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The complete soccer coaching experience


Volume 1 jan/feb 2004

The U19 youth of

Schalke 04
Mick McCarthy Coach AFC Sunderland

Mark Wotte Coach Willem II Tilburg about Zonal Defence Tony Carr Academy Director West Ham United De Haan and Ladru about the U9 youth of Ajax Amsterdam

w w w. s o c c e r c o a c h i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l . c o m

january/february 2004 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 Phone: +31-(0)182 399 760 E-mail: paulvanveen@sportfacilities.com Publisher Sportfacilities & Media BV Visiting Address: Steynlaan 19H ZEIST THE NETHERLANDS Postal Address: Postbus 952, 3700 AZ ZEIST THE NETHERLANDS E-mail: sci@sportfacilities.com Phone: +31-(0)30 - 697 77 10 Fax: +31-(0)030 - 697 77 20 Project Manager Floris Schmitz E-mail: f.schmitz@sportfacilities.com Editorial staff: Stuart Baxter, Paul Cooper, Maaike Denkers, Bert-Jan Heijmans, Peter Langens, Hans Slender and Paul van Veen. Subscription Rates You can subscribe to this magazine at the website: www.soccercoachinginternational.com. The subscription rate is 47,70/year for UK/USA subscribers and 59,90/year for subscribers from the rest of the world. You will receive six magazines per year and you will be able to register to the website www.soccercoachinginternational.com 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.

Sunderland AFC, a Premier League Club with a first division team When Mick McCarthy was appointed the new Sunderland manager, although acutely aware of the challenges ahead, not even he could imagine the baptism of fire awaiting him, losing eleven games in a row. In this interview we find out from Mick about the difference between management at country and club level, the pressure on todays modern manager and how to handle it. We look at his relationship with the players and how to play for a win instead of losing two points for a draw.


It s a slow process, which gradually gains fruit Almost all coaches have had an active football past. Most professional coaches have also played at the highest level. At some point these players will have to make the transformation from player to coach. Being a coach is very different from being a player, says Van Basten, who has been taking a professional coaching course for the past 6 months. SoccerCoachingInternational followed the first coaching experiences of the former super striker.



Zonal defense is suitable from U-15 upwards More and more Dutch teams are playing with a zonal defense in both professional football as well as amateur football. I am convinced that you can start playing with a back four as early as U-15s. This includes amateur levels, as long as the team is coachable, says Mark Wotte, Willem II coach. SoccerCoachingInternational talked to him about playing a zone defense.

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Timely communication is crucial

Copyright All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission of the publisher.


If you do not cover everything in practice, it will not happen in a game either!

ISSN 1571 - 8794

The wall pass by itself is not an objective

From the Editor

Kristof Mortier is the coach of the U15 team at Club Brugge. Soccer Coaching International Magazine talked to him about the importance of the wall pass and about training this combination. According to Mortier training the wall pass fits nicely in the educational plan for U15 teams. In this age category the importance is slowly being put on the subject of collectivity, says Mortier.

The complete Soccer Coaching Experience

I'm very excited to write this first foreword in our first issue of SoccerCoachingInternational. I still remember the moment I saw the first issue of TrainersMagazine, our Dutch magazine for soccer coaches and I feel exactly the same now. A lot of foreign coaches who got their hands on TrainersMagazine asked us if we could please release an English version and now, after almost a year of preparations, our first issue is here. In SoccerCoachingInternational we will bring you interviews with soccer coaches all over the world. Both youth and adult coaches, both known and unknown coaches. Not just from The Netherlands, but from all over the world. I completely agree with Marco van Basten when he says in his interview: "What you need as a coach is a certain wisdom, which can furnish successful results and make soccer fun and appealing. There are no set rules and guidelines on how to accomplish this." Therefore we think it is important that we let you know how coaches train and coach all over the world and not give you information from one specific country. But SoccerCoachingInternational is more than just a soccer coaching magazine. It is a complete soccer coaching experience. Of course you will receive at least 48 pages packed with soccer coaching information six times a year, but you will also get complete access to our interactive website. Using the codes found in the magazine you can discuss about articles from the magazine and sometimes you can even find bonus material on the website. And as a subscriber you will have exclusive access to our complete database of soccer coaching exercises. I hope you enjoy our first issue of SoccerCoachingInternational. Please let us know what you think of the magazine and the website. We will continuously work to make the magazine and the corresponding website better and better. We will listen very carefully to our subscribers, because this magazine is for every coach. The coach who is coaching the Under 8's at grassroots level to the professional coach who is working with the best players in the world. I hope SCI will play a part in the development and education of soccer coaches all over the world. Yours in soccer, Paul van Veen Editor

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Willpower an important factor in the U15s program


Meet the family West Ham United is a real football club. You smell it as you walk through the door. It smells of wet socks, dubbin, muscle rub and Typhoo tea. The incredible success at producing international players at the Academy is down to continuity, a family atmosp here and a huge pool of knowledge amongst the coaches brought up in the West Ham Way, which is built on its long held football principles of entertaining play. SoccerCoachingInternationals Paul Cooper finds out more from Academy Director Tony Carr.



Two-footed players the most important component in Ajax team Ajax has, for the second year in a row, ha an U-9 youth team. The first U-9 team is performing well. Ajax won all 9 matches and scored an impressing 99 goals, with only 1 goal against. Heres a look behind the scenes with coaches Dennis de Haan and Patrick Ladru. Players have to have the ability to perform a move to beat a player with both feet.


The art of Goalkeeping has changed greatly over the last few decades. The heroics of keepers such as The Banks of England (Gordon Banks) and The Black Octopus (Lev Yashin) are the norm, as coaching has become commonplace and the art of goalkeeping has moved on.

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When Mick McCarthy was appointed the new Sunderland manager, although acutely aware of the challenges ahead, not even he could imagine the baptism of fire awaiting him, losing eleven games in a row. In this interview we find out from Mick about the difference between management at country and club level, the pressure on today's modern manager and how to handle it. We look at his relationship with the players and how to play for a win instead of losing two points for a draw. By: Bert-Jan Heijmans

Mick McCarthy, Manager Sunderland AFC:

'Sunderland AFC, a Premier League Club with a first division team'

Mick McCarthy is passionate about the game but also knows exactly what he wants. Over lunch in the Stadium of Light canteen, busy as he is, he still finds time to talk about this great game. That is the way he talks, he is always either defending or attacking that ball. Mick McCarthy was born in Yorkshire of Irish parents. He was convinced from an early age that he would be a professional footballer. Fit and strong he was lucky with injuries and made his debut for his home club Barnsley at the age of 18. It is an old clich that the next best thing to playing is to coach or manage a team. Mick felt no different and has taken to managing the same way he played, with 100% commitment and plenty of passion.

He was quick to realise that having knowledge of the game does not necessarily make you a good manager. It is all in your head, but how to use it and how to structure that knowledge is the key. What will be your beliefs and your philosophy? All this must evolve into a coherent plan if you are to be successful. The gulf between playing and managing is immense. Everything is now done for players and even after a bad result the buck stops with the manager, as it is he that will ultimately have to solve the problems out on the training ground. The manager has to think long term but also must be able to solve problems as they arise, such as heavy defeats and dissatisfied players.

Playing football when you are young is great, you feel as if you can go on forever but eventually time takes a hold and in Micks case he finished his playing career as player manager at Millwall. Mick finally hung up his boots and concentrated on the managerial side, appointing assistant Ian Evans who has been with Mick throughout.

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004


- AFC Sunderland

McCarthy was quick to realise that having knowledge of the game does not necessarily make you a good manager.

Mick won his first international cap for Ireland in 1983 while playing for Manchester City. He had joined City after consecutive promotions from the fourth to second divisions with Barnsley. He also spent a short time at French club Lyon. Mick had a very successful international career; the highlight was reaching the last eight at the 1990 finals, eventually getting knocked out by hosts Italy. He was ever present for the finals. It was after the World Cup that he became player manager at Millwall and he ended his International career with a 2-0 victory over Portugal in Boston. Free to concentrate on management, an entirely different life was waiting for Mick McCarthy.

In 1996 Mick left Millwall to succeed his own manager of the Irish team Jack Charlton. It was a huge task to undertake as Jack Charlton had succeeded in bringing the Irish team from International obscurity to successful campaigns at Euro 88 and the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. But Mick took the job without any fear as he had learned a lot from the master. Jack had taught him to be straightforward with everyone. As the manager you have to make the final decisions. You are the man in charge and only you can decide the way to play. Mick is a very personable man who makes people feel at ease. But even with these qualities the difference between managing at club level and taking charge of a national team is huge. With a club team you work throughout the season, you have plenty of games and training sessions to put things right and the pressure is spread over ten months.

and then tremendous pressure when a game is played. In club football it may just be one half of a city who are waiting on the outcome of a result, but in International football the pride of a nation is at stake. The result of that game is everything; it is such a short-term approach. You only have the players for a short time so it is difficult to work in any depth on technical and tactical aspects of the game. Most of the time is spent working on team bonding and working on the system you are to play. The pressure is immense because if you lose it could be months before you have the opportunity to put it right. There is also pressure on the players. Do they fit into the managers system? Can they produce the form they show for their club for the national team? You have to be able to handle the disappointments and make a commitment to the manager and the system he requires them to play.

