Icoachsoccer.ca Wing Play Wing play can be a very effective way to penetrate strong defensive teams. Anybody can do it ,but to be effective you have to practice it...a lot by Raffaele Tomarchio INTRODUCTION Experts agree that attacking on the wings is one of the best ways to penetrate opposition de- fenses. This is also in line with one of the principles of attacking play, which is the creation of width. Defending teams always try to compact the area around the ball. By creating width, the de- fending team loses their compactness and therefore become more vulnerable. When attacking on the wing, there are certain benefits to consider: 1. Crossess create good scoring opportunities. 2. Crossing in the box may create favorable situations for the attacking team in terms of sec- ond opportunities, or to continue an attack. 3. Quality crosses are hard to defend ,causing a degree of uneasiness for defenders. 4. If ball possession is lost after a cross in the penalty box, there is no danger of a negative transition, as the majority of the players from the attacking team are positioned behind the line of the ball, and the attackers near the ball can apply immediate pressure. Passing In order to have successful wing attacks that produce goals, the technical elements of receiv- ing/crossing the ball and finishing, must be practiced and perfected. Attacking on the wings can be achieved with ease at any level, as long as a coach makes it part of their training plan. The following is a sample session that can be used for players u14 and up to improve wing play effectiveness. Warm-up We can use this phase to introduce the players to the topic of the session, in this case, wing play. Here are two examples of exercises that can be used: Exercise 1 In a 40x40 (yards) space two teams of five or Support six players play a hand-ball game. Two players ig1 from each team are positioned in the outside grids. When the outside players receive the ball they proceed down the line without being tackled by the opposition and cross the ball. Each time a goal is scored either by header, or volley from a cross, the attacking team gets 3 points, otherwise if they score they will get a Fig1 point.(Fig1) Exercise 2 Two teams of eight players play in half of the field. (Fig 2)One keeper plays around the mid- field circle, while the other plays in an area double the size of the six yard box. The objective of the game is for the players in the green area to cross the ball to one of their team- mates which will try to kick or head the ball with one touch towards the keeper, not the goal. If that happens, the team in possession retains the ball and attacks the opposite goal, otherwise Fig2 the other team will get the ball. The team that is able to score 3 consecutive times wins the game. Technique Training Play starts with a midfielder player passing the ball to a wide player, which will dribble it down the line and will cross it thru two cones 5 yards Apart to any if the 3 target areas. Players work both sides. Progressions • Add 2 defenders • Add 1 midfielder Situational Play Fig3 This next exercise takes place in and around the penalty area. Two teams of four ,one defending and one attacking inside the penalty area, and a third team outside, with two players crossing the ball and two others acting as supporting players and collecting balls for the crossers.(Fig 4) Each play will start with a cross.The attacking team will score three points if the goal is scored by a volley, two points by header, and one point after the ball touches the ground.Every time the ball goes out of play, the game is immediately started by a player from the opposite side with a cross. Each team will attack for five minutes and the team that scores the most goals will win.This exercise is designed to give the attacking players constant opportunities to score from crosses and for the defending players, a realistic platform to learn how to deal with different types of crosses and situations. Fig4 Situational Play Group Tactics This is a 5v3 functional session, with a server, two strikers, and two outside players for the attacking team vs three defenders and a keeper for the defending team. The coach will focus on the technique of crosses from the outside players, the runs and finishing of the strikers. Fig5 (Fig 5) Progression 7v5 or 7v6 Team Play Two teams of six players, plus two neutral players, and two keepers play against each other in half field divided in three areas: 2 outside areas of 10 yard, each used by the neutral players, two areas the size of the penalty area, and a central zone.(Fig 6) Rules: 1.The neutral players play with the team in possession of the ball 2.One point when a goal is scored from any- where. Fig6 3.Two additional points when the goal is scored from crosses. (neutral players have only two touches before a cross.) 4.Midfielders have to remain in the middle zone until the neutral players receive the ball.