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Ok, so here we are again. Firstly thanks for everyone's continuous support. After watching another fantastic premiership season unfold and reminiscing on what could have been in South Africa, 2010 and in the build up to the Euros where the Germans are held highly as favourites, it was decided that this months issue would focus on the infamous counter attack. In this issue there are some fantastic articles, more session plans, studies and some great case studies on Counter Attacking football philosophies and the structures of German football. The Guardian

Again I hope you enjoy the magazine. Dan Slaughter (Editor)

FEATURES The Counter Attack @CoachPositive

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The Decision Maker @liam_reggie

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Book Review: Football For The Brave @CoachA95

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Coaches Observation of both fields @Antwhite100

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Attacking in Central & Wide Areas @DanSlaughter12

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Cover Story: Lessons from The DFB @DanSlaughter12

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Forward Passing/Counter Attack @DmitriHalajko

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Counter Attack from Deep @MarkAsoulbuggin

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Counter Attacking 3 Team SSG @MarkAsoulbuggin

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U8’s Counter Attacking @Nickwadsworth

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Book Review: The Road To Success @CoachA95

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Is Counter Attacking, Productive? @mattynickels

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Why Germany is the best ‌ @The_W_Address

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Counter Attack SSG @SCBrennan

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Goal Keeping Coach @Simmsy76

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Skills Coach @Karlsharman

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Sport Therapist @GlennMorriss

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Personal Trainer @NWPersonalTrain

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The idea of soaking up pressure in order to attack the space in behind. What is a counter attack? The most obvious counter attack would be say. In the champions league match between Chelsea and Barcelona (2012) where the Chelsea players sat back deep in their own defensive third to deny creative space for Barcelona to play into. Chelsea Won the ball back and exploited the space in behind Barca's defence. As you know it eventually won Chelsea the game. They went on to win the champions league. However a counter attack can happen anywhere on the field of play: When the defending team intercepts the ball they must attack quickly in numbers in order to take advantage of the opposition being temporarily out of sync/defensive positions, and try to score. Gideon Jackson

Coach: Gideon Jackson Twitter: @CoachPositive Clubs: Hampton and Richmond Bourough F.C U18s, Mole Valley Girls u11s, Tooting & Mitcham u10s Topic: Forward Runs Theme: Attacking Play Age Group: U10’s upwards I've used a 45x65 in this case but you may wish to start with a smaller area. Divide the pitch into thirds. Attacking team (Red) start with 5 outfield players and a GK. The defending team start with 6 outfield players and a GK. The game always starts by attacking the top goal that the blues defend. Green servers take turns to pass to the attacking team (Red) who then have to attack blues goal. This is made difficult because of the defending overload (5v7),this is important so as to create as many counter attacks as possible but also have a good degree of realism. For this part of the practice reds are prohibited from entering their defensive third. When the blue team intercept the ball they are encouraged to play quickly in to the space behind the red defence. It's important to point out the the blues must make forward runs on interception of the ball. In the diagram below green server passes to red number 8 who turns and tries to pass to red 10. Blue 4 intercepts, this triggers blue 7s movement into the space behind the reds. Blue 4 passes the ball into the path of blue 7 who then tries to score. With young players it's important to attach scoring success to the passage of play. Progression 1: Allow the red team to defend in their defensive third once they are intercepted. Progression 2: Add the offside rule for older players

Coach: Liam Donovan Twitter: @liam_reggie Club: Wigmore Youth FC U9 Topic: 1v1, Counter Attacks Theme: Decision Making Age Group: U9+ Equipment: - Loads of balls so you can keep it going - 6 collapsible cones - 4 pugg goals - Bibs - Flat discs - Flat cones

Slide 1 Players make a decision of what goal they want score in, but the rule is that you can only score in the flat disced area (unopposed). As you can see there are two scenarios on the slide (this is still the setup though with players in different directions) players can run in a straight line or change direction and go diagonally to other goal. Slide 2 Now place 3 cones in area and players have to perform skill, trick, turn or go around the cone acting as defender. Meanwhile players are still deciding which goal they want to score in (still only allowed to score in flat disced area).

Slide 3 Yellow starts, as soon as yellow shoots that is the trigger for the red to attack, but yellow now has to defend against red. Once red scores or ball goes dead, that's the trigger for the next yellow to come and attack the red that's just attacked. It becomes a fast attacking/defensive 1v1 game. I call this game "The Decision Maker" as the whole way through the games the players are making the decisions.

Coach: Steve Phythian Twitter: @CoachA95

Football For The Brave by John Cartwright This is not a book of drills, exercises or practices. This book is written by a visionary coach who invites us to see the most important aspects of both playing and coaching The Beautiful Game. Using examples of exceptional players, John Cartwright advocates individual skill as the absolute foundation of the game and eschews the simplistic view that football “is a team game.”