They have to learn when to take time and when to make the decision to speed up the game

World Cup
For the 2002 World Cup, Mick McCarthys view on how he wanted the team to play was very clear. However captain Roy Keane publicly criticised the teams training facilities and general attitude, Mick McCarthy, well know as a team player and always putting the team before any individual had to make a very difficult decision.

Your goals are long term. Managing an International team is the opposite. You have a lot of quiet spells during the season

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience

Who was in charge here, the manager or his captain? Despite clear the air talks the Manchester United player ended up criticising the manager and as they say, the rest is history. Mick admits that the row put both him and the team under a huge amount of pressure, but the decision proved to be right with the team qualifying from the group stage only to be beaten on penalties by one of the bookies favourites Spain after the teams finished level 1-1 after extra time. Mick talks about the team spirit needed to get that far in the sports premier competition. The manager is the conductor, but one mistake and the orchestra can fall to pieces and the show is over.

the wage bill. Mick McCarthy had no option but to start from scratch with virtually a new team. One of Micks best qualities, which he proved time and time again with Ireland, is creating a special bond with the players. He talks with his players and gives them confidence, creating a positive atmosphere within the team. Even though the team lost the first few games, Mick saw no reason to panic. He knew that this was a result of creating a new team and they had to have time to bond and bed in. His faith in his methods and the team proved fruitful and as the club climbs the table they are likely to be promotion contenders come the end of the season.

club, which presently finds itself in the Nationwide. He is convinced he has the right material to bounce straight back. The fans, the staff and everyone involved at the club deserve promotion. We have a magnificent stadium and our youth academy is one of the finest in the country. Appointing Kees Zwamborn from Ajax, as the new academy director, sent out a message about the ambitions of the club. The club is thinking long term about the future.

Mick admits he prefers to work with adults at the top level but obviously takes great interest at what is happening at the youth level at the club. Due to relegation the average age of the first team squad has dropped. The stars have moved on, leaving more opportunities for the youngsters. Mick is very open to new ideas and likes the way Kees has organised both the academy and the coaching of the under 19s. Mick says that bringing in new ideas is good, but always remem-

Club Management
Sunderland brought Mick back into club management, but like his career as Ireland manager, his task was not an easy one. It was Peter Reid who had brought the big time back to Sunderland, which also coincided with a move to the magnificent Stadium of Light. The years of progress dried up and Pete Reids reverse in fortunes ultimately cost him his job. Sunderland then turned their attention to FA coaching supremo Howard Wilkinson, but the relationship was only to last five months before he was also shown the door. When Mick took over the reigns the club were seven points adrift in the Premiership. McCarthy understood the situation and realised that putting eleven men behind the ball and playing for a draw was not enough to avoid relegation. The team had to win games to have any chance of survival. They went out too win every game but it quickly became apparent that the pressure was too great for the players and resulted in eleven defeats and relegation to the Nationwide.

The Future
What pressure does Mick have at the club? His answer is straightforward. The club is not putting any pressure on him; the only pressure comes from himself. As an ambitious manager he wants to go straight back to the Premiership. The club deserves it. It is a Premiership

First Division
Mick McCarthy is not one to complain. He realised that relegation meant a massive drop in income and the star players had to be sold. Players such as Kevin Phillips, Tommy Sorensen, Tore Andre Flo, Kevin Kilban, Gavin McCann and many others. In total the club released twenty-three players to dramatically slash

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

bering that England is different from the continent. We play with our heart and with great pace. I saw quality players like Pires, Wiltord and Bergkamp initially struggle with the pace and power of our game. Mick has a special interest in the under 16,17,18 and 19 age groups as these are his potential first team players. Micks approach is that if a player is good enough for the first team then he is old enough. Because of the clubs current cash plight, the money is not there to bring in big names so there are plenty of opportunities for the youngsters.

His relationship with Ian Evans is very special, as they have worked together for so long. Ian may do the warming up one day and Mick the tactical part, the next day it can be the other way around. It is that special relationship that allows that to work. Mick adds that he wants to be there at Ians sessions because as he is such a good coach he can still learn a lot from him. It is also important that the players hear a different voice once and a while and most importantly that they see a different approach to coaching as well. During the session, which Mick and Ian did together, Ian did a passing and receiving warm up and Mick then took them for a game of 8 v 6 (+ goalkeeper) where he coached the attacking team. Ian observed the defence and concentrated on their shape. The attacking side showed immense passion and commitment, which transferred onto the pitch as playing with great pace.

Mick said that the team is struggling with the fact that everything is played at 100mph. They have to learn when to take time and when to make the decision to speed up the game.

It would be wrong in an article on Sunderland football club, not to mention the fierce rivalry that exists with neighbours Newcastle United, indeed the suburbs of the two cities vir tually connect. Both clubs have fanatical support, super stadiums and long traditions but that is where the similarities finish. It is a rivalr y on a par with RangersCeltic, Ajax-Feyenoord, and MadridBarcelona. The clubs are based in the North East of England, which has proved such a hot bed for football talent in this countr y through the years. But Mick McCar thy has only one goal; to return Sunderland to the Premiership.

Training Sessions
Mick McCarthy is very much a tracksuit manager who wants to improve his team all the time. I suppose all coaches want that but Mick shows it by being there on the training ground. Even when he is not leading a session he is still ever present.

8 v 7 with goalkeeper (Attacking play)

- Half the pitch with one goal and a goalkeeper - The eight build from midfield against 7 defenders (including one goalkeeper) - Player 1 always starts the exercise

Coaching points
- Only coach the players in possession - Try to create an overload, and take the opportunity to score - Use the wings if possible for crosses

Key points
Mick McCarthy and Ian Evans coach positioning games a couple of times a week. Mick wants his team to dominate every game, which means playing on the opposition's half. The pitch is often very small and positioning, control of the ball and speed of play are deciding factors in whether the game is won or lost.
First touch Positioning Communication Make the right decision when you have the ball Create triangles by giving your team-mates the opportunity to play the ball

Mick coaches the attacking team, and stops the exercise if necessary. Ian observes the defenders and makes notes of what to do for future exercises related to defending.

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience

Almost all coaches have had an active football past. Most professional coaches have also played at the highest level. At some point these players will have to make the transformation from player to coach. Being a coach is very different from being a player, says Van Basten, who has been taking a professional coaching course for the past 6 months. SoccerCoachingInternational followed the first coaching experiences of the former super striker. By: Jorrit Smink

Marco van Basten about the transformation from player to coach:

Its a slow process, which gradually gains fruit

After half a season with the fourth division team Pancratius Van Basten is now doing his in house training with Ajax. Van Basten became instantly aware that things work a little different at a Champions League team than at the amateur club from Badhoevedorp. On a cold January day he showed up wearing a hat at the training ground, which Ronald Koeman told him to remove. There are no hats allowed on the Ajax training ground!

A lot to learn
Regardless of the fact that Van Basten has been studying to be a coach for the past 6 months he is still very careful about answering coaching questions. I do not have enough experience to give detailed advice. For tips its better to go to people with more experience. Regardless Van Basten is willing to talk about his first experiences as a coach. First of all you realize that being a coach is very different from being a player, he says. But it is an advantage if you have played football and have experience. But as a coach you deal with completely different situations than as a player. I still feel relatively inexperienced as a coach and I still feel I have a lot to learn.

Tonny Bruins Slot talks about the future coach. The assistant takes Van Basten through the program and talks to him about it out on the field. Van Basten was to experience what its like to be a referee during a practice game. Bruins Slot: You could tell he is not used to this. He would continuously position himself as a player instead of a referee. Van Basten was constantly caught in the line of the ball and on many occasions had to jump to avoid being tackled. Which is not very smart considering Van Basten is still recovering from ligament injuries. Van Basten: In some ways I still feel like a player. When I am on the field I always feel like kicking a ball and participating from time to time. However as a referee for a practice game during an Ajax training session you learn not to do that. And because of my coaching course I am slowly realizing that I am not a player anymore, but becoming more of a coach. It is a process that will gradually bear fruit.

