extreme importance. “Whenever players will all start playing their own game and make their own decision, things can get messy. This is why I believe the basic tasks that players get are important. Within those tasks the players will have enough freedom to be creative. Player must take their responsibility and I expect them to do so. Players have to play up to their qualities and we try to work on this as much as possible throughout the year.”

Red line “A team should never think they have it. Something can happen throughout the season, for example when key players get injured. You will then need the concept and the system of play to


No. 21 June/July 2007

fall back on. Whenever there are changes you will miss a rhythm. You will start to repeat again with the substitutes. Clarifying the agreements, talking individually to the players, forming new couples on the field making sure the players get used to playing together again and especially defensively there must be a solid organization. During the season you continue to work on the system of play and the team, but sometimes you are thrown back a few steps because of injuries or suspensions. Whenever you don’t pay attention to a certain subject for a while, you will lose the sharpness. The players want to perform well, but chose safe play and that will eliminate risks in their play. They will go from taking the initiative to waiting to see what happens. This is an important task for the coach, even when things are not looking up you have to continue to believe in each other and continue to guard that red line.�

Passing and shooting in a diamond (1) Organization - 1 player at every position, except the starting position - The ball is played, turn while receiving the ball and pass to the next player. - Everybody rotates 1 position - Execute clockwise and counter clockwise

Coaching - Make pre-move at the right moment - Tight passing - Stand half turned, receive the ball in an attacking manner

Passing and shooting in a diamond (2) Organization - 1 player at every position, except the starting position - The ball is played, wall pass, receive and pass to the next player. - Everybody rotates 1 position - Execute clockwise and counter clockwise

Coaching - Make pre-move at the right moment - Tight passing - Wall pass with inside foot - Join in at the right moment

No. 21 June/July 2007


Brazilian Corner The value of “Keep-away game” The evolution in Brazilian soccer has not changed some of the training methods. Even though there are a lot of innovations, one of the most practiced exercises is the keep-away game. It is used mainly for warm-up and integration. It consists on a circle of a few players with one or two in the middle trying to get the ball. There are, however, several variations of this game. For instance, you can allow only one touch per player, unlimited number of touches, only high balls, or limited space. “If it is seem as a serious activity, this exercise may help develop technically and tactically your players. It is also a great thing to improve marking and playing in small spaces” said Sergio Rocha, one of São Paulo FC fitness coaches.

Changing balls At Cruzeiro EC, the tallest players train with volleyballs and perform movements like a volleyball game. It is however a soccer session. The club decided to inspire some of their weekly goalkeepers’ activities from volleyball. It was an idea of Flavio Tenius, the goalkeeping coach. Once in a week, Cruzeiro’s goalkeepers have circuit training in a sand box for strength. Then, they play beach volleyball in pairs for relaxation. Tenius thinks the movements from this other sport are very similar to the ones of a goalkeeper and exercise the same group of muscles.

Group analysis Portuguesa coach, Vagner Benazzi, decided to innovate in its opponents’ analysis. Besides scouting weak and strong points of their opponents from taped games, now he listens to his players. He wants his team to analyze carefully what happens in the field and improve their understanding about the game. “For example, I ask my forwards to provide information about the positioning of the opponent’s defense. It makes their capacity to deal in this situation better”


No. 21 June/July 2007

Spiritual aid TThe coaching staff of Joinville EC had an extra help for an improvement in their performance this season. The club from the South of Brazil hired a Spiritual Director to work together with their coach. The new member of the staff is Priest Luizinho, which is a big fan of the club. He was invited to speech about motivational issues after their training sessions. The players loved it and it was so successful that the club decided to provide classes about religion before their games – one religion studied at each match.

Social Partnership Sc Internacional established a partnership for development of its Academy. Besides regular training sessions, their young players are going to have a staff of social workers. The professionals will serve the club daily, and are employees of a public association. This agreement happened after a research done by the club, which showed that many players were facing difficulties to follow regular school classes with their training activities. The social workers are going to observe all youth players in their social and sport lives, including training sessions and games.

Lighting system Juventus, a lower division club, changed its training routine because an infra-structural problem in its stadium. Rua Javari, the club’s old stadium, does not have a lighting system, what restricts games on evenings. Due to this fact, games start never later than 3 p.m., while 4 p.m. is the minimum regular Brazilian kick-off time. This situation modified the club’s training schedule and now sessions start at the same time. “This new schedule makes our players to get used to game time and conditions, since we have hot weather during the match and low natural light in the end” said club’s coach Marcio Bittencourt.

The Brazilian Corner has the collaboration of Cidade do Futebol.

No. 21 June/July 2007


Training session from This re-occurring section will once again feature 3 so called zones: the ‘Liverpool zone’, ‘Heading zone’ and ‘Goalkeeping zone’. Starting with the ‘Liverpool zone’ below:

Circuit 1 Organization: - A circuit is setup in an area of approx. 30x20m - Circuit includes 2 sets of 4 hurdles, a cone and 4 poles - 6 players line up at the start

Progression: - Players run one after the other (with approx. 5 second interval) across first set of hurdles, a short sprint to the second set of hurdles, to the cone where they make a 180 degree turn, then zigzag through the poles and finish with another short sprint

Circuit 2 Organization: - A circuit is setup in an area of approx. 30x20m - Circuit includes 2 sets of 4 hurdles, 3 sets of 2 hurdles and 6 poles - 6 players line up at the start