“Football is a game played by INDIVIDUALS, who combine when necessary.” – John Cartwright Cartwright targets the decline of individual skill in the English game and provides direction on what can be done to redress the balance. The author clearly and concisely addresses all areas of our national game which have given rise to concern for decades. Through the use of good examples, useful analogies and specific analysis he encourages us, as both players and coaches, to be brave – not physically brave but psychologically and philosophically brave in order help develop individually skilful and creative players, in ALL positions, for the benefit of our game. This book will make you think differently about the game and how it is played and taught, in this country. If you can take and apply its lessons, you too will be helping to develop Football For The Brave. NB. John Cartwright and Roger Wilkinson, through their company Premier Skills, have developed a coach education and player development programme which underpins all the principles contained in this book and which provides a method for delivery to coaches.

Issues around the game and the playing of it are discussed on Premier Skills’ blog, Keep The Ball

By Steve Phythian (16/6/2012)

Coach: Anthony White Twitter: @antwhite100 About me: I am a level 3 (UEFA B) and FA Module One qualified coach. I have worked with young people from 5 years of age to adult in various grassroots and elite settings over a 15 year period. I moved to Germany in 2003. During this time I worked with another coach with an under 12 grassroots youth side. Since my return to England in 2005 I have regularly returned to Germany to observe their grassroots clubs. Article: At the outset of this article it’s important to state a key point. I am not an expert on youth football within England or Germany. This article is an authentic ‘snapshot’ of my experiences within the English and German grassroots environment. Firstly, let’s evaluate two experiences I have observed as a grassroots coach in England and Germany. Choose which country matches the example offered… Example A: ‘The coach had arrived early to ‘bagsy’ a pitch. For the next 10 minutes the coach guarded the goal with his life. When the children arrived the coach smiled briefly and began to set up his working area. Immediately the children collected a ball and started hitting them as hard as they could into the goal from a range of distances. All the parents watched. The children, in their individually marked training top, continued this for 10 minutes. The coach commanded the children to the practice area and began the session. At no point had the coach said hello or asked a question to any of the children. Despite being part of a club the team trained individually as so there was no support or other officials present. The content was a gym circuit, sprint session and straight into a game.’ Example B: ‘The coach arrived before the children and set up his practice area quickly. On arrival each child, in the club tracksuit or training top, approached the coaches and shook hands with them. All the children shook hands with each other as they arrived. As groups were formed the children collected a football and four cones and began a process of ‘person in the middle’. This was often 3 v 1 or 5 v 2. The coaches circled the children and asked questions to the children about their football teams or what happened at school. The ‘keep ball’ was relaxed and fun. It lasted for over 20 minutes. However, practice was purposeful with each child demonstrating respect for the task. Situated close by were the other teams from the same club who were carrying out similar warm ups. Everything was performed with a ball throughout the session. Also the ‘elders’ of the club were circling the various teams in a friendly but observant manner.’ For the record, (although I am sure the observation of example A should be familiar to most grassroots English coaches) example A was England and example B was Germany. So what’s my point? Well, let’s analyse the different points. Despite being in a far more socially disadvantaged area than the English example the German example owned its own facilities. This included dressing rooms, lights, grass pitches and winter pitches. An explanation of ‘how’ and ‘why’ this is possible stretches beyond the parameters of this article but a succinct reflection of the impact does not.

In my observations club facilities in Germany created a multitude of positive benefits. The most obvious is the welfare of the children from a health and safety perspective. In England the role of Health and safety is still problematic from an external facility perspective. Furthermore, because all of the different age ranges train at the same venue peer relationships were formed with children who are either younger or older than each other. The shaking of hands across the various teams illustrates this. Club traditions, standards of behaviour and community/club spirit were also developed through interactions with each other. Equally, coaches in Germany enjoyed the knowledge that they had the time and facilities to plan a co-ordinated session and speak individually to their players. The ‘person in the middle’ example illustrates this. The coaches can control the coaching from a distance unlike in the UK where they have to set up on a public park or privately paid facility whilst players often do what they want (see example A). In Germany the impact is the following. Firstly, players are developed technically and taught the value of possession. The ‘keep ball’ activity over a long warm up period also has no coach interruption. Secondly, the young person is made to feel valued by the coaches through conversation throughout. Thirdly, peer relationships are given ‘free time’ to develop before coach facilitation. The opposite in England is a one hour slot which costs a substantial amount. Therefore, the session is rushed and far less of the above is achieved. From a coaching perspective coaches in Germany are better supported. Equipment can be kept on site, areas are designated and coaches can enjoy the process of actually working with young people and young players, hopefully in that order. Equally, observation of the German coaches’ work by the ‘elders’ provides both a support mechanism and quality assurance check. It also ensures that the coaches’ work is transparent with a club ethos. The benefits of a small clubhouse/ or hut provides an in built mentoring system. Rather than pack up before the rain comes or hide under a tree like in England the German coaches sit and discuss the session and other ideas over a cup of tea. This is because there is a single site. In England, where facilities are much rarer, it seems there is much more of a closed, individualistic approach to sharing of ideas within a grassroots club. The observant reader will have noticed that I have hardly mentioned the technical differences between English and German young players. Equally I have avoided the coach education differences. I also have sidestepped the merits of analysing which nationality produces more effective grassroots coaches. Whilst these are all valid topic areas it is my belief from my experiences that for the topic areas listed above to be effective they have to have an environment in which to thrive. Consequently, this article is about the environment that grassroots coaches from England and Germany operate in. From that perspective I am qualified to consider that the German environment is much more conducive to a coaching experience that both young people and grassroots coaching volunteers will enjoy, learn and progress from. To conclude, I fully support the recent youth changes in England. There is much to admire about Nick Levett and his work. However, what fundamentally undermines the future success of the new youth proposals is a lack of appreciation of the social and cultural environment that the English grassroots coach works within. The FA needs to adopt a wider role in the overall regulation and partnership building of grassroots football in England. However, that’s another article!