Difference in levels
For now Van Basten has learned that there is a big difference between coaching Ajax players and Pancratius players. The Ajax players are easier to coach because there are more facilities available here than at Pancratius. Everything is at hand on the field. At Pancratius you have to do a lot yourself. On the other hand it is easier to do exercise sessions with the players from Pancratius. I believe they primarily have to engage in technical exercises. The talented technician obviously does not have too many problems with that. During the exercises he often gave his own examples. At Pancratius I did almost everything with the ball. Basic things like shooting, passing and dribbling, those kinds of

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

NL - Van Basten

things. And wall passes, with bounces. First of all because the pitch does not always allow you to apply more complicated exercises, but also because I feel that guys at this level have to have fun at practice, which means working a lot with the ball. Through practising you will acquire better techniques, which will, at this level, make the game more fun and a lot easier. KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Federation) Visiona.k.a. De Zeister Visie For now Van Basten will slightly vary his own training sessions from those of the KNVB, which he worked with throughout his coaching course. Dribbling through cones should be included as well, especially when combined with a circuit. When Van Basten shows that he can still dribble at a fast pace, faster than the Ajax youth players, it looks like he paved the way for more Coerver-exercises. More exercise sessions to practice techniques, why not? The players at Pancratius know all about it. At Ajaxs first division team and their U19 team there is just more to it than that, says Van Basten. Because you are not just working on technique, but also on tactical issues. You are trying to improve team possession amongst the players as well as positional play of the lines. You are busy trying to make the team function better. Those are just more complicated issues.

and lack the ability to play together you also have a problem and if you have good technique, but you have a terrible mentality, the same thing applies. I believe football has four elements and as a player you have to try to control those elements as soon as possible. When you do not have one of those elements under control, you will have to practice them, this, however, may take years. A coach will need to help his players to develop all those facets to the best of their ability.

Which is best, a hands-on or a more theoretical approach to coaching? There is no one answer, according to van Basten. There are good theoretical coaches, who have academic backgrounds and achieve successful results. And you also have coaches who use their practical backgrounds and they likewise get those results. What you need is a certain wisdom, which can achieve successful results and make football fun and appealing. There are no set rules and guidelines on how to accomplish this. Its all correct, just that one person does it this way and the other another way. Its all about what you feel most comfortable with and what makes you think God, I am learning a lot and makes you believe you are doing something useful. Its all about becoming as well-rounded as quickly as possible.

Van Basten does not want to overestimate technique. Technique is a very important component of the game, but if you have a good technique and you cannot run you also have a problem. If you have a good technique, but you are not a team player

Marco van Basten is on a progressive road. He does not want to dive into his coaching career blindfolded and will most likely try to gain some experience as an assistant coach first. I believe you should slowly build on the basics.

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience

Photo: Bastiaan Heus

More and more Dutch teams are playing with a zonal defense in both professional football as well as amateur football. I am convinced that you can start playing with a back four as early as U-15s. This includes amateur levels, as long as the team is coachable, says Mark Wotte, Willem II coach. SoccerCoachingInternational talked to him about playing a zone defense.

By: Marco de Ruiter and Paul van Veen

Willem II coach Mark Wotte:

Zonal defense is suitable from U-15 upwards

A zonal defense is a defensive system in which players are assigned responsibilities for particular areas of the defensive third rather than man marking duties. Always using the ball, the opponent and the goal as point of reference. The goal is usually at your back, the opponent almost always moving and the ball is always in motion. You have to constantly adjust your position and make those adjustments in accordance to those three components. This also applies to the midfielders and forwards. where synonymous with one another. When the left wingback moved to the left the right back would automatically have to follow suit. I have never tried this, but I can imagine that this is the most forceful way to illustrate the importance of unity in the defense.

The advantage of a four-man line defense is that you almost never have to adapt your organization to your opponent. Whether they attack with 1, 2, 3, or 4 strikers, if your organization is well structured you should constantly have a well-protected area in front of the goal (the zone between the half-way line and the penalty area). However, if the defense is defending from the halfway line they do have to be quick. If you do not have sufficient speed, you will be forced to defend closer to the penalty area. Defending about 25 meters in front of the goal is recommended.

When you start with a zonal defense your defender will be positioned in a line. However, it is not a straight line, but more at an angle, which is dependant upon the position of your opponents. Within the zone you will be playing man-to-man defense as much as possible. As a defender you pick up the opponent who enters your zone, however this does not mean that you cannot leave your zone. If there are, for example, two strikers in one zone, you will have to move in accordance with that. The art of zonal defense is to organize it in such a way that the defender who attacks the man with the ball always has cover behind. So the defense will to a degree function as an invisible rope from left to right, making sure that there are no gaps in the defense in front of the goal. You may allow gaps to develop along the sidelines, when the ball is on the opposite side of the pitch. In a four-man line defense you always have to make sure that the distance between your defenders is no more than 10 to 15 meters.

This ensures a certain level of solidity. You always play with the same format and always have cover because of the cooperation in the line. If you have two left-footed players and two right-footed players then you will also be in good shape for the formation. The fullbacks will go wide and deep and the central defenders will split up. This way the goal tender will have two options for the set-up. There is only one formation against which a line defense will not work. Which is whenever the opponent plays with 2 strikers and with a diamond formation in midfield. With this formation, the opponents outside midfielders will fall all the way back, which makes it almost impossible for your four defenders to cover that far out. This situation creates a space between the

The defense functions as one unit. Sachi practiced this by connecting the defense by means of a rope, so that movements

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No. 1 - January/February 2004

NL - Willem II

If you want a successful team you will also need to know how to play when not in ball possession
outside midfielders and the sideline, when the ball is on the opposite side of the pitch, which is not easily correctable. In this situation I opt for a three-man defense with a defending midfielder marking the number 10 and moving the wingbacks up, or making midfielders out of them. you are doing. If Joris Mathijsen covers an opponent like Rommedahl really closely and Chris Janssens, as central defender, is not giving Mathijsen close cover, a huge hole will develop in the defense. Mathijsen will be playing man to man against Rommedahl, which thus makes you vulnerable. The space between Janssens and Mathijsen will also be used by Kezman for example, who can use this open space by running into it. Mathijsen will therefore have to be coached by Janssens with instructions such as I am here and take the outside. If Rommedahl wants to pass on the inside, he will run into Janssens, who will in turn have to be coached by Kew Jaliens (Ive got him) and Nuelsen Wau will consecutively have to coach Jaliens (I have your back).

One disadvantage is the vulnerability at crosses. The right wingback will have to move inwards concurrently with the left wingbacks duel. A space will develop on the flank. Because you are playing on a line, a lack of coverage in the central midfield area could exist and the opponent could take advantage of that space by the means of a wall pass. If you lack speed, playing away from your own goal is going to be difficult. This is, however, true for all formations.

Communication is essential in a zone defensive system. You constantly have to tell each other where you are and what

These are the basics of a zone defense. The ball will be passed to the opponents right wing forward. Our number 5 will pressure the ball, number 3 will cover the inside, number 4 will provide cover and number 2 will also provide cover on the sideline. The aim is for the back to never pass the far goalpost.

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


Coaching moments
The above listed scenarios are all little coaching moments. If the opponent plays the ball back towards midfield, you have to take advantage of that by trying to gain some terrain. Everybody will have to shout come on, move up and when the ball is played into the central midfield area everybody will have to coach together by shouting close to each other or close in. Everybody has to close in on the area where the ball is, so you develop a concentration of players in that area. This demands concentration and practice, but I am still convinced that you can play a line defensive system with U-15 and amateurs, as long as the team is coachable.

The opponent on the ball is important

When someone in Holland says: thats a good player, and you ask them why, they usually answer because he can do everything with the ball. When you are talking about good football players from the Zeister vision perspective, then it is only noted how well these players play when in possession. However, it is never noted whether they have good defensive skills. Football is more than just about possession. For the last two years we have been talking about the four main moments in football. A player will also be evaluated based upon those four main moments. One player is good at possession play while others are good when the opponent has possession. You also have players who are good at the transitional moments, even though these players tend to be scarce in Holland. This is not practiced either, transitional play is the neglected child of Dutch youth football.

Picture Mark Wotte and Marco de Ruiter

In Holland a lot of attention is paid to positional play with greater numbers. It starts with 5 against 2, having three spare players, or 4 against 4, with 4 additional players around the outside. Everything is looked at from a possession play perspective with the aim to find the free man. If you want a successful team you will also need to know how to play when not in possession. If you do not give this any attention then, I do not think you will ever win any matches. If you always play the same 3:4:3 formation with U-13 teams, which often happens, then you will encounter a lot of restrictions. When you play with a four-man line defense, you will develop more realistic football situations. My son plays at HVV in the U-13 team and we have already introduced wingers and the four-man line defense system in which one player moves in.

You should not think that when number 2 pressures the ball that we should position ourselves this way. In this situation it is easy for the strikers to run up into the open space. If you have a diagonal line then everybody is covered, but in this situation the pitch is too long. In the next example the pitch is made shorter, putting the striker in an offside position. At the very least it will restrict his ability to run into the open space. In this situation you are very vulnerable for the possibility of runs into the open space by the opponents, even though there is cover, but if everybody keeps covering everybody elses back, you will be covering up to or close to your own goal.