Progression: - Players run one after the other (with approx. 5 second interval – starting with player A), across first set of 4 hurdles, a short sprint to the second set of 4 hurdles, to and over the first set of 2 hurdles, around the first pole, to and over the second set of 2 hurdles, around the second pole, to and over the third set of 2 hurdles. - Here player A receives a pass from player B, and dribbles through a set of four poles and passes the ball to player C, who joins the back of the starting line. - Player A takes player B’s position and player B takes player C’s position



Circuit 3 Organization: - A circuit is setup in an area of approx. 30x20m - Circuit includes 2 sets of 4 hurdles and 4 cones - 6 players line up at the start

Progression: - Players run one after the other (with approx. 5 second interval – starting with player A), across first set of 4 hurdles, here A receives the ball and heads it back, and proceeds by running to the second set of 4 hurdles, he runs to the cone A - From cone A the player sprint to cone B, then walk to cone C and sprint again to cone D


No. 21 June/July 2007


around the World LIVERPOOL ZONE Circuit 4 Organization: - A circuit is setup in an area of approx. 30x20m - Circuit includes 2 sets of 4 hurdles and two sets of 4 poles and 2 zones - 6 players line up at the start

Progression: - Player 1 starts in front of the first set of 4 hurdles, and tries to shoot the ball into zone A and runs around the hurdles to retrieve it - He does the same with the second set of hurdles and retrieves the ball in zone B - He then dribbles around the two sets of 4 poles and joins the back of the line

Liverpool goalkeeping 1 Organization: - 2 cones are positioned across from each other with a rope in between, approx. 5m length - 1 goalkeeper and 1 coach

Progression: - The goalkeeper starts by jumping back and forth across the rope towards the coach - When he approaches the coach he receives a throw which he must save

Liverpool goalkeeping 2 Organization: - 1 goalkeeper and 1 coach

Progression: - Coach throws the ball low and goalkeepers saves and throws it back to the coach - The coach then lobs the ball over the goalkeeper who save it again

1 2


No. 21 June/July 2007


HEADING ZONE 5 against 5 on 2 goals Organization: -

A field of the size of two penalty areas On both end lines a goal with goalkeeper Extra balls at both goals 5 against 5 on two goals

Progression: - Special rule 1: Goals made from a header count double - Special rule 2: From balls and free kicks always create danger situations in front of the goal - Goal: Provoke many heading situations

Variation - No goal keepers: scoring by direct shot (1 point) or header (3 points)

Heading duel over goal lines Organization: -

2v2 1 player of each team behind the goal line 1 player of each team in the middle 1 player/coach on the side to throw the balls

Progression: - Player on the side start each play by throwing the ball high above the 2 players in the middle - These players both try to head the ball in an air duel and try to head it across the opponents goal line - Players behind the goal line are "ball boys" and roll the balls back to the side player - Change positions after 5 duels

2 against 1 and finishing with a header on a goal Organization: - 3 teams of 2 players each (blue, red, yellow), 1 goal - Blue teams attacks, red team defend (1 in goal) - Yellow team on goal line on each side of the goal

Progression: - Begin with a throw-in by yellow - Attacking team (blue) tries to score by heading - Attacker choose their own running lanes to confuse the defenders - Defenders try to steal (intercept) the ball - Duration: 5 minutes per team - Objective: score most goals


No. 21 June/July 2007

HEADING ZONE 1v1 heading game Organization: 5m

- 2 teams of 3 players each: 1 goalkeeper, 1 thrower and 1 header - Two 7 meter "line goals" (length), with 7 by 5 meter zone in front - In between the two zones there is a 15x 7 meter zone - Thrower positioned on the sideline of the opponent’s 7x5m zone

Progression - Thrower throws ball to the header, who has to free himself from his opponent and tries to finish on goal - After goal, attempt or interception the game moves to the other side where the other team tries to score - Duration: 2 minutes - Objective: score most goals


2v2 heading game Organization: 5m

- 2 teams of 4 players each: 1 goalkeeper, 1 thrower and 2 headers - Two 7 meter "line goals" (length), with 7 by 5 meter zone in front - In between the two zones there is a 15x 7 meter zone - Thrower positioned on the sideline of the opponent’s 7x5m zone



- Thrower throws ball to one of the headers, who have to free themselves from their opponent and finish on goal - After goal, attempt or interception the game moves to the other side where the other team tries to score - Duration: 2 minutes - Objective: score most goals

Head balls out of that 2 against 2 + 2 Organization - 2 teams of 4 players each in a marked field of about 20 x 15 meters - 2 goals with goalkeepers - Of each team 2 player play 2 against 2 in the field, the 2 other players are the throwers on each side of the goals (positioned at the corner flags)

Progression - Play 2v2 handball in the field - Teams may only score from a throw by the thrower - Passes by throwing, score by heading

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GOALKEEPING ZONE Hurdle save Organization: - 1 goalkeeper and 1 coach - Area: penalty area - Four hurdles are position one after the other

Progression: - Goalkeeper starts by jumping over the hurdles - When the goalkeeper is half way down the hurdles the coach will throw the ball in the corner of the goal - The goalkeeper tries to save the ball

Goal kick saving Organization: - 1 goalkeeper on goal - Several other goalkeepers/players

Progression: - Players/goalkeepers line-up about 20 meter from the goal and tries to score with a goal kick

Trampoline save Organization: - 1 trampoline in front of a group of lined up goalkeepers (2-6)

Progression: - Goalkeepers run lined up - The goalkeeper throws the ball against the trampoline and the goalkeeper 2 saves - Goalkeeper 1 joins the back of the line - Goalkeeper 2 throws the ball against the trampoline and the next goalkeeper saves - Etc.