Coach: Dan Slaughter Twitter: @DanSlaughter12 Club: Whetstone Wanderers YFC (London), Middlesex County FA Topic: Attacking in Central & Wide Areas Theme: Counter Attack, Central & Wide Attacks Age Group: U9+ SHOOTING GALLERY Set Up:   

(20x20 – 25x25) 10 Players 10 Balls (1 Per Attacker)

Activity One: Finishing (Tech) Attackers dribble to over half way line and take a shot and join back of second line. Can players challenge themselves to do a trick before the finish. Activity Two: Finishing Under Pressure (Skill) As in activity one, attacker then becomes the defender, creating a 1v1 situation. Progression: 2v2 or 3v3.

Activity Three: Support Play (SSG) 3v2 + 2v3 1 of the 3 defending players feeds the ball into 1 of the 2 attackers and becomes a supporting player for additional points and to create a 3v3 in the attacking half. Progression: a 2nd defender can create a 3rd man run for additional points.

ATTACKING IN CENTRAL & WIDE AREAS Set Up:  (20x45 – 25x50)  20 Players (6 Attack/4 Targets)  8 Balls (1 Per group)

Activity One: Counter Attacking Runs from GK (Tech) Attackers make 10 passes and break out in as minimal number of passes as possible.

Activity Two: Counter Attacking a Counter Attack (Skill) B7 shoots to RGK and Plays forward quickly to set up a counter attack for the red team. Must Have:  1 Player in each zone at any time.  1 Player in the ZONE at all times.  Only 4 Defenders and Attackers.

Activity Three: Wingers vs. Counter Attackers (SSG)  Team One to finish from crosses for additional points.  Team Two to hit team one on the counter attack to score additional points.

Or more commonly known as the German Football Association. Key Words: Brand of football, Intelligent, Possession, Clever Movement, Incisive, Counter Attacking Play, Youth Academies, Structure, Change, Development, State, Infrastructure.

Background and Context At World Cup 1998, in France and Euro 2000 in Belgium and The Netherlands the Deutscher Fussball-Bund realised that German football was at an all time low. Major concerns for the DFB was the age of the players at the European Championships which averaged at 31 years old. With only 1 player under the age of 21 this led to a review of the infrastructure of German football and then a massive overhaul and restructure that would initially take 10 years.

German Football Records at Major Competitions: 2010 WC South Africa: 3rd Place 2008 EC Austria/Switzerland: Runners-Up 2006 WC Germany: 3rd Place 2004 EC Portugal: Group Stage 2002 WC Korea/Japan: Runners-Up 2000 EC Belgium/Holland: Group Stage 1998 WC France: Qtr Finals 1996 EC England: Winners

Proposal for change A study undergone by the DFB concluded that ‘increased opportunity’ for all young German footballer - regardless of geographical location, background and/or education status was necessary.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of the book Outliers, The Tipping Point and Blink suggests that success comes from the opportunities that we are exposed to at an early age. With this in mind the DFB started to develop ways of recruiting nationwide and considerably wider than the metaphorical talent net had already been cast. With Academies being individual entities the DFB looked to develop the relationships between the DFB, Professional Club Academies and Grassroots Football Clubs, this proposal already starting to sound a daunting task. Part of this process would see the DFB share their vision and philosophy with the wider game, detailing how German football would be played, so that this message could be shared amongst those involved in Young Player Development.

The 10 Year Plan After a poor showing at the 98 World Cup and 2000 Euro Championships the DFB started to put their 10 year development plan into action. In 2001, all 18 Bundesliga clubs were ordered to operate a Youth Academy. A year later 17 2nd Division clubs were also ordered to start operation of their own Youth Academy. In 2002, club investment into academies stood at 47.85 Million Euros and by the 2009/2010 season this figure had risen to 85.70 Million Euros.

1998 World Cup, France

1999 Initial Talent Promotion Programme

2000 Euro 2000, Belgium & The Netherlands

According to an article in FourFourTwo Magazine (Oct 2011, Pg 76) 2001 the German FA restructure started in 2002/2003, Pro clubs had to Bundesliga Club operate Centre of Excellence programmes and the DFB in turn would Youth Academies run a programme of regional centres in areas where professional clubs did not exist.