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No. 1 - January/February 2004

Their opponents usually play with a 3:4:3 formation, three marking backs and a stopper in front of them. What is missing is a player who moves in when necessary. You are missing the tactical insight, the learning phase. When will I have to stay in my position and when do I need to move in? You also have to have nerves to play with a sweeper behind the defense. This is sometimes better against a stronger opponent, especially when you are out played on the flanks. However, sometimes it might also be better to play with the sweeper in front of the defense, because you will be able to execute more pressure in the set-up and you will get a better grip on the game.

The basics of a zonal defense are:

1. Pressure on the ball 2. Lines close together 3. Cover 4. Coaching 5. Anticipating 6. Close in away from own goal (gaining terrain)

The moment a midfielder is passed the ball, it is really important that all the lines are really close to each other. The ball carrier should not have any space to manoeuvre.

If your opponent is playing in a 4:4:2 formation with a diamond in midfield, it is almost impossible to play with a 4-men defense on a line. When the left midfielder has taken the ball from the opponent and our number 2 puts on pressure, the distance between him and the rest of the defense will become to big. If the ball changes direction he will never be able to get back in time and provide his fellow defenders with cover.

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


In this situation I would rather opt for a three-men line defense with a defensive midfielder in front of them. The two backs will move up or transform into wingbacks. This way you are playing the old Ajaxsystem. It is important that the wingbacks possess great speed, because they are playing with a lot of space behind them.

One of the basic principles is closing down away from your own goal. If the ball is being played back you will be able to gain terrain as a team.

Specific qualities of a good defender

Wotte: A good defender needs to have a good orientation. He always has to be aware of where he is standing in relation to the ball, the opponent and the goal. A player like Frank de Boer scores really high with orientation. He is almost always in the right position, and when you are almost always in the right position you do not have to be fast. A lot of people say that a defender should be quick, but an attacker will also catch a fast defender who is always in the wrong position. Of course you need to possess speed, because if you are really slow you will be constantly outran. Besides that I believe a defender needs to be strong mentally. If he is not strong minded than he will be vulnerable at the top level. He also has to be stable; he cannot put his

head down and be intimidated by the opponent. Furthermore he has to be able to make a mistake without losing his concentration. It is also very important that defenders have the ability to coach. They have at least six people in front of them who they should be able to coach. A defender can also not make any mistakes with his first possession, because they will be pressured right away. Especially in Holland defenders should think quickly. When he gets the ball and turns around he should immediately know whom he could pass to. In the remainder of Europe you pick the ball up from the goalkeeper, which allows you a few more seconds to look around and deal will the pressure. Even then you will still have to deliver a good pass.

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2 against 2-line football

- The play will always begin with a diagonal pass, after which the receiving player will pass wide - The player who passes will also pressure the ball. The other player will provide cover - Play with offside

- Coaching correctly to provide cover

Special considerations
- With this football format you will train on the principle of one player executing pressure while the other provides cover at the back

4 against 4-line football

- The play will always begin with a diagonal pass, after which the receiving player will pass wide - Afterwards the defending team, as a line defense, will execute pressure on the ball. If the left side is pressuring, the right side will provide cover - Play with offside - When the ball is out of play, the new play will always start again with a diagonal pass

- The correct execution of the line defense

Special considerations
- Wotte: This is the simplest way to train teamwork amongst four players. The players will have to constantly move from left to right like a harmonica. We are talking about making them think.

4 plus a goalie against 6

- A team of 4 players with a goal keeper will compete against a team of 6 players - The 6 player team can score on the goal keeper - The 4 players have to make sure that through teamwork they will not let in a goal - Whenever the 4 players win the ball they can score by playing the ball towards the empty goal on the other side of the pitch. The goal represents a striker. They must be able to counter, says Mark Wotte: Or else it is not realistic and the format will be pointless.

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Back in the 60s when I took my first tentative steps into the world of sport, particularly football and cricket, we never had any coaching or adult supervision. We were luckier than most living in Hackney in the East End of London, it was one of the few inner city areas I know with plenty of grass Victoria Park, Hackney Marshes, Hackney Downs, Clissold Park and Well Street Common which is where I played, that is when we werent playing knock down ginger, or run outs over the roofs and on the bomb sites or fishing in the canal.

Let the kids play

Games were interesting then. There were no team colours, nobody asked how old you were [as long as you could play], you could play in as many matches as you liked and there might be any number of people in a team. The most important player was the one who owned the ball. You dropped into the game when you wanted and you went home when you wanted and you played as often as you liked. It was a kids game run by the kids for the kids. So what was so good about these games what was it that made them so special that kids went back again and again? Is the answer to this scientific? Were they good and productive learning environments could it be that players actually learn better from the confusion and chaos of playing and being taught through the active nature of a game situation? Or is it because kids like to have fun, improve their skills by copying their mates, do something they are good at, be part of a team, group or gang, enjoy the challenge of playing with the bigger kids? Or is it just that there were no adults around to tell them what to do? The answer is probably - a combination of all those things. Of course kids very rarely play out now. The streets and parks are regarded by parents as too dangerous for such activities. So should the loss of these games matter to football development? After all they were a very crude affair a kick about played on concrete, or in a yard or my case very luckily on grass. The ball was usually plastic, or a tennis ball in the playground at school, with four coats or trees or markings on a wall for goals. Its replacement organised youth football is a far grander thing and should be much better. Why then in May 2001 did Directors of Youth from top European Clubs including Manchester United, Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich issue a statement which said that the loss of street soccer was hurting youth development. I have visited a fair number of Academies in England now and have been impressed by the superb facilities both indoor and outdoor with perfect bowling green surfaces. On some visits, when I am feeling in a more mischievous mood, I ask them where their bad pitch is you know the bumpy un-cut one with the thistles I always get a slightly odd is he out of his tree look back. Then someone makes a joke and the moment passes. Shame really most young kids could do with playing on a bad pitch once a week. Ill leave it to you to figure out why. This contradiction actually goes to the heart of the matter. Is it possible that for our very youngest players [e.g. those in the under 11 age range] the increasingly organised adult dominated structures of player development are squeezing out all the fun, spontaneity and creativity that evolved in the old street, playground and park games. For me the key could be in adult dominated. In the games I played as a kid adults were hardly significant at all. On Well

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No. 1 - January/February 2004

Let the kids play

I am trying to make the case for greater understanding of the needs of our very youngest players especially in the under eleven age range, and the importance of creating the right environment for them to learn about the game. That is why on the recent FA Coaches Courses [U11/12-16 Module] coaches were asked to consider: How can we encourage those people who deal with our very youngest players to be more imaginative and inventive and less prescriptive, directive and intrusive? How do we create environments for our youngest players that are less predictable, where adult influence and involvement is kept to the bare minimum and mistakes are allowed? How do we create environments for our youngest players that are less judgemental and less threatening, free of adult expectation and authority, where children can be children and play with emotional freedom, learning about the game without the burden of potential. It is clear that we have made an excellent start with our Academies and Centres of Excellence in England. But it is only the start. The Academies especially are at the beginning of their journey of discovery towards developing better English players and must be given our support and encouragement to evolve and improve. Millions of pounds have been invested so now Youth Football has to be taken seriously. Academy Managers, Directors of Youth and their staff are held accountable and rightly so. But do our very youngest players in the programme need to learn to play the pro-game with its no risk mentality. Professional football played by little boys. Sometimes as

young as eight they are expected to mark up; dont let him get behind you; pass it, pass it dont dribble there, play in formation, and be labelled as a defender or a striker etc. etc. Investment in People is a glib catch phrase, but also a very powerful concept. Investment in people and their training is what we need to develop our coaches understanding of their role so that they can work effectively in the superb facilities we are building. It is this lack of understanding of the needs of the youngest players in our care that must be addressed if player development is really to evolve and help our most talented youngsters to become the internationals and professionals of tomorrow. So how important is all this? After all we are only talking about the little ones, the babies, the tots well seven to twelve is the Golden Age of Learning and those coaches working with the youngest could be setting up habits for a lifetime that is how important it is. So while we have made an excellent start with our Academies and we do have some first class players at International Youth Level we dare not become complacent especially with the needs of the ver y youngest players. Their spontaneity, flair and sense of fun must not be crushed beneath the boot of tactics and teamwork. So how can we re-create what we have lost in street, playground or park football? Well the art of under coaching is often under valued. So could we let the kids play more, or maybe Liechtenstein and their like will become credible opponents for mighty England for longer than 45 minutes. If you have any observations regarding this article you can e-mail John Allpress at john.allpress@TheFA.com

Street Common adults werent involved at all until the park keeper came to chuck us off. When I went to secondary school we did have a teacher to take us to matches he did not know or pretend to know much about football his job was to give out the shirts. When I played for our school 1st XI the teacher knew more about the game but never imposed himself on us, he created a great atmosphere for us to play, and I can remember few formal coaching sessions led by him. So am I making out a case for total anarchy of course not. We need Academies and Centres of Excellence because the old days are not coming back. However

No. 1 - January/February 2004

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The website

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Members have even more advantages on the website. For example, you will have free access to our Exercise Database. It is, however, necessary that you upgrade your account to a membership-account. This page will outline how to do this.