No. 21 June/July 2007

GOALKEEPING ZONE Sitting & saving Organization: - 1 goal and 1 goalkeeper - Coach positioned about 10m away

Progression: - Goalkeeper starts by sitting with his back against the goalpost and starts running to the other goalpost - The coach shoots the ball into the far corner of the goal - Goalkeeper saves the ball - The goalkeeper now sits at the other goalpost and the coach shoots the ball into the opposite direction

Rope diving Organization: - 2 cones with a rope between them approx. 5m apart - 1 goalkeeper, 1 coach

Progression: - The goalkeeper runs forwards and jumps over the rope - The coach throws the ball over the goalkeeper - Goalkeeper saves the ball while diving backwards (over the rope)

Up and saving to improve handling speed Organization: - 1 goal - Goalkeeper and coach - Goalkeeper approx. 10m in front of the goal

Progression: - Goalkeeper start by laying on the ground belly-down - Coach throws the ball over goalkeeper who stands up as soon as possible and saves the ball

No. 21 June/July 2007


Petar Kurcubic, FC “Mladost” Apatin head coach

“Work and only work brings all the parts together” No. 21 June/July 2007

At the start of the 2006-2007 football season FC “Mladost” from Apatin, a small town of just 20,000 inhabitants, was expected to be one of the leading candidates for a quick return back to the second division. As people predicted the club’s fate, the management of this “small” club had hired an ambitious coach in Petar Kurcubic, and Petar had something else in mind. Kurcubic proved that by hard work and professionalism anything can be accomplished. Not only did FC Mladost gather enough points to remain in the league, they also managed to place themselves among the first six teams to compete for a UEFA Cup spot. By: Dusan Petrovic “As a player I was a ‘goal scorer’ either as a link up player or an attacking player, my first and basic aim was to score goals. At the end of my career I was even a central defender and it was then that I realized the importance of a defender in the pursuit of results. Because of that I learned to appreciate the importance of the defense and the role of defensive players. I think that a team without good organization and without the determination in the defensive phase has no prospect for success. My philosophy is that good attacking play arises from a good defense and that a brilliant defense brings about a brilliant attack. It gives a team stability and tranquility. Because of this I insist on a very disciplined, organized, persistent and firm game for the whole team in the defensive phase with everyone concentrating on their task. It is important that there is a fast transition into the attacking phase, where the creative and individual player can flourish. Of course in both phases the whole team must be involved. That is the second part of my philosophy. The team is everything; it is above every individual player and any quality of a player must be subjected to the team. Simply on each part of the pitch the player must do the thing which is considered most useful for his team in that moment. The third part is the work ethic. Consistent repetition of what we want to do in the game. So, work, work and only work brings all the parts together and helps create perfection, although in football perfection does not exist. We can always do better and the limits are constantly pushed forward.

System As a player I played the 3-5-2 system. However, at the very beginning of my career as a coach I chose a 4-4-2 system. This is the system I used most of the time playing in the three lines. At

the beginning of my coaching career this brought me a lot of problems as I was not used to this system as 3-5-2 had been my favorite. Later I used 4-2-3 -1 and today these two systems are the basic ones for me and I use them depending on the quality of players I’m working with. Because of that quality and the wish to play firmly in the defense or offense, I modify this second system into 4-5-1 or 4-3-3. This can be easily made by inserting into the team two players on the wing positions with more definite offensive or defensive characteristics. When I took over FC Mladost, two things were the most important and essential for my work. The first is that the majority of the players of Mladost were playing in the strongest range of competition for the first time and because of this the main aim was to stay in the first league. So I thought that throughout good physical and psychical preparation I must evoke self-confidence and the faith of the players that this is manageable and that they can evenly play and fight with other teams. The second was that FC Mladost was playing a 3-5-2 or 3-6-1 system, and I wanted to change the system of the game into my favorite 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 system. It should have been done in a short time (5 weeks before the competition) so a lot of work was expected of me. To know and to teach players the new system, to prepare them for it, to choose the system and the best players for it, to play in the team and to assure that no matter how many changes it can achieve success in competition. Beside this I had to pay attention to the age structure of players and do the training well since the team was made up of a majority of players in their late playing years. We managed to do everything we planned and started the competition successful. Through the whole competition I used both systems equally successful.

No. 21 June/July 2007


Micro cycles Our micro cycles differ depending on the schedule of the games. Sometimes it lasts 6 days (the game is on Sunday and then on Saturday), 8 days (the game is on Saturday and on Sunday) or 7 days (Saturday and Saturday). Depending on that and on the number of games in the micro cycles (2 or 3 if we play on Wednesday a championship or cup game) I plan every micro cycles and then the intensity of the training differs considerably. If we have the usual micro cycles of 7 days (from Saturday to Saturday) with two games, it usually looks like this:

“We managed to do everything we planned and started the competition successful.”

Saturday: the game

Wednesday: “striking” day

Sunday: one training session in the afternoon. I divide players into two groups. Those who were playing more than 60 minutes of the game, they do the recovery training- low intensity, which consists of jogging, stretching or some other low intensity lasting games, for 40 minutes (the game on small goals, foot tennis, handball-goal by heading) the players that did not play or play just a small part , do high intensity training through the games in shortened space , depending on their number 5:5, 6:6 till 7:7, often in the middle of the pitch with 75% intensity lasting from 30-35 minutes. Their training includes warming up and relaxing and it lasts between 80 and 90 minutes.