In total 366 Regional Bases were in operation come 2011, totalling 14,000 talented players aged between 11 and 14 years old.

Bundesliga 2 Club Youth Academies

These regional talent centres would provide additional opportunity for quality training outside of the club environment. According to FourFourTwo the DFB has invested 100 Million Euros since the launch.


In 2008/2009 The German U21, U19 and U17’s had all been crowned European Champions, off of the back of the successful U21’s tournament in 2009, several squad members including Ozil, Khedira and Muller were promoted to the German Senior squad for their World Cup campaign in South Africa 2010, and we all know what happened to the English at that tournament.

Certification of Youth Academies

The amazing turn around for German football though was that 6 of the world cup squad members were still eligible for U21 football and more significantly the media were coining the German performances as intelligent, clever and incisive. This of course is something that we have not heard about from German football before. 2011 The same players are currently representing Germany in the Semi-Final stages of the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

- 80 Million Population. - 6M Footballers. - 26,000 Football Clubs. - 36 Professional Clubs. - 29 Elite Squads - 433 Youth Coaches. - 100M Euro Investment.

Elite Soccer Schools


2009 Young Players promoted from U21 Euro’s Team.

2010 16% of Bundesliga Players aged U21

- 1.75M Football aged U19. - 21 Regional Associations. - 366 Regional Centres. - 46 Youth Academies. - 14,000 Players (U11-U14)

STEP 4: Top-level Football (18 Years Plus) 46 Bundesliga Academies STEP 3: Elite Promotion (15-20 Years) 29 Regional Centres/Elite Schools

STEP 2: Talent Development (11-18 Years)

366 Support Bases/Competence Centres/DFB Centres 36 Professional Clubs Southern Germany 1. FC Augsburg 2. FC Bayern Munich 3. SC Freiburg 4. 1899 Hoffenheim 5. FC Nuremberg 6. VfB Stuttgart 19. 1860 Munich 20. FC Ingolstadt 04 21. Karlsruhe SC 22. Greuther Furth

STEP 1: Basic Training (3-10 Years)

South Western Germany 7. FC Kaiserslautern 8. FSV Mainz 05 23. Eintracht Frankfurt 24. FSV Frankfurt

21 Regional Associations Southern Germany 1. Baden FA 2. Bavarian FA 3. Hessian FA 4. South Baden FA 5. Wurttemberg FA

26,000 Grassroots Football Clubs

South Western Germany 6. Rhinland FA 7. Saarland FA 8. Southwest FA

How have Germany progressed? Proposed starting line up according to FourFourTwo Magazines Euro2012 Guide: 2012 Euro Sqaud? GK - Neuer RB - Boateng CB - Hummels CB - Mertesacker LB - Lahm CM - Khedira CM - Schweinsteiger RW - Muller AM - Ozil LW - Podolski CF - Klose

Dual Nationality No Ghana unknown No Unknown Tunisia No Unknown Turkey Poland Poland

2012 30 Caps 24 Caps 18 Caps 81 Caps 90 Caps 31 Caps 94 Caps 31 Caps 37 Caps 100 Caps 120 Caps

2010 3 Caps 4 Caps 0 Caps 60 Caps 64 Caps 3 Caps 74 Caps 1 Cap 8 Caps 71 Caps 94 Caps

2009 U21 Squad U21 Squad U21 Squad Senior Squad Senior Squad U21 Squad Senior Squad U21 Squad U21 Squad Senior Squad Senior Squad

*Information on Dual Nationalities was hard to come by so please do not read to much into this, the point being made will follow. “Eight of Germany’s U21 Euros-winning side in 2009 could represent another country” FourFourTwo - June 2012 The one who got away.... Another article from FourFourTwo magazine featured in July 2012, highlighted details of Lewis Holtby. As cited by FourFourTwo, Holtby is the Germans next big thing and he is a young scouser. According to the same article, Holtby U21 captain, has already gained some full international caps from the German senior side. Reference List & Further Reading: Insight: The FA Coaches Association Journal - Spring 2011 (2011) pg 28-31 Radnedge, K. (2008). Football: The History of the Beautiful Game. Sywell: Igloo. BundesLiga.pdf (2010) Bender, T. Et al. (2011). 10 Years of Academies: Talent Pools of top-level German football. DFL Deutsche Fubball Liga GmbH FourFourTwo Magazine. (Oct 2011) Youth Development Part 3: Germany FourFourTwo Magazine. (Jun 2012) Why are Germany so good right now? Pg84-89 FourFourTwo Magazine (Jul 2012) Germany’s Next Big Thing Is A Young Scouser. Pg133. FourFourTwo Magazine (2012) Euro 2012 Guide. Pg34-35 Schott, U. (2012) Moving Forward Together

Coach: Dmitri Halajko Twitter: @DmitriHalajko Club: FA Regional Coach Development Manager (5-11) East Football Development Division