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You are given a complicated password, it might be easier to change this to a password which is easily remembered by you. To change your password click on My Profile at the top of the page and then on change password on the left side of your screen. Enter your old password once again and then enter your new password (of your choice) twice. Warning! After changing your password you will need to login once again (repeat step 3 to login again).

Make sure you are registered and logged-in. The previous page outlines how to do this.

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Click at the top of the page on My Profile, then on the left side on Change personal information. Then enter your information into the form that appears on your screen. When you have entered all of the information, click on Change.

The only empty field should be you membership number. Your membership number is your worldpay ID. If you do not have your membership number readily available, leave this field empty and click on: Click here to request your membership number!

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A simple word like time can mean the difference between a panicked clearance up field and retaining ball possession. As a coach you must pay attention to communication. Gert Aandewiel, head coach of Quick Boys, will discuss the topic further.

Gert Aandewiel on communication when in possession:

Timely communication is crucial

Aandewiel pays a lot of attention to communication. Communication can assist players to make the right decisions during possession play. Commands associated with time are especially important. In this case I am particularly concerned with players who believe they have less time to pass than they actually do. The Quick Boys team has a lot of young players who still tend to play at a high pace. This is often a match winning quality; however there are times during the game when it is better to slow the pace down. At this time communication throughout the team can make sure those moments will be recognized and executed.

Date of birth September 9, 1969 2002-2003 Head coach Quick Boys 2001-2002 Head coach Quick Boys 2000-2001 Technical coordinator Youth program Quick Boys

Asking for the ball

At the Quick Boys practice they regularly spend time on communication. During passing and kicking exercises we make the players ask for the ball. The player passing the ball is made to communicate what he is doing with the pass. As a coach you initially explain which actions are required. For example whether to turn or implement a first time pass. The players will execute this and are required to continuously communicate their actions. This way it will become automatic to communicate all their actions, and they will gain confidence in doing so. Later on in the exercise we will leave it up to the players to choose their actions. They do, however, have to apply communication to their actions.

Gert Aandewiel
Chris Beijer, first division womens coach at SC Buitenveldert from Amsterdam, does not pay a lot of attention to communication during possession play. Its not that I dont think it is important, but in womens football its not as common. As a coach you spend a lot of time on technical and tactical training, which leaves very little time for coaching.

Keep communicating
We do practice communication when we have possession, especially since this is important when it comes to building player confidence about talking on the pitch, even during substandard matches they have to keep communicating where necessary. However, it is also important for players to play with intuition during possession plays (especially offensively). Players have to make split-second decisions and in these situations communication will not be applicable. Explicitly practicing communication is also of great value when the opposition has possession.

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

Passing and kicking with emphasis on turning

- Passing and kicking with the emphasis on communication - Player 1 passes to player 2 and tells him to turn - Player 2 turns and plays to player 3 and also tells him to turn - Player 3 receives the ball and plays to player 4. He communicates to do a specific action - The receiving players asks for the ball by calling a name or by non verbal actions (movement of the eyes, or a hand gesture)

- When and what to communicate

- This is the simplest exercise. You can make the it more complicated by introducing one-touch play - You can work with two groups (mirror view) next to each other

Passing and kicking with different communicating moments

- Passing and kicking with emphasis on communication - Player 1 passes to player 2 and asks for a one-touch play - Player 2 plays the ball back with his first touch and player 1 plays to player 3 - Player 2 asks for a first time pass and gets the ball back from player 3 - Player 3 asks for a give-and-go and player 2 plays the ball in for player 3 to run onto - Player 3 plays the ball to player 4 and communicates on turning/taking action on and gives a first time pass, dependant on the position of the coach at the cone - The receiving players asks for the ball by calling a name or by non verbal communication

- Through the position of the coach (as a defender) at the last cone, the players will have to make the right decisions

Passing and kicking with different communication moments

- Passing and kicking with the emphasis on communication - Player 1 passes to player 2 and player 1 communicates which side to turn - Player 2 receives the ball and plays to player 4 - Player 2 passes first time to the incoming player number 3 for a give-and-go or turn, dependant on the position of the defender (the coach) at the cone. Player 2 is responsible for the communication - The receiving players ask for the ball by calling a name or by non verbal communication

-- The coach can change his defensive position (tight coverage or allowing space). Players will have to make the right decisions in the action or in their coaching.

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A very famous and popular club in the Ruhrgebiet in the heart of western Germany is FC Schalke 04. The 1997 UEFA-Cup champions do not only have great fans and an amazing stadium, but they have also developed a great step by step youth program. SoccerCoachingInternationals Peter Hyballa talked to fellow coach Norbert Elgert, who has been coaching the U19s since 1996 (2002/03 assistant coach with the professionals). The Schalke academy was one of the first in Germany and the youth coaches, from the youth players up to the U23s, are now working in the highest amateur division on the success of the traditional club. Norbert Elgert is a philosopher-coach and talks about the development of youth players, his own ideas about the 4:4:2 and about team building, which he sees is the success of the team. By: Peter Hyballa

Norbert Elgert; U19 coachFC Schalke 04:

If you do not cover everything in practice, it will not happen in a game either!
Developing youth players is very important for us at Schalke. We have to try everything to get the young players to be able to advance to the first team of S04. The coaches are, however, not the only ones who feel responsible for this, the players and their parents do as well. The players always have to play at the highest level and as a coach you have to recognize that in the training process. Relaxing is not something you should incorporate in the practice sessions with these players. They always have to play under a little pressure as well, but they understand that. Last year I was still assistant coach for the first team (the professionals). I know what pressure is, making a mistake in front of 60,000 spectators. You have to be mentally strong and that is also very important for the future development and that is why as a young player you have to learn how to deal with such pressures. The players understood very quickly that hard graft and working on improving your weaknesses allows you to grow, the remaining players only play in amateur divisions. However, all youth players want to have a chance to play in the Schalke Arena and that is a great motivator. In practices I particularly like positional games with pressure, space and an opponent. These are stressful situations for the players, which is similar to the games they play every weekend. The players have to concentrate on different game situations, but they know that everything is played really fast in the U19Bundesliga and that they will have to react to that. Therefore, anticipation is a very important component in my practices. My players will have to react quickly and correctly, so we have to create a lot of game situations, but

Coerver Method
I am a great fan of football related games in training sessions, however in the warm-up I focus on isolated exercises. During the warm-up they will have to practice a lot of technical exercises such as fakes, ball manipulation etc, , but later on in the session, they can also play practice games. Street football

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No. 1 - January/February 2004

GER - Schalke 04

Practice program Schalke 04U19:

We always practice 90 - 120 minutes Monday: 11.45am: - Independent practice/practicing personality/football knowledge/ young learning exercises/game continuations Monday: 17.30pm - Game analysis - Technique exercises - Practice games with a lesser load Tuesday 17.30pm - High intensity - A lot of defensive work (1:1) (1:2) - Head coach works with defense - Assistant Coach works with strikers and midfielders - Big playing format Wednesday: 11.45am - Coordination exercises with and without the ball - Stretching - Passing and shooting Thursday 11.45am: - Technical exercises - Finishing exercises - Passing exercises - Positional games Thursday 17.30pm: - Positional games - Practice games (3:3 to 7:7) Friday 11.45am: - Technique - Game continuations Friday 17.30pm: - Finishing exercises - Speed - Game continuations - Analysis of opponent for Sunday Saturday: Free Sunday: Match 11.00am in U19-Bundesliga

(Strassenfussball) is a thing of the past and that has forced us to bring creativity and imagination back into the practices. These exercises have to be practiced under pressure, so the players have fun working with the ball. For the younger players at Schalke it is important to not only focus on technique, but also on faking moves. Up to the U15s, those exercises can be practiced without an opponent, but with the older U15s the addition of an opponent, pressure and space becomes important when practicing these moves. You always have to learn the simple 1+1 equation of football. Boris Becker practiced his forehand every day and football players have to do the same. Passing, shooting and finishing are the basics and different tricks and faking moves are important to practice every training session for a couple of minutes, so the players understand its importance. Therefore they receive homework and will have to practice everyday for 10 minutes with the ball at home.

Passing and shooting

Besides faking moves I think technique, such as passing and shooting are really important and it therefore has to be practiced in several exercises. We often practice direct-combinations, where the players can observe other players and how they move on the field, which can also be observed in games. However, every action needs a finish and you cannot just do exercises because they are fun. You have to show your players why they are doing certain things. Consequently you also have to ask your players a lot of questions. However, every direct-combination needs a certain level of security. It is therefore important to practice with left as well as right and as a coach you have to coach passing technique in game situations. Detail is very important in football and detail work also means practicing passing and shooting techniques. I also know that the players have a lot of stressful situations in their young lives, school, family, work and football. That is not easy. As coaches we cannot be too arrogant and talk to the players about all these issues. Coaches also have to be psychologists for youth players and we have to realize that we have to let them make decision about what we practice as well.