This is our “striking” day when we practice two times a day. In the morning we have training in the gym and this training is combined with work on the pitch. After the strength training we work on speed. If we do more in the gym then we do not practice so intensively on the pitch and vise versa. Afternoon training is of the highest intensity in the micro cycles. . After a good warm up, we practice both phases of our game (offensive and defensive) through games of high intensity and always with difficult conditions. Here, one team has a larger number of players. These are usually games of 11:8, 10:8, where we put certain tasks before each team, which have to be fulfilled. That is a part that lasts 40-60 minutes, followed by certain number of repetition lasting 8 to 15 minutes.

Monday: free day Apatin is small town with 20000 inhabitants and just a small number of players are from the town. Because of this I give them a free day so they can visit their families that live in other towns.

Tuesday: One training session We also have one training session in the afternoon, usually at the time of the next game, because it is the first training after the rest day. And since many players traveled over the last two days the training is not of high intensity. Usually after prolonged warming up (40 minutes) practicing coordination, agility and speed, the main part of the training follows and it is an aerobic regime with exercises of a technical-tactical nature. We usually do these in two groups. On one part of the field there are defensive players and, on the other part the midfield and attacking players, and together they do the situation exercises from the game.


No. 21 June/July 2007

Thursday: recovery A day of recovery, from the previous day’s efforts. There are two days until the beginning of the game and on that day the intensity is lower. Besides a slow warm up where we work on our techniques, we practice games of low intensity (usually foot tennis or game 12:12 on a half of the pitch from 10 - 15 minutes) on this training we practice all the breaks of the game and the placement of our team, that is the situations when they occur and when they are performed by opponents we defend.

Friday: preparatory training Preparatory training for the game, which as well as a light warm up includes 5:2 or 6:2 with one touch, and small exercises involving speed.

Saturday: Game day

Choosing the system I assume that the team plays best in the system, which it has been playing, training and practicing and so knows the best. It is clear that I stand by the way that we can always play our game, in our system, no matter where we play and who against. We can only chose within that system (if we play 4-2-3-1) or the variations (4-5-1 or 4-3-3), which are well know to us, depending on the game, to be more defensive (stronger opponents, a game where one point would be sufficient) or more offensive (the victory is necessary, weaker opponent, the game is played at home). A bigger system change can result from a larger number of injured or suspended players or might be forced by the quality of an opponent player. But in our present conditions there has been no need for changes. In my opinion one system should always be played and not be changed often since it can confuse players and make them lose their confidence. If we want to change the system of the game we cannot do that by words, or after just one or two training sessions in the micro cycles. Time is needed for this, and in the competition there is not enough of it.

Tasks Throughout the whole week, we work on the preparation of the very game and the tasks for certain players who are important for the game. On all training sessions during the micro cycles, before or after the training we talk with players about what and how they should play. In the meeting before the game we introduce them to the opponent’s way of playing, both their good and bad sides, and we tell them a little about each player. This presentation does not last too long because we do not want to burden our players with a lot of information and evoke either exaggerated respect or underestimate the opponent. The main the center of our attention must be concentrates on how we play and on the tasks that have to be done and what is required by our way of playing.

everything that happens and what could happen in the game. The players often prepare themselves for the game very well but then on the day when the pressure is too strong it happens that they cannot react as they should, or they react extremely badly. To avoid this we should pay attention to player’s maximum, physical preparation (well prepared players believe in themselves and their colleagues) as well as on the psychological aspects, but also to select the players who are psychologically stronger and more capable to face the difficulties and to take out the intensity of all the things a game carries. The surroundings also have a great influence on the stability of the individual players and the team. Before the beginning of a game it can be felt either as a great burden or very relaxed. It is known that before such a game the team must be isolated so it can concentrate and protect itself from negative influence and lessen the tension through conversation or lift concentration to the highest level possible. I do not support the long isolation of a team because I believe that it can also have negative effects, but the night before the game I withdraw my team far from unwanted influences so it can prepare itself in peace and quite. I also believe that it is good sometimes not to burden the team with the importance of the next game, and exactly because of that the great tension. Let the players be with their families so do not feel cramped because of the importance of the game. After the game it is very important for the team to rest and recover so the night after the game they should spend together, isolated and put away from negative criticism after misfortune or too greater euphoria after success. After a short relaxation and rest the players are much more willing to start the preparation for the next game.

Rarely do we change our system of play, and it considers team and zone play. In that kind of play every player knows his task in every phase of the game, and on every part of the field. If we give certain players special tasks that could break down the organization of our game and cause the role and tasks to changes for other players, and then the question arises, how would they and the whole team execute what is needed and how would they function as a coherent force? Because of this I distract their attention to special characteristics of a player or opponent’s way of playing, so as they could react more successfully on neutralizing the opponent. This is usually referred to as the tasks in the break down of the game that are made by an opponent from 1:1situations.

Expert system Our system consists of small number of experts. So the trainer of the goalkeepers does psychological and tactical preparation of the goalkeepers for the next game throughout the whole micro cycle, talking with them. Through conversation with them and with the assistant trainers we try to create the best influence on the team and individuals, so we can be best prepared for the game.