Topic: Forward Passing Theme: Counter Attacking Age Group: Mixed

Forward passing and counter attacking 1. 3v2 break out in 1 half 2. Keep one defender in your half at all times 3. Look to use bounce players at the end of pitch when its on. Then go join in

Coach: Mark Alcock Twitter: @MarkAsoulbuggin Topic: Theme: Age Group: Organisation Area size – to suit Age Group e.g U18s 80 x 40y, U11s 60y x 40y Supply of balls ready in each goal 2 Teams of equal numbers + 2 permanent GKs Start – 2 teams, Yellows playing to top goal, Blues playing to bottom goal. All on pitch in Yellow defensive half EXCEPT 1 Yellow attacker + 1 Blue Defender in other half Yellow GK rolls out to Blues, who maintain possession in attacking half. Yellows look to regain and keep possession before looking for 1st opportunity to play forwards into Striker in other half, or one yellow can run ball into other half to link up with lone striker. Once lone Striker is found, all players move quickly into that half to either attack/defend EXCEPT 1 Blue + 1 Yellow player who stay to act as striker/defender for play coming other way. Play until ball dead, then restart from opposite end GK so both teams get opportunity at session focus.

Detail - Support & Passing in congested area - Recognition of when to keep ball reProgression 1) Timed strike at goal from Counter Attack tention in own half OR to go forwards to striker e.g 8 seconds - Quality of passing – weight, accuProgression 2) Start with 2 Strikers + 2 Defenders racy, timing, safe side? Feet or Space? Key Factors - Speed of support - Maintain Possession, looking for first good opportunity to play forwards. - Maintain momentum of attack with support – to side, Module 3 Challenges behind and front of player in build up Before – Try to get into position to re- Players body shape – be able to play forwards ceive the ball to play forwards - Timing of release pass to lone striker + runs to offer support During – Try to play to highest playable player as quickly as you can Lone Striker: - Adjust position to assist/offer outlet in build up play - Assess need to hold ball up or release quickly to supporting players

After – As the ball travels, try and be the next link in the chain

Organisation Area size – to suit Age Group e.g U18s 60y x 40y, U11s 40y x 25y Supply of balls ready in each goal 3 Teams of equal numbers + 2 permanent GKs Start – 2 teams on pitch with 3rd team spread around edge as “support” players. Can challenge “Support” Players to play on 2 touch Max, can reduce to 1 touch

Team who scores - get a ball from GK they scored past and immediately turn to attack opposite goal.

Conceding team are replaced by 3rd team – get off quickly, 3rd team get on very quickly to defend

Constraints - If anyone shoots and misses, the shooting player has to run around the goal and back onto the pitch before they can recover to tackle. Can other team take advantage of the short time overload? Key Factors Attacking Principles • Break quickly • Exploit disorganised defence • Counters quick and direct, body shape to play forwards quickly & penetrate • Type of support for strikers / quick combinations Defending Principles • Deny / Delay / Deflect / Defend • Recover quickly • Reorganise disorganised defence • Compact defending

Coach: Nick Wadsworth Twitter: @Nick_Wadsworth Club: Waterloo AFC

Topic: 1v1 Domination Theme: Counter Attacking Age Group: U16s Warm Up

Coaching points: 

Quick transition from defensive position to attacking position

Look to play the ball forward early

Exploit the over-load; always have a player free in space

Coach: Steve Phythian Twitter: @CoachA95

TEAM BUILDING: the road to success by Rinus Michels In 1999 FIFA named Rinus Michels, Coach of the Century. That in itself indicates the level of knowledge and detail into which his book goes. This is a true soccer “bible” of practical help and direction for coaches and a fascinating insight into player and team development for the fan. Rinus Michels uses all his experience and knowledge, as the instigator of the famous “Total Football” style, to create a picture of how to build a team, not just in the traditionally accepted understanding of the phrase ‘teambuilding’ but in all aspects. He looks at the complexity of the game, its evolution and the different styles of play using examples of famous coaches and their teams to illustrate the variations. Michels examines details of team tactics and strategy and the importance of a philosophical approach to the game which will help define and determine the tactics and strategy used by an individual coach. The ground rules of psychological team building are here too, including the apparent conflicting principles of how to create harmony and confrontation and their benefits. Advice is offered around psychological approaches and how individuals may utilise the lessons but based on the truth of their own character. The team building process starts, of course, with the young player and the technical ability, skill, they learn and develop. Providing detailed advice as to how this can be achieved, Michels looks at all ages from 5 to 21 and identifies key developmental strategies appropriate to each age group. He reflects on the demise of “street football” and tells how he, along with others at the KNVB (Dutch Royal Soccer Association) devised an approach to fill in the gaps left by the reduction in informal play. Although there are no diagrams, towards the end of the book, Michels gives detailed descriptions of practical exercises which can be taken to the practice area and worked upon for the benefit of individual and team understanding. Finally, Michels looks to the future and recognising changes in the game at the top level, makes some suggestions as to how coaches can prepare players to deal with the evolving game. He further emphasises how the ‘football learning’ is not complete at 18 and that extra attention must be provided for players up until the age of 21 to complete their soccer education. Rinus Michels 9 February 1928 – 3 March 2005

By Steve Phythian (16/6/2012)

Coach: Matthew Nickels Twitter: @mattynickels General definition a counter attack is a tactic in response to an attack. In football terms it is utilised in the defence to attack transition phase of play, when the opposition has not yet reorganised following their own attack. The aim is to create an offensive overload as quickly as possible, giving a numerical advantage and gaining a goal scoring opportunity from it. The breakaway has to be quick and since players are quicker without the ball, the passes are long. So when do you adopt this tactic?  

