Our Individual’s Guide to Football Defending Tactics

Following on from our last post, we want to give you a better idea of what you can do to help the team on the football pitch when off the ball. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know when to jump in and try and nick the ball and when to stand off your opposite number. When should you let them have it and when should you make that goal saving last ditch lunge?

Don’t worry, these are all things everyone struggles with when learning the game playing 5 a side, 7-a-side and 9-a-side football. The good thing is we’re here to help with our individual’s guide to football defending tactics.

With these points below in mind, you’ll be more aware of how to defend effectively as an individual and as a team, which could ultimately help you to raise the prestigious ESF Festival of Football Champions trophy!

Main individual tactics for defending

  • Positioning is key – Don’t let your opposite number get goal side.
  • With good positional sense, you can mark the opposing team out the game and limit their options.
  • Don’t turn your back on your opponent or the ball, try to keep both in sight whenever possible.
  • Try not to give your opponent any space or time. When he or she on the ball try cut down their options and slow them down.
  • Try to anticipate the game to beat your opponent to the ball. Get a foot in first and your life will be a whole lot easier.
  • When your opponent is in possession, try to put them under pressure and contest the ball, but be careful not to jump in and make it easy for them to get by you.
  • Try to predict where your opponent is going to pass the ball next or what run they may make and look to block or intercept this.
  • If there’s a high ball coming in make sure your positioning is correct and try to time your jump so you get up earlier than your opponent.
  • When under pressure in your own penalty area, don’t dribble or try to beat players, it’s high risk. Passing to other teammates in your own area can also put them under pressure unless they are in plenty of space.
  • When you need to make a clearance under pressure, direct the ball down the touchline rather than into the middle of the field.
  • Don’t pass the ball aimlessly up field unless you’re under pressure. Look for a teammate in space and try to build from the back.
    If you lose the ball. Think about where to position yourself best to recover and attempt to win the ball back.
  • Try to avoid needless lunges for the ball. Bide your time and wait until the attacker changes ball or feet position.
  • Don’t give up! If you lose possession do everything you can to get back in the game.
  • A good goalie should be the master of his/her own penalty area.

Get Your Tactics Right With ESF!

Ultimately, the best way to get your tactics right is by getting practice and lots of game time!

With over 1100 youth football teams participating every year, ESF is the biggest youth football tournament in the UK so it’s a great opportuning to test your skills against other teams from all over the UK. ESF at Butlins Skegness in Lincolnshire is one of the UK’s premier youth football tournaments.

The festival on 29 April – 2 May 2016 is already fully subscribed with over 200 teams entered, but we do still have availability for boys and girls football teams all abilities to join us at ESF at Butlins Skegness on 22-25 April 2016.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a side based in Blackpool, Southport, Sunderland, Prestatyn or the rest of the UK, you can still join us for a great end of season tour at ESF.

Get in touch online or give us a call on 01664 566360 and we’ll answer any questions you’ve got and get you booked in. We can’t wait to see you and your team at ESF 2016!

ESF Score Centre

Your players will feel like they’re in the Premier League while they’re at ESF, with live results and league table updates taking place on the ESF Score Centre.

Celebrity Presentations

Our spectacular presentations are always a tour highlight. Celebrity guests have included Kevin Keegan, Ian Wright, Robert Pires, Wayne Bridge, Sue Smith, Casey Stoney, John Barnes and more.

Request a brochure

Complete a brochure request form and we’ll send you a free copy of the ESF 2018 brochure.

Order ESF 2018 Brochure

Order Brochure