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I am obviously always the boss and we work very hard, but it has to remain fun so that the players practice with pleasure. The mental load is not the only load players have to deal with, but The physical load is very high as well. We play 26 games in the Bundesliga, cup games, a lot of friendly matches and tournaments, both on the field as well as indoor. The players are always under pressure. They have to perform, especially the U19s. However they are playing for themselves and for their careers That is why we have to combine load and recovery. The players have to recover after a heavy work load (technical exercises, football-tennis, stretching etc;). We practice eight times per week and if you, as a coach, do not plan that properly you are causing damage to their bodies. Play continuation is also very important for us, but the players can also practice this for about 10-15 minutes independently after the practice. I as a coach, cannot always make all the decisions for them. They are young men and they have to learn how to be independent.

First touch
I believe the first touch in football is very important, because the first action is dependent on the first ball. I also believe that it is better to play deep before playing wide. The first look is always deep. But the players have to possess a good passing technique for the first contact and play the ball hard. Coaching is also important with the first touch, so the player without the ball also knows where to go. That is why we practice a lot of positional play (4:4, 5:5). Playing formats with contact restrictions are also very important, because I always want to train the first touch. A game, an action, it all starts with the first touch.

emotionally, but you should rather react to the situation. The fans can be emotional, not the coach. I really think it is impor tant that the players communicate with each other. The strikers with each other, the defenders with each other, because they have their own vision on the situations. As a striker you think as a striker and not with a defenders brain.

For me talented players have to possess good technique and they have to be fast. But what is considered fast in football? The player has to be where the ball is and has to be able to anticipate well and that comes with experience. But the U19s also have 8-12 years of experience and can therefore anticipate a lot of situations, and handle them quickly. A talented player has to have cer tain special features, which cannot be expressed in words, a coach just sees them. He has to possess great game intelligence. He has to be able to read the game, especially in the 4:4:2 formation. But a talent also has to have fun while playing the game, he has to be able to see what a great player he is. He has to be mentally strong, and after losing a game he needs to be able to shake it off and focus on winning the next one. He needs to possess the willpower to solve ever y situation. That is real talent, ever ybody can play football, but not ever ybody possesses that real talent.

Team building
The players have to know that you can only win by playing as a team and not as an individual player. That is why the team building process is very important for us. The team has to function as one and known not just their own tasks, but everyone elses as well. When an argument arises in the team we have to handle it right away and not dwell on it for too long. Communication, communication and more communication is very important for the team. And I mean the whole team not just the players and the coaches, but also the assistants, physiotherapists, youth coordinators, etc. This is why we listen to the opinions of every player when we talk about the game analysis. Some players are scared to voice their opinions, but they have to develop personality both on and off the field. They criticize each other, but they always talk about sport related issues and never about personal things. As a coach I might also get criticized, but that has not happened yet. Maybe the guys are a little scared, but they really do not have to be! 24
The complete soccer coaching experience

- I believe it is ver y impor tant that players coach each other. I always say, we are not fish in an aquarium and should therefore not talk to each other like we are. The professionals of the future need to have personality and you always need to coach for the team and not against the team. You have to see the positive aspects in ever y action. With passing exercises I not only look at technique, but also at communication. - I learned that opening your mouth with ever y action is impor tant from our former pro-trainer Huub Stevens. And not only the man without the ball, but also the man with the ball. You have to call the names of your teammates, which will create team dynamics. Team dynamics is amazing to obser ve! As a coach you cannot always react

No. 1 - January/February 2004

U19 Bundesliga
The U19 Bundesliga is divided into 3 regions: North, South and West. Our guys play every weekend against a top team, which is also the secret of the German youth program. We play hard games and many of them, even the young players, are busy even in their youth years. It is important whether you win or lose, but image is also important. Success is really important for Germans, which is portrayed in their results. Individual training/education is the most important element, but young German players also learn: winning, winning, winningHowever I do not believe that is a bad thing, because you also have to win in the first and second Bundesliga divisions and these young players are trained to posses that willpower. It is a great motivation to play against the best teams from Western Germany every weekend. This allows for rivalry, but you can also observe your training program in the games. Technically and tactically we play at a high level and in those games you can observe the improvement every weekend. It is all about results. The majority of coaches focus on defense first. This also applies to me, but I also like attractive football, a little bit of Catenaccio and a little bit of the Dutch ball circulation. However I think German and that is a good thing, because we have a different mentality and you cannot copy a style 100%.

Key points of the 4-4-2:

Attack: - Quick switch to winning the ball, where the first pass should be an attacking pass - Create a bigger space with coverage of the wings and moving up the strikers - Supporting the man with the ball and building a triangle formation - Flexible play along the wings and playing into depth Defense: - Quick switching after loss of possession - Making the length and width of the space smaller to be able to relocate the ball - Actively attacking the man with the ball

For many years we have played the German World Cup formation, the 3-5-2 with a libero, but we are thinking of changing our system to a 4-4-2 formation in the near future, like we play with the U15s team. - We play with 4 defenders on one line, but the two wingbacks also engage in a lot of attacking actions. The two central defenders need to possess good passing technique, but they also have to be big and strong and have to be able to head the ball. They encounter a lot of defensive situations. - We play with two players in midfield (left and right). They substitute each other in attacking and defensive actions. - The right and left wing midfielders have to be fast and able to make good fake moves. But they must also control defensive actions. They have to be good in one on one situations. In defensive situations they will move toward the ball and a little to the center. - The two strikers play forward, but not always as left and right. They have to be very creative and have to be in the penalty area. The have to be physically strong and be able to head the ball. So that the wingers can play on the flanks. - The goalkeeper will function as a second libero. He has to be big and possess good reaction skills. He also has to be a good football player, with good passing technique with both his left and right feet. - In midfield we play on a line, but also with a diamond formation from time to time, so that number 6 and 10 have special defensive and attacking functions, this depends on the opponent as well. I think it is important that the U19s can play in various formations but it is also about the individual player. - The players have to understand the 4-4-2 principles and show creativity on the field. A team cannot just wear one hat, they have to wear various hats and know how to play within various systems.

Quick finishing on goal

I believe every attacking action should end with a goal-scoring attempt and we therefore apply that philosophy into our training program. Practicing finishes on goal is more than just shooting a ball on goal; it also incorporates 30m sprints with a finish on goal. However, our main focus is aimed at goal scoring attempts at a higher level and that is why we practice every scoring opportunity with a corresponding combination, such as wall passes and short passes. We also look very closely at the way in which the players receive a pass and what they do after they have received the pass. Load and recovery is also an important factor here, but you have to be able to copy real game situations in practicing how to finish on goal.

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


Finishing on goal after receiving a pass

- Big field 40 meters - Two small goals in the middle - Players B and D are behind the goals - The player with the ball pass diagonally and are positioned next to the goals

- Player B plays to player A who passes the ball - Player B receives the ball, takes the ball inside or outside and finishes on goal - Same thing with players C and D on the other goal - Play with position changes

Finishing on goal with direct play

- Same as before, just move the goals to the penalty areas

- Player B walks to player A and passes - Player B initiates a wall pass with player A, turns and runs past the goals - Player A passes through the little goal to player B - Player B finishes on goal after 1 or 2 touches - Play with position changes

On goal with 2 strikers

- Player B is positioned 16 meters in front of the goal with a goalkeeper - Players A and C are positioned 25 meters in front of the goal - Besides the goal is a player with balls

- Player A passes to player B - A and C run towards the goal and cross each other diagonally - A or C finishes on goal - The player who did not shoot on goal (A or C) gets the rebound (second ball)

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

Shooting on goal after combination

- Players B and C are positioned 20 meters in front of the goal with a goalkeeper - Players A is positioned 25 meters in front of the goal - Besides the goal is a player with balls

B and C walk towards player A A passes the ball to B and follows his pass B bounces the ball (wall pass) B and C turn around and run towards the goal A passes the ball right in front of C and C finishes on goal - B continues to walk further and shoots the second ball (rebound) on goal

Three-combination game with finishing on goal

- A is positioned 25 meters in front of the goal with the ball - B is positioned 20 meters in front of the goal - C is positioned around the penalty spot

A passes the ball to C and runs towards the goal C wall passes to B B passes the ball in front of A A finishes on goal Repeat on the other side

From the center and on the wings

- A is positioned 25 meters in front of the goal with the ball - B is positioned 20 meters in front of the goal - C is positioned close to B around the penalty area

- A passes the ball to B and takes a wing position - B passes the ball to C, C passes the ball back to B and B passes in front of A - A passes the ball in front of the goal to B - B finishes on goal - Second group same exercise

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


Kristof Mortier is the coach of the U15 team at Club Brugge. SoccerCoachingInternational Magazine talked to him about the importance of the wall pass and about training this combination. According to Mortier training the wall pass fits nicely in the educational plan for U15 teams. "In this age category the importance is slowly being put on the subject of collectivity", says Mortier. By: Paul van Veen

Kristof Mortier, Club Brugge U15 coach, talks about using the wall pass:

'The wall pass by itself is not an objective'

"I think it is very important that players are able to make the right choices between an individual action and collective thinking through a wall pass or a pass to a team-mate. The give and go is therefore not an objective by itself, but rather a technique applied to challenge players to think collectively."