Psychological preparation This is a very important aspect of team preparation for the game. To prepare them before the game it’s good to discuss

No. 21 June/July 2007


2v1 on two goals Objective: - To improve reactions: starting speed, finding solutions under pressure.

Organization: - Field size: 30m by 30m with 2 goals and 2 goalkeepers - Coach is positioned on opposite side of the field and passes the ball - 3 players in 3 different colored bibs are positioned on the other side and start running to the ball. The player, who touches the ball first will be playing against the other two players in 1v2 situation and will try to score on either one of the goals

Intensity: - 80 – 90%

Number of repetitions: - 4-6

Number of sets: - 2-3

Rest: - 1 minute between repetitions - 4 minutes between sets

7v7 or 9v9 Objective: - Movement off the ball, character, long and short passes, zone play

Organization: - Area: entire field with a 15x15m square in the center of the field - Play 7v7 or 9v9 on possession and gathering points - Points can be gathered in the following 2 ways: A)When the ball is passed to the player in square, and that player passes the ball to a player from the field B)When a player with the ball dribbles through the square - Limited amount of touches: 2 or 3 - Within square: unlimited amount of touches

Number of players: - 14 (7v7) or 18 (9v9) 1

5 2


Variation: - Every team has 2 squares in diagonal position + square in the center, - Every team has 2 squares in one ½ of the field + square in the center.

Duration: - 7 minutes


Number of repetitions: 4 Rest: 1 minute 36

No. 21 June/July 2007

3v2 alternation Objective: - Fast attack and finishing

Organization: - Field size: between the 2 penalty areas (as illustrated) - Alternate attacks on two opposite goals with goalkeepers 3v2 - From the opposite corner of the field player 1 passes long to player 4, 5 or 6 of the opposing team on the other side of the field - Player 1 then quickly runs to the other side of the field to defend his own goal - Attackers are trying to use the situation 3v2 against players 2 and 3 to their advantage before player 1 arrives - After players 5 and 6 have finished on goal the play start of the other side with player 7 giving the long pass to the other side where players 8-12 are waiting to play the same game

3 2


Number of players: - 16 - 22

Duration: - 10 - 15 seconds

7v7 on ½ a field Objective: - Fast transition from defense to offense and score from a cross 3

Organization: 2


- ½ a field (as illustrated) - 7:7 with goalkeepers and with 2 neutral players for each side, who are located on the wings. - In offense play 9v7 + goalkeeper - 3 touches - Goalkeeper starts the play with a pass one of the neutral wingers, who only have 1-2 touches - Score by means of a header after a cross or by foot after a double pass

Number of players: - 18 + 2 GK

Duration: - 10 minutes

Rest: - 2 minutes

Number of repetitions: - 4-6

No. 21 June/July 2007


Claudio Braga, youth coordinator and U13 coach Sparta Rotterdam:

not I do y: . 4 4v t sa e on I do no , our m i t f o No lot o ame. S ach it. cess, a d g co en e pro of I sp n th oing to yearly o h c loss s a g n d a o o n c i n a s im am ion ses ed o U13 ely so I bas ossess xtrem ar ta raining kend, coe p r h e S ee yt he ns a rs in p ns are m yout t w o m i s t s ye “A es da tio ase ng las r pla tter unc ng s o ly b real ent wr e traini rove ou team f ar ta Ro e w p h p this es for t y to im this th raga, S ry. r n i c t B i to h o s t e o i i h s w c y. W ch laud ar ts hi i a C l h p in w ssion how ch, st a is is se pos nt.” Th U13 co a d t r n po ra nato ordi n Vee van l u Pa By:

“4 v 4

as an educational model” “For this process I believe the 4 v 4 is perfect. By playing different variations of the 4v4 you will have a different objective every time. For example when you play 4v4 with 4 small goals, and you make the field wide and short, moving the play will automatically become the central theme. The organization of the exercise will force this without me pointing it out every time. The organization in essence decides the objective of the exercise. This is how you choose an exercise; the moment you want to coach will automatically come back in the exercise.” “A 4v4 can be played on a narrow and long field. For instance, you have a team which can play the ball around comfortably in a game, but they are unable to give direction to it, while you, as a team, want to play forward and reach the strikers. Or that you have wingers who have a lot of speed, but are not aware of the space behind the defender and continuously move inside with the ball. As a coach you can start yelling and telling them what to do, but my perception is that you are better off looking for an exercise to coach this. A 4v4 on a narrow and long field may be a good solution, because when players receive the ball they will


No. 21 June/July 2007

continuously reduce the space up to a point where it is too small. In this exercise they will quickly realize that they have to go deep and ask for the ball. You can train this with wingers, but also with wing backs. They also have to communicate with each other in the game. When one player goes to the ball, the other goes deep.” “In an exercise they have to recognize this and you can see this back in the game as well. When they forget, they will look at you and you can see them thinking ‘oh yeah’. So the beginning is there. Of course I refresh their memory before the game by illustrating it again on the board. You also have players you do not pick up on thing like this as quickly. But you continue to support these players, by explaining it again, sometimes trying a different approach to explaining it, talking to them individually, etc. The reason I do this is because a player who only has one running move are too easy to defend against. As a player you will not get very far if you can only move one way with the ball. Every youth player has to vary his choices to become unpredictable.”