You are asking a lot of your attacking players to chase long balls for 90 minutes. It is brave to assume you can absorb wave after wave of attacks from the opposition as part of your own attack plan.

It is by no means an attractive style of football to play but, as a game becomes more open due to tired legs and minds, it becomes part of the final 20 minutes of every close game. A side losing by a single goal push forward for an equaliser. Gambling with more men in attack, they are the perfect victim for a side versed in counter attack. Underdogs “Park the Bus” and invite their opposition onto them to create space behind for a counter attack opportunity. Roy Hodgson’s sides are set up for this with a well organised 2 banks of 4. No space is given to the opposition and quick attackers, such as Alex Oxlaide Chamberlain, Ashley Young and Theo Walcott take advantage. The leaders on the pitch such as John Terry and Steven Gerrard prefer to play balls of 25 yards plus, usually finding the wide men or a strong target man such as Welbeck or Carroll. England will not dominate possession against strong sides, and their goals will likely be from counter attacks or set pieces. This “kick and rush” tactic has been the philosophy of British football for decades. Hodgson is benefitting from this with his organisation and by never over committing in attack. In his sides counter attacks will be throughout the game. The Tiki-taka of Spain is a current model for worldwide grassroots leaders, as was the previous Dutch “Total Football”. For these nations it is not just about the result, but also the manner in which you achieve it. You will only see counter attacks in the final stages of the match as their approach play is more methodical, patiently waiting for an overload opportunity by the movement of their attackers, or a moment of individual inspiration. From these examples I hope you draw your own conclusions on counter attacking. Personally I find it unattractive but realise it can also be effective. As football fans we underestimate the importance of our national mentality. Currently being British is about being defensive and impulsively attacking, ironically counter attack personifies this. In Spain everything has to be laid back and attractive, hence the Tiki-taka, however clubs such as Swansea are keen to bring this philosophy to the UK. Brendan Rogers has benefitted from the work initiated by Paulo Sousa and Robert Martinez before him. Can he impress this on Liverpool from a standing start? If he can reduce Gerrard’s passing range from 25 yards plus to 10 he may have a chance.

Coach: Matt Whitehouse Twitter: @The_W_Address In the 2000 Euro championship’s England and Germany both failed dramatically with squads which were clearly inept. Changes needed to be made, problems needed to be addressed. The decisions made by the two countries differed and the consequences of those decisions are seen today. What did England do to remedy the situation, we changed the manager. We didn’t believe that the players were at fault, we never do, it is always the manager who lacks the skills to win tournaments; either he is not motivating enough or not tactically good enough. Since then we have continued to fail, we have failed also to address the players deficiencies and those of the coaches in this country. What the German FA did was different; they looked at why their team failed and believed there was not enough young players with the necessary quality to make the German national team great. So what did they do? They invested in youth development; they implemented guidelines to the German teams that there must be more work put in to developing youth, that Germany must produce better quality players. What the Germans did. In 2003/04 Germany had 44% foreign players playing the Bundesliga, they realised something needed to change. Today it is 38%, which means the Bundesliga has 62% of players playing each week who are able to play for the national team. In England the numbers are reversed. What did they do that has made such an impact on German football? They required quality in facilities and coaching. They built 121 national talent centres in order to help 10- to 17-year-olds with technical practice. Each centre would employ two full-time coaches. The second key point was a new requirement for all 36 professional clubs in Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 to build youth academies. The most significant change in Germany was insisting that in these new academies at least 12 players in each intake have to be eligible to play for Germany. The key difference to England is that in Germany the 6+5 rule means only players from Germany are eligible to play. In England the rule is any player from any nationality who has been trained and developed in the country is classed as home grown. Cesc Fabregas is a perfect example. What the German model enables is the home grown youth to play more, enabling more players to gain the necessary experience to improve. It is no surprise therefore that Germany has more players, their rules enable them to develop a greater number. In Germany there is a very strong relationship and goal to develop youth. The Premier League is restricting England’s chances at achieving success because in the Pro game they are not being hard enough on clubs to develop home grown talent. The new EPPP plan may look to improve talent in England, however many people and many clubs have their doubts. Ultimately it comes down to what happens when these players get to the Pro game.