Second pass
"To finish a wall pass it is important that the path in which the ball is travelling is free. The player who initiated the wall pass is responsible for this. Attention should be paid to the change in rhythm and the acceleration in the action, which in turn are very important for the success of the wall pass combination."

First pass
"When we look at the execution of the wall pass, we will notice that this combination brings forth a wide variety of skills. One of these skills is the ability to become the open man. It is important that you do this in a way that the path in which the ball is travelling is free. Besides that, the technical ability of a player is also tested. With the execution of a wall pass, the first pass is crucial. The passing technique has to be well executed, but the ball also has to be passed to the correct foot, at the right moment and with the correct speed."

Fake wall pass

"One must not forget about the fake wall pass and its importance during ball possession. A fake wall pass is a combination whereby one pretends as if a wall pass will be initiated, but then changes to a pass to the third man. The fake wall pass fits nicely within the frequently performed inside-outside and outside-inside principle."

The technical implications also play a role when receiving the ball. When there is no direct pressure from the opponent, the attention is focused on the open position of the player, and playing the ball into the feet or passing it first time with the outside of the foot. When the opponent does execute pressure on the receiving player, the attention will be focused on the fact that the pass is executed with the front foot. This way the chances of the opponent winning the ball are minimized. The body functions as a buffer between the ball and the opponent.

"An example may help clarify this principle. For example, when a flank player (outside) has ball possession, he will try to continue the play by passing to someone in the central axis (inside). And vice versa: when a central defender (inside) has ball possession, he will try to initiate a play by passing to the flanks (outside). The fake wall pass is very useful, but not limited to these situations. Let's not forget that the fake wall pass can be a deciding factor in a last fast attempt to penetrate a sturdy defence and create good goal scoring opportunities."

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

5 against 1 with the accent on the wall pass and fake wall pass
- 5 against 1 in a closed area of 15x15m. - The four players who are positioned on the sides play freely - The player in the middle may only touch the ball once - The player in the middle function as a passing option to initiate the wall pass or the fake wall pass - The middle player may score by dribbling past the sidelines of the square

- Properly weighted pass and to the correct foot. - Receiver of the pass has to be positioned in an open (turned open) position - Tempo acceleration in the action through a first time pass - passing with the correct foot for the wall pass or to the third man.

6 against 6 with 2 neutrals players on the side

- 6 against 6 line football with two neutral players on the short side - Scoring is only possible by dribbling across the imaginary line after a pass. The line player has the choice whether he will initiate a wall pass or a fake wall pass.

- Especially being available to receive the ball after the first pass is executed

- Afterwards scoring by means of an individual action is also allowed. Scoring after a wall pass will then be worth 2 points.

Practice game 2 against 2 with 8 neutral players

- We play 2 against 2 with 8 players on the outside, on big goals (see diagram) - Scoring by the means of a regular action is 1 point. - Scoring after a wall pass combination or a fake wall pass combination is 2 points - The coach will decide when the middle two are changed

- Emphasis on learning to make the choice between an individual action and collective thinking in the form of a wall pass or a fake wall pass

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


Borussia Mnchengladbach is well known in Germany for its excellent youth program. Various internationals, such as Berti Vogts, Gnther Netzer and Jupp Heynckes come from this so-called Fohlenstall. The tradition rich Bundesligaclub (5 times league champion, 3 times cup winner and two times UEFA-Cup champions) concentrate on their youth program and are aiming to eventually have success, with their future players. In part 1 of the youth philosophy of Borussia Mnchengladbach SoccerCoachingInternational talked to U15s coach Roland Virkus about his vision, the typical Germany willpower, the aggressive game and the differences between German and Dutch clubs.

Peter Hyballa

Ronald Virkus, Trainer/coach Borussia Mnchengladbach C1

Willpower an important
factor in the U15s program
Working with U15s is not easy, because they are in the middle of puberty and are starting to develop interests for other things outside of football. Therefore, as a coach, you must make the practice sessions as interesting as possible so the players are enthusiastic about playing football and eager to improve. In this age group it is also important to talk to the players on a one to one basis. You have to try to be very critical, which doesnt necessarily mean negative criticism. In the warm up we spend a lot of time on technique (passing, heading, beating player, etc.) and on short coordination and speed exercises with the ball.

I believe that only players who are mentally strong can develop into good soccer players

The players realize that the novice era has passed and that performance and winning have gained importance. However, for Borussia the individual training of the youth players remains the most important factor. We look at individual talent and only the best players will go on to play for the performance groups, the U17 and U19 teams. They will be introduced to the pressure for the first time at under 15s, and that is the way it is in top sports.

Coordination practice is very important for us, because the U15 players encounter various physical problems and changes. The players are growing rapidly at this age and the ratios of their physiques are often somewhat off balance. One player is too short and the other too tall and yet another too skinny. That is why they will encounter problems with coordination and we, as coaches should make sure the players develop a better feel for their own bodies. Unfortunately we do not have the financial support to hire a coordination/conditioning coach for these exercises, so our assistant coach handles this topic. In total we have three coaches on the payroll who have extensive knowledge of technique and coordination. Personally I take responsibility for the tactical exercises and development.

At Mnchengladbach we work a lot with small sided games, because we want to practice football in the simplest form possible. Football is a simple game and that is how we should present it to the players. We do not engage in static exercises very often and also spend very little time on stretching, because we feel technique and coordination training is more important.

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

GER- Borussia Monchen Gladbach

The german players have a great advantage in comparison to other countries. That is our mentality, we always want to win.
Through the practice games we give our younger players the opportunity to play against older players. Furthermore, we expect our older players to provide leadership to our younger players, which I personally consider very important.

We feel the 4:4:2 formation is best for Borussia, because this system has a lot of safeguards. In German football we not only look at the offensive aspects (making the play), but we also focus on the defensive aspects and the transformation process. The four defenders play on one line and try to force the opponents strikers in a two against one situation. The two fullbacks have to be fast and have to possess great anticipation skills. The central defenders have to be tall, because a lot of German teams play with long high passes. However, when we play across the axis we only do so with short passes.

Later on in the training we spend a lot of time on the beginning of group tactical exercises. We often do this in small numbers. Exercises like 1 against 1, 2 against 2, 3 against 3, 4 against 4, 5 against 3 and 6 against 3. Whereby we have a rule that technique has a higher priority than tactical performance.

The German players have a great advantage in comparison to other countries. That is our mentality, we always want to win. That willpower is important for our training program philosophy. I believe that only players who are mentally strong can develop into good football players. In Germany we have a lot of football talent, but the best ones are the ones with willpower and a winners mentality. Luuk Balkestein, one time Dutch international, on scouting Scouting players works a little different in Germany, because they play with more physical strength than in Holland. I often scout for the first team (coach Edward Lienen), but also for amateur and U19 youth teams. I love watching youth football, especially U15 and U13, because they are unable to kick a ball more than 50 meters. In the youth we do not have any Dutch players. It is also very different in Germany, the focus is on 1 against 1, duel strength and a fast game without the ball. In Germany youth football the players do not dare to make many mistakes. The coach will get really mad and will not select them for the starting eleven in the next match. In Germany the focus lies on performance. That is what makes the youth program at e.g. Borussia so different from their counterparts in Holland. Not worse, just different.

We play in the U15-WFV-Cup with the four best teams from the West of Germany (such as Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen). We are currently in fourth place in this division, but that is not very relevant, because our training program is our first priority. We do, however have the opportunity to play against the best club from the West of Germany in this great division. We can therefore constantly observe how our players are doing in comparison to the players from Dortmund and Leverkusen. Fortunately the differences are not that great.

Our U15s youth squad consists of 26 players. We practice 3 times a week: on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and every practice lasts about 90 minutes. On Saturdays we play in the competition and we often play practice games on Sundays against clubs from the region, but also against clubs from Holland (i.e. Roda JC, PSV and NEC). Our best players (who are often also our older players) play in the competition and our younger players play on Sunday. Unfortunately we do not have a second team, so we have to solve it this way. Next year we are planning on including a second team to our program.