“When we play a 4v4 during a training session with the objective to improve the depth game of the wing backs and wingers, I will coach these players more during the specific warm up, hoping they will recognize the moment to join in. I will pay a little more attention to them than the rest. Besides that I may opt to put the players who play together in games together during the 4v4 as well. The 4v4 is a general exercise, but you try to make it as specific as possible.” “What are the most common mistakes? Well mistakes may not be the right word, because the have to develop themselves. They have not had the change to make it their own and perhaps they have not heard it before. So you cannot really speak of mistakes. Rather speak of skills in which they can develop themselves. It is the coach’s task to make players better: they have to understand the why of the exercise, this is how I make them smarter.” “A second variation of the 4v4 is the 4v4 with two big goals without goalkeepers. I really enjoy this variation. You frequently hear players on the sidelines: pressure the ball, walk forward, but usually the players do not respond to this. So you start looking for an exercise that forces the players to do it. When you train a 4v4 with big goals (or small goals) without goalkeepers, whereby players may score from anywhere on the pitch you are forcing them to pressure the ball. A defender who is walking backwards to defend his goal is giving his opponent enough room to shoot on goal with an instep kick. How can you prevent this? Exactly, by pressuring the ball. Players will recognize this quickly in this exercise, so when it does not happen they will correct and coach each other. They will expect more from each other.”

“In the game they have to play like this around their own penalty area. You cannot permit the opponent the space to receive and shoot around your own penalty area. Defend the ball and pressure. That is a great process. You will see this come back in a game as well. Players will improve and start to recognize the moments. The midfielder and defenders have to be especially attentive, because they are frequently in these types of situations. Or in a corner situation whereby the second ball is lost, you will have to immediately be on top of it. Do look, react.” “An exercise like this will run itself, but I do not separate myself from it. I remain actively involved as a coach. But lets not forget the basics. With the U13s a coach should concentrate on the technical skills such as the instep kick, passing, the first ball, etc. They should have already mastered the ‘I and the ball’ which is central with the U11s and U9s. But you have to continue with the technical skills. My coaching is therefore very technical, but it also has a tactical touch. There are a lot of technical moments in the 4v4 with big goals, but I also throw in some tactical touches without them even noticing.” “A third variation of the 4v4 is the 4v4 on small goals. We play on a wide (40m) and short (20m) field, so a deep pass will not be played as often. The opportunities in this variation lie within switching to the other flank. The moments I pay attention to are the moments whereby pressure is executed on the right. In this situation the ball should be taken out and passed to the left side. We will all look for that moment, so we all recognize it, because your goal is to recognize it during the game.” “U13s, however, still have some problems with distances, so opening with a pass to the other side proves to be quite difficult. You therefore have to look for a connecting player, a central defender who joins the play and is able to move the play with an

No. 21 June/July 2007


open receive to the other side. At Sparta we have players who are capable of doing this. From the player on the other side we expect that he is free to receive the ball or in the case of loss of possession that he shifts in to make the field smaller. When a player realizes this he is conscious of the team process.” “This process is fun to see. For us adults these are logical things, for us they are ABC’s. You often think: come on, why don’t you understand it? But players of this age are still learning and need to have the space and time to develop themselves.” “The thing you are correcting most is that players do not recognize moving the play. When we are stuck they get the ball out, but often pass it back to the same side, while the space is on the other side. With the exercise you try to force this. You cannot go deep, so there are not a lot of opportunities on the right, forcing them to look elsewhere – left.” “The forth variation is again about 40 meters wide and 25 meters long, but we then play line soccer. In this exercise the player should not play wide or back, but initiate the action. Beat your opponent. When a player is not seeking his opponent and wants to go wide or back you can stop the play. The only thing that counts is beating the opponent with a move.” “Courage and nerve is what you want to see. You use specific players for this, the ones you expect it from, for example the wingers and the number 10. Maybe you should even expect it from your wing backs. A right and left half often play positioning and combination play, but when they master the 1v1 and can beat a player in midfield you will create an overload situation. That can be a real plus for the team. So why should I not expect them to take risks? The player on the ball is allowed to take risks, while a player on the other side thinks defensively. A team must be well organized at the moment of loss of possession.” “In an exercise like this you are frequently motivating as a coach, but you must never forget the objective: the technical skills. A pass without speed, may be stopped. They should master this, because in a complex situation whereby we want to play combination play in a forward direction, the pass must be good. Receiving must also be good, so you should coach on this and intervene when the pass is too short/soft.” “In an exercise like this you will obviously have a totally different specific warm up. Like a warm up with 1v1 with technical exercises, or something from the Wiel Coerver method. This is how you try to raise players to that level. That is the specific part, while for other 4v4 you may use more of a passing and shooting exercise.” “But again we are dealing with U13s, so the story is based on that. Important is to make every moment a soccer moment, from the moment they enter the field up to the moment the exit the field we are focusing on soccer. I put my down organization down and we start. It is important at this age that the ball is not a problem anymore for the future. And when you can also put them in different game situations and they learn something tactical as well it is a great added value. Training should allow for the development of all skills, technical, tactical, physical and mental.”


No. 21 June/July 2007

Passing and shooting in preparation for 4 against 4 with 4 small goals on a narrow and long field Organization v


c v



- A passes to B, B wall passes with A. Player A subsequently passes deep to player C, who receives the ball and immediately tries to dribble a few meters in order to create a scoring opportunity. After player C receives the ball a defender tries to prevent player C from scoring.

Variation b

- A variation can be that player B receives the ball and passes deep to player C. Or B dribbles deep to initiate a give and go with player C


Progression - Later in the exercise the players will have room to make their own choices; they will decide how to create scoring opportunities k




Coaching - Technique: ball speed, 1st touch and speed of execution - Insight: look up order to quickly look for depth - Communication: clear coaching (turn, wall pass etc.)