Has it worked? At the Under 21’s Euro’s in 2009 the German team showed the world that Germany had started to produce players for the future. They destroyed an average England in the final 4-0 and gave credence for the long term development plan put in place in 2002. At the 2010 World Cup England were shown up again by an excellent counter attacking team possessing fast, creative and clinical players in an organised German team which won 4-1, possessing players from that Under 21 side, most notably Ozil. They showed the world that Germany had developed players that would challenge for honours for the next decade. So far in this EURO’s Germany have looked excellent, possessing a balance between a strong defence and a creative attack. England’s issues English clubs currently spend more than Germany each year on youth development, around £90 million per season, and put 10,000 boys aged between nine and 16 through a much-criticised structure designed by Howard Wilkinson in 1997. Yet, only about 1% of boys who join an English academy aged nine become professional footballers. This is not economical and clearly there is a problem which money cannot fix. The problem with the English league is that there a lot of words and promises of a brighter future yet no governing body in total control of youth development. Too much fighting between the FA, Premier League and Football League has resulted in poor management and planning that has restricted the development of a larger pool of talented players. There is a short sightedness to the English development model which is restricting the long term development of players. The top clubs and Premier League are doing a disservice to the English game by not creating more opportunities for clubs to develop talent. If every club was forced to play English players weekly then the talent and quality will improve. Through selfish gain the owners and business men have marketed the Premier League to be the best and many have benefitted from the TV deals and high wages, yet it is the fans of the country who have lost out most. Each tournament creates a larger chasm between the best and England and we have seen this again in Poland and Ukraine. We must address the key issues that plague our game, from the quality of coaching in the foundation levels to the restrictions on the amount of English players in the pro game. The issues in the Pro game need to be addressed in order for more English players to gain experience in the top league, not on loan to the lower leagues. Compared to Germany we are lagging behind. A lack of communication and broken relationships between the clubs and governing bodies have restricted growth. What Germany have done is a great example of German efficiency; a plan was put in place and through far sighted planning and co-operation between federations and clubs a new generation was produced. In the last decade both the national team and domestic clubs have benefited from an emphasis on youth development and nurturing potential stars. England resembles Germany more than any other country in terms of style, attitude and characteristics. They have taken their organised, disciplined manner and added guile, creativity, agility and craft. The new EPPP is a model for better coaching and improved standards, yet it is changes in the Pro game which are required in order to allow potential England players opportunities to gain the experience necessary to improve. Until the governing bodies in England agree and enforce clubs to have more English players in their teams, then the national team will not improve.

Coach: Steve Brennan Twitter: @SCBrennan Club: Hampshire FA Football Development - skills team

What do we want the players to achieve today? To gain an understanding of counter attacking football when regaining possession. Organisation: 3v3/4v4 Reds start with ball and attack blues. If blues win the ball back they counter attack the yellows and reds replace blues as defenders and so on. When defending, team must have GK to create overload in favour of attackers. Attackers must score in attacking third. Encourage attacking team to score within 10 seconds. Progression: Take one player from each team to create a new team of 3 players. Two of these players will act as strikers and act as an option for the counter attacking team. The other will act as a defender/holding midfielder in the middle third to try to slow down the counter attacking team. Coaching Points: 

First touch out of defensive third (dribble, run, pass?)

Transition from defence to attack (movement – width and depth)

Direction, timing and type of attacking runs

Receiving priorities of striker when introduced

Challenges: 

Try to recognise when to support behind and in advance of the ball

Try to leave the ball playable for a teammate

Try to play with 1-touch

Try to finish with a 1st time shot

Try to occupy defenders to create 1v1 opportunities for teammates or space for them to travel into


Coach: Paul Simms Twitter: @Simmsy76 Club: Cardiff City ADC Introduction: My name is Paul Simms, I have been a Goalkeeper Coach for 5 years and have Coached in Schools and Clubs both in the UK and Canada. During this time I have been lucky to have had very close working relationships with some high profile coaches who I have learned a huge amount from. On completion of my UEFA C Licence for Coaching Goalkeepers I spent a season coaching for the Torfaen area representative squads, Race FC and Bridgend Disabled football club. Progressing from this level I was contacted by Cardiff City's Advanced Development Centre and offered a Head Goalkeeper Coach position. I train all age groups and am currently building the 2012/2013 season Development programme. My training is focused on building high confidence in every player through technical structured training, hard work and lots of fun. I am 100% for steady development over a period of time and the kids leaving my training with a smile means everything to me. Topic : Distribution Theme: Finding a player in space to enable counter attacking Age Group: Mixed Equipment : 12 Cones, 8 balls, 2 goals, coloured vests

Warm up:  Jog and Bounce  Side Step & Bounce  Lunge Walks  Butt Kicks  Straight kicks  Inside Taps  Rapid feet Fw & Bk  Rapid feet Side  Toe Taps on ball  2 leg straight Jumps P1 to use various footwork patterns through cones and set at Green gate for shot from Coach. Vary height of shots and add recovery saves. Footwork Patterns Rapid Feet forward…..sides…..fwd and back

Save Selection Basket...smother...medium W...High W...Dive Drill 1 - Instructions and Key Coaching Points     

