Do you know Eldwick Juniors has a club football philosophy - you'll find it elsewhere on this site in the Documents section. So with this in mind, Gary Horton our Director of Football has a question for our Managers and Coaches? How will you play this season? And a question for our players and supporters? Do you know how your team is trying to play?
Managers and Coaches, do you go for full on attacking play either by pass-and-move or perhaps through a more direct style - or do you favour a more defensive set-up and then play on the counter? As important though - do your players and your supporters know your approach?
There are of course many ways to play the game.
That said, if you manage or support one of our younger age groups (up to and including 9v9) you shouldn't be too concerned with style and tactics. Small sided games are all about individual development and fun must always be top of the agenda. Don't restrict players if they step out of 'position'. There's nothing wrong with a defender going on a run into the opposition's half or an attacker coming deep for the ball. Spatial awareness develops through playing the game and players soon learn and adapt. It's more important to give positive encouragement and to get players to think and make their own decisions and to avoid just telling players what to do all of the time. There is a football saying - let the game be the teacher - and this really applies to the younger age groups.
Formation and tactics are something to perhaps give more attention to when your team gets to 11v11? At this stage, you have a much better idea of the ability and capability of your players so you can set up accordingly. The players will also be growing up and will naturally become more competitive and you can more easily direct the team as a unit.
Whichever way you decide to play - and this applies to all age groups - it's important to share your thoughts with players and supporters, so everyone has an idea of what you're trying to achieve together. This will not only help players it will really help supporters know how to support your approach and help steer them away from coaching their own views. This is crucial to prevent mixed messages being given to players.
So there you have it. Some pre season thoughts to hopefully shape your own thinking for the new season. Whatever happens, enjoy your football. Now go Eldwick!