1 against 1 in preparation for 1v1 line football Organization - Play 1v1 line football in different squares - Play approx. 1-2 minutes, then rest and change opponent - Active coaching by trainer

Coaching - The forward has to take initiative in the action (player in possession) - Variations in the actions (more moves) - Ensure explosiveness during and after the move

Possession game in a 4 against 4 with 4 small goals on short and wide field Organization 5

14 6






Vak B

- Play a possession game in two squares, whereby square A plays 6v3 - The team of 6 plays in possession, the team of 3 tries to steal the ball. When the team of 3 steals the ball they can open to the other side and the game will continue in square B. Join in quickly is the progression.






- The forward has to take the initiative in the action (player in possession) - Variations in the actions (more moves) - Ensure explosiveness during and after the move

Vak A

No. 21 June/July 2007


Back to the Pla

The Derbyshire dinner and the ‘right to play I am very luck that I have such a wonderful and professional editor. Maaike is very understanding but I did detect a slight note of apprehension in her voice when she asked me what the content of my column would be for this issue. “It’s about a Dutchman, an Englishman, a Magic Rectangle, the British Prime Minister during World War One, an idiot headmaster from a £46 million super school and eighty lovely dinner ladies from Derbyshire,” I replied. “Oh that’s ok then, I just thought it might be one of your more bizarre articles”, said Maaike. By: Paul Cooper.

No Playground Shock waves in the news this week after a brand new school was built for £46million in Peterborough, England. However the school which has two thousand pupils has no playground. The headmaster explains the reasoning behind the decision, “I want the teachers teaching and the children learning at the school. If children are enjoying lessons, then there will be no need to go and run off steam outside.” What no footie in the playground? No jumpers for goals posts, the way generations of players learnt to play the beautiful game. Football in the school play


No. 21 June/July 2007

ground is a British tradition just as much as Sunday Roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding and the Queen. Even as far back as 1916, the then Prime Minister of Great Britain, Lloyd George knew the value of play.

“The right to play is a child’s first claim on the community. Play is nature’s training for life. No community can infringe that right without doing harm to the minds and bodies of its citizens.”


Bolsover School Sports Partnership It is only 85 miles from Peterborough to Bolsover, up the A1 and then turn left, but it might as well be on another planet when children and play are concerned. John Barker is the Partnership Development Manager and is doing wonders at the five secondary and forty primary schools in the area. The aim is to get kids active and having fun, whether it is in coached sports sessions as part of the school curriculum, after school sports or fun playground games during break times. John contacted Give Us Back Our Game to deliver four, two hour sessions for eighty dinner ladies to help them facilitate fun football games in the playgrounds. Dutchman Bert-Jan Heijmans, now a resident of the UK for some nine years and I had a fantastic time with the dinner ladies. They were superb to work with and gave us fantastic feedback.

Dutch space is different


One of the major challenges for the dinner ladies is space. Being Dutch, Bert-Jan knows a lot about limited space as the Netherlands is very overcrowded and every square metre is precious. When Bert-Jan came to England he realised that at grass roots level in the winter time coaches have to use small school gyms or use a third of an Astro turf pitch (very expensive to hire, so you need 2 or 3 teams to share the cost ) to do training sessions often with 20+ children. The solution to this space problem was Bert-Jan’s Magic Rectangle. Talking with the dinner ladies we found that the key issues for them were; • Space – some had lots of space, especially in the summer when they had the use of the school playing fields. Others only had the school playground which was very cramped and even too small for a conventional game of football • How do you include all the different age groups? • How do you include all the different ability levels?

• How do you involve girls who want to play football? • How do you make room for children who don’t want to play football but would like to do something else? The equipment needed for the sessions are marker cones; at least enough to mark our four rectangles in four different colours, balls, small traffic cones and bibs. We call ourselves lazy coaches as we wanted the dinner ladies to take ownership of the sessions and come up with ideas. They were a great group to work with as their knowledge of football was very limited so they did not come with too many preconceived ideas. They also understood children and their needs extremely well. Couple this with a terrific Derbyshire sense of humour and a willingness to get involved and you have perfect pupils. The session is built up by starting with the first coloured rectangle. A rectangle is used rather than the traditional training square as a pitch is always rectangle and children begin to get a picture of a rectangle in their mind. They are already starting to learn about shape and space. We would encourage the children after the first rectangle is laid and a group of children warm up inside, to work out where the subsequent rectangles should be placed. These shapes and different colours are the children’s kingdom, the Magic Rectangle. Warm ups, technical games and fun matches can all be played within the framework and not a single cone needs to be moved. It can be laid out and packed away in a just a few short minutes with the children being very much involved in that process. We will look at the Magic Rectangle in more detail in a future issue of the magazine, in the meantime if you would like further information on the Give Us Back Our Game campaign, please visit

The shapes and different colours are the children’s kingdom, the Magic Rectangle.

No. 21 June/July 2007


Back to the Playground with the Derbyshire ‘dinner ladies’ Bolsover & District School Sport Partnership working together with Give Us Back Our Game to help Derbyshire’s ‘dinner ladies’ bring football and fun to Primary school children

Various Ancelotti acclaims 'greatest win' AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti lauded his side's efforts after they landed the Champions League title in Athens with a 2-1 win against Liverpool. "It's an extraordinary achievement," said the Italian after Pippo Inzaghi's goals secured a 2-1 final victory. "This is an important victory because we did not lose sight of what we wanted to achieve. "This is the greatest victory we've had. Few fans expected us to win the most important trophy. Maybe no-one."