  

Keeper starts in centre of goal Coach 8yds away and 3 players another 12yds behind Players face away from play until coach calls a number 1,2 or 3, on call that player will turn and face play Coach starts drill with shot on keeper and then calls a number Keeper make routine save then look for player facing play and distribute the ball to them. P1,P 2 or P3 must then distribute to Coach Progression Alternate between rolls, throws and push pass working on technique Work 4 reps and switch keeper

Drill 2 - Instructions and Key Coaching Points       

Keepers work in 18yd box depending on numbers Play 5v3, 6v4 or 7v5…….with smaller group defending Yellow team must play to each other and keep away from the green team using a series of distribution rolls, throws and kicks If green team intercept then yellows become defenders Progression Increase defending numbers With kicks, limit touches on the ball

Coaching point - look for correct distribution technique and correct

Small Sided Game - Instructions and Key Coaching Points     

Normal 5 a side game Conditions to be added during game Keeper must only distribute to a player making a forward run Keeper must only distribute to feet All attacks must come following distribution from a keeper, if team has not had a shot on goal within 5 passes a free kick is awarded to the opponent. If either team win back possession from a tackle or block the ball must be played directly back to keeper to start next attack from distribution

Coach: Karl Sharman Twitter: @Karlsharman Counter attacking Skill Zone Counter attacking is an art of a break away after winning the ball back, sometimes done naturally rather than coached, but is very important that it is coached now due to the speed of the game. The game has adapted in recent years and the speed of the game has increased showing more counter attacks than ever before. Quick skills including turns can start and influence counter attacks and its very important a player is good at SAQ (speed, agility and quickness) as well as balance to allow them to do the skills and speed. Decision making is also very important as a player can start a counter attack with the correct decision but may miss the opportunity with a poor decision. Placing players into situations allowing them to make decisions will help this and give them experience to take into the game. Counter attacking is a tactical way to play the game and is a very fluid and effective way of playing. Session Defender with ball switches play to other team (blue) releasing second defender to run to half way line and round the cone as that is being done play has started and the blues are countering attacking towards the goal. This session can also be used to recovery runs. Allow the players to make decisions and express their ability of skill with and without the ball, invite them to take risk and chances.

Progression As a progression the defending team can have a aim to win the ball back and have a goal the other end of the pitch to allow the defending team to win the ball back and counter attack themselves.

Coach: Glenn Morriss Twitter: @GlennMorriss

The Importance of First Aid The first topic of these articles that will be discussed is first aid and its impact in your club. We will discuss why first aid is important and how this can be improved in order to maintain player safety and improve the club environment. As everyone will know with the Muamba incident most recently, that first aid is even more important in today’s sporting environment but this is magnified in at a grass root level. Sometimes the safest place to be in sport is in a professional football game, due to the amount of medical aid and surrounding assistance on offer. But how can we apply this to grass root football in order to make this environment just as safe.

In order for first aid to be improved in all areas of sport its important for everyone to consider if they know what to do in any emergency situation and whether you would feel confident carrying out CPR if required. Previously working in grass root clubs I am aware of the different first aid qualifications offered and depth of information provided but I feel that knowing your own competence is the best way to measure quality of your first aid training. Obviously know body wants to be in an emergency situation but it’s better to be prepared.

So how can we improve this in grass root sport? Simply start off by looking at your own club set up and who is first aid trained. Also look at who should be first aid trained and is the information needed in an emergency currently displayed and visible to everyone. Information is vital and this will allow other people to assist the first aider if required.

All topics discussed in this article are for information purposes only. If you have specific enquiry or concern please visit a trained registered practitioner for a consultation or assistance.

Coach: Neill Walsh Twitter: @NWPersonalTrain Club:

Nutritional tips to optimise performance. While exercise and physical activity is key to a healthy lifestyle, when training for specific sports, nutrition plays a major role in your performance whether that is playing football for 90 minutes or ensuring your golf swing is consistent for 18 holes.

Alongside your diet, you will need to establish a good balance of regular physical activity per week. The most effective frequency would be between 2-3 times per week including cardiovascular training, resistance training and core stability covering agility, balance and speed.

Around 20-30 minutes before exercising you should try to eat or drink something easily digestible to give you a quick energy boost. Fruit is nutrient-dense and very quick to digest (particularly in liquid form), making a fruit smoothie an ideal pre-exercise option that also helps top up your 5 a day. Try whizzing together a handful of berries, chopped banana, and milk or low fat yogurt, some crushed ice and a teaspoon of honey. Delicious!

If you're struggling to make it up to 5 portions, remember that frozen fruits and vegetables are included in your daily allowance. Canned beans and pulses also count and are a great source of quick, nutritious protein when added to salads, soups and stir-fries. Ref: Neill Walsh PT.


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Student Of The Game - Issue 2 - July 2012  

Grassroots Football Coaching Magazine. Featuring German Youth Football Structure and Counter Attacking Football Session Plans.

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