Ancelotti has now won the European title twice as a player, in 1989 and 1990, and twice as a coach after a previous success with Milan in 2003. He added: "It's a very special relationship to me. I feel I belong to the Milan club. I played in this shirt, won important trophies in the shirt. "I wasn't bothered about the rumours about someone replacing me in November. We just wanted to forget all the bad games which happened last August. "It wasn't spectacular, but Liverpool is a team that can stop you playing. "In the first half it was a difficult game. Liverpool attacked very strongly. There was a lot of pressure on our midfield. We couldn't get balls to Kaka and Clarence Seedorf. "But we are a tough team. We played with attention and care and getting Massimo Ambrosini and Alessandro Nesta fit was very important. "It was much like our season. We started slowly but grew in confidence as the game went on."

Rafa admits to Milan quality Rafa Benitez refused to blame any refereeing decision for Liverpool's defeat in Athens. The Reds went down 2-1 as they failed to relive the glories of 2005. Referee Herbert Fandel appeared to blow his whistle at least 30 seconds early - but although annoyed, Benitez refused to use this as a major excuse. "The rules talk about substitutions, yellow card, and players' injuries - but anyway that is not a reason we lost against a very good team with topclass players," Benitez told Sky Sports. "And the difference sometimes is that you can work hard, but you cannot close the space or the pass, or the penetrative pass from Kaka, or a Seedorf or Inzaghi." Benitez thought Filippo Inzaghi's somewhat

fortuitous opener played a major part in Milan's success. "The first half we did really well, we played really, really well and then we conceded a deflection at the end of the first half," he continued. "Second half we were pushing, pushing, but then you leave space and then they have quality and it made the difference. "We tried to keep the ball and press high, but you need to take your chances - we did have a lot and went close, but the quality they have if you lose the ball you will be in trouble. "I think the team in the first half was really good."

Juve plead for Lippi return Juventus have issued a desperate plea for Marcello Lippi to return to the club, despite the World Cup winning coach's protestations that he is not ready to come back to football. The Bianconeri are searching for a new manager to lead the club in Serie A next season, after Didier Deschamps resigned having clinched the Serie B title despite the club suffering a points deduction at the start of the campaign. Lippi - who has been out of work since leading Italy to World Cup glory last summer - has emerged as an early contender for the

post, having won five Scudettos and the UEFA Champions League in two previous spells with the club. The highly-regarded boss has already stated he is not willing to cut short his sabbatical for Juve though, leaving the Old Lady jilted in the process. Now general manager Jean-Claude Blanc has pleaded with Lippi to return to Turin under whatever job title he wishes. "We want Lippi immediately, in whatever role," Blanc told Gazzetta dello Sport. "He just has to tell us what he wants to do. " However, Lippi has again moved to state there is no chance of him linking up with his former club, telling Rai TV: "I have already said that I am taking a break for some more months, therefore none of this is true. "Juventus for me signifies eight stupendous years of great success and satisfaction, therefore it is a word that stays in my heart."

No. 21 June/July 2007


SCI WEBSITE NEW: MEMBERS AREA The SCI Members Area was launched in April! The Members Area consists of bonus material from articles published in the magazines (if available), additional articles not published in the magazine, templates, glossary of terms, non-coaching articles (i.e. club administration articles) and much more. We will be adding new inclusions every week! * The Members Area is a subscriber’s only area!


No. 21 – June/July 2007 SoccerCoachingInternational is a magazine for soccer coaches all over the world from the publisher of TrainersMagazine, the Dutch magazine for soccer coaches. The Magazine will be released six times a year. Chief editor Paul van Veen Beatrixlaan 21, 2811 LZ REEUWIJK THE NETHERLANDS E-mail: Publisher Sportfacilities & Media BV Visiting Address: Steynlaan 19H ZEIST THE NETHERLANDS Postal Address: Postbus 952, 3700 AZ ZEIST THE NETHERLANDS E-mail: Phone: +31-(0)30 - 697 77 10 Fax: +31-(0)030 - 697 77 20 Project Manager Floris Schmitz Managing Editor and Translations Maaike Denkers

Graphic Design Anton Gouverneur studio@sportfacilities.comAdvertising Michel van der Neut Editorial Staff Estevão Bertoldi Sanches, Paul Cooper, Maaike Denkers, Tania Dimitrova, Frank Dunne, Anton Gouverneur, Tom van den Heiligenberg, Guy Oldenkotte, Dušan Petrović, Paul van Veen, Hugo Vicente Subscription Rates You can subscribe to this magazine through its website: The subscription rate are as follows: US and CND subscribers: $49,95 for the first year ($59,95 for years thereafter) UK subscribers: £28,50 for the first year (£33,95 for years thereafter) Subscribers from the rest of the world: € 49,95 for the first year (€ 59,90 for years thereafter) You will receive six magazines per year and access to all subscriber features on the website. This publication is purchased with the understanding that information presented is from many sources for which there can be no warranty or responsibility by the publisher as to accuracy, originality or completeness. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering product endorsements or providing instruction as a substitue for appropriate training by qualified sources. SoccerCoachingInternational assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Copyright All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

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No. 21 June/July 2007

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