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


Pressure Qualities we coach at Borussia Mnchengladbachs U15s

- Improving feel for the ball - Always play with both feet - Improving beating the player moves, with and without the ball - Improving passing - Improving receiving the ball and running with the ball - Developing heading - Improving one on one situations, both defensively and offensively - Learn team play - Developing defensive team play In training we often practice the one on one situation. Not only for the individual points or for the purpose of beating a player moves, but in particular to practice willpower. The players have to know that every practice can be won or lost. Of course the practices have to be fun for the players, but they also have to learn how to deal with the resistance of the coach, the opponents, parents and the referee. Those situations execute pressure on them and the Borussia players have to learn how to deal with that. They have to understand that they are maturing and will have to fight for their position in the team.

Pressure (2)
I personally, as a coach also indicate stress moments. I also play the part of a referee once in a while and will purposefully make mistakes. This will give me a good idea of the players mental situation. After all, they do have to perform and illustrate a great deal of willpower every Saturday.

We often play against Dutch teams. I believe Dutch teams are very well organized on the field. You also have the feeling you are playing against 11 players the whole game. Furthermore it is apparent that the players possess great technique and that they concentrate on attacking. However, I do believe that Dutch teams focus too much on playing attractive football and that winning or losing is not a priority. Maybe the Dutch youth is not focused on winning as much as the German youth. In Germany winning is very important. We played against PSV once and after a couple of minutes I was convinced we were going to lose. Eindhoven was better tactically as well as technically. Regardless, we won 2:1, because we played aggressively and our players really wanted to win. Our willpower was greater.

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

1 against 1 to improve duel strength

- 1 against 1 on two small goals - In 1 goal the attackers may score by shooting and in the other goal by dribbling across the goal line

- This requires a lot of concentration from the defenders, because they will have to defend differently for each goal

- Shooting into the goal is 1 point, dribbling across the goal line is 2 points

3 against 3 with 3 wall passers

- 3 against 3 with 3 wall passers, in which both teams can score on the same goal - The 3 wall passers are located outside the penalty area - The wall passers can only touch the ball once, the other players are unrestricted - The wall passers are always on the attacking team, making sure a 6 against 3 situation always arises

4 against 4 with 2 wall passers

- 4 against 4 on two goals with goal keepers - 2 wall passers on the wing - The wall passers may only touch the ball once

- The wall passers may in the beginning only pass the ball on the ground - Later on the wall passers may also pass the ball in the air

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


West Ham United is a real football club. You smell it as you walk through the door. It smells of wet socks, dubbin, muscle rub and Typhoo tea. The incredible success at producing international players at the Academy is down to continuity, a family atmosphere and a huge pool of knowledge amongst the coaches brought up in the 'West Ham Way', which is built on its long held football principles of entertaining play. SoccerCoachingInternational's Paul Cooper finds out more from Academy Director Tony Carr. By: Paul Cooper

West Ham Academy Director Tony Carr

Meet the family

Tony Carr is West Ham through and through and like most of the coaches at the club he is a local lad born in Bow. It was while he was a youth player at the club in the 1960's when the then Hammers manager and eventual England coach Ron Greenwood, encouraged the younger players to take their coaching badges. His reasoning was two fold, it was something to fall back on if the trainees did not make it in the professional game and also because he wanted the youngsters to think like coaches, to read the game and become more thoughtful footballers. Tony has been a coach at the club since 1973, which I was later to find out was par for the course at West Ham. If it was Greenwood that got him started in coaching it was John Lyall, who managed the club from 1974 until 1989, that was the biggest influence on him as a coach. Lyall like Tony had played in the youth team at West Ham and played as a full back in the first team. He was also a local boy, born down the road in Ilford. 50s who had so humiliated England at Wembley in 1953 had hugely influenced Allison. He thought differently from other coaches and brought in many new and innovative ideas. Allison and his fellow enthusiasts at the club which included Dave Sexton, John Bond, Noel Cantwell and Frank O'Farrel and who all became successful coaches in their own right, spent hours after training in the local Italian caf, Cassettari's. It was here they talked football and tactics, using the salt, pepper and sauce bottles as players. West Ham has always been known for producing intelligent footballers who read the game. Ask any West Ham fan and he will tell you that it was infact West Ham and not England who won the World Cup in 1966. The contributions from Moore, Hurst and Peters included all four goals and outstanding games from all three 'Hammers. In the canteen at the first

Continuity is not a word used very often

Long before Howard Wilkinson brought in the word 'Academy' for his 1990s revolution to reshape the top echelons of youth football, West Ham had been nicknamed the 'Academy' for decades. The name originated back in the 1950s when the then club skipper Malcolm Allison helped out with coaching the schoolboys, one of whom was the legendar y Bobby Moore. The great Hungarian team of the

in football circles, but ask Alex Ferguson: he was given the time when most club chairmen would have sacked him and he has paid the club back time and time again

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

teams training ground at Chadwell Heath is a large photo of Geoff Hurst's famous winning goal. The inscription is written and signed by Hurst himself and reads; 'A goal learnt at Chadwell Heath, it is now definitely over'.

UK - West Ham United

Little Heath
We meet Tony at the Academy training ground at Little Heath. It looks like any Sunday League changing block only it is painted in the famous claret and light blue colours. West Ham are not able to seduce potential players with state of the ar t facilities, but once here they want to stay, they become par t of the family. The list of players that have come through the ranks in such modest surroundings and under the paternal eye of Tony and his team of coaches is staggering. Tony Cottee, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Glen Johnson are just a few. Indeed something like 43 million pounds has been recouped from selling players who have gone through the Academy system over the last four years. Tony is ver y philosophical. 'It is always ver y satisfying to see a lad go through the Academy and into the first team, and at West Ham you are always given a chance. But as soon as that happens you are back on the training ground nur turing the next player. And the reward for all this work, jokes the personable Youth Development Officer Jimmy Hampson, is that the Por tacabin six of us are crammed into at the Chadwell Heath site may be replaced. But he adds "With another Por tacabin!"

The training session is all about, finding space, body shape, movement and decision-making.
several weeks. It is about repetition and slowly progressing the boys through. There are no shor t cuts, no miracle drills or programmes. It is about continuity, consistency, patience and creating the right atmosphere. The formula has worked for many years.

Training session
We watched Tony taking a mixture of 16, 17 and 18 year olds for a session. In professional youth football in England you have to be adaptable and Tony has to hastily change his session when 5 boys are called away after 10 minutes, as they are needed to play in the reser ve team that night. The session is carried out in a well organized but fun environment, which lets the boys relax. Tony explains. "If the boys are relaxed and having fun they will learn more". I only wish coaches up and down the land could see this, the atmosphere is really special. Tony even has time to joke with the boys at the expense of my two Dutch colleagues as Ajax had been knocked out of the Champions League the night before. The West Ham fitness coach warms the boys up for about 20 minutes, which includes Dynamic Flex and fast feet work. Interestingly there is no static stretching.

Kevin Keen, the U17s coach who made over 200 appearances for the Hammers in the 80s and 90s takes the technical par t of the session. He coaches the same way he played with bags of enthusiasm, upbeat and plenty of cajoling. After the technical session, Kevin takes the keepers for a work out while Tony takes the rest of the group for a phase of play, based on the midfielders picking the ball up from a ser ver and getting the ball for ward to the strikers. It is all about, finding space, body shape, movement and decisionmaking. This is something they have been working on for

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


Youth Soccer Coaching

In his book Youth Soccer Coaching that Tony wrote with Stuar t Prosser, a complete guide to building a successful team, Tony writes with good common sense. It is one of the best coaching books I have read as it gives an overall feel to coaching at youth level. So many coaching books are just full of drills but with no background as to why you should use them and when. It goes deeply into Tony's philosophy of football and coaching methods. It is ver y readable and builds a complete picture of all the aspects needed to coach a youth team.

as 3 different clubs at one time. The competition is ver y fierce so the professional clubs cour t the talents at this age along with the parents, which is not a ver y healthy situation for a child so young. Tony is not par ticularly happy with the situation but it becomes ver y difficult when other clubs are doing it, but he wonders if children at such a tender age should not just be enjoying time playing football with their friends.

grilled chicken with potatoes and fresh vegetables. There are also salads, baked potatoes, fruit and cereal bars. During lunch we are joined by a number of coaches and talk about football. This is the family sitting at the family dining table. You then realise that between them the five coaches sitting around the table have more than 100 years of coaching experience at West Ham. What club in the world can boast that? Once at West Ham you are home.

Continuity is not a word used ver y often in football circles, but ask Alex Ferguson: he was given the time when most club chairmen would have sacked him and he has paid the club back time and time again. Alan Curbishley and Dario Gradi have had their clubs punching above their weight for years because they were given time to build solid foundations through the club. West Ham Academy is a living, breathing testament to continuity. We are invited for lunch at the canteen, which is located at the ver y modest Chadwell Heath site used by the senior players. It gives a good insight into the modern players diet. On today's menu is homemade vegetable soup, baked fish or

It is about continuity, consistency, patience and creating the right atmosphere

As we say our goodbyes we need to use the Gents before our journey home. Fittingly is it an old fashioned outside loo and parked next to it is a Ferrari. I think this sums up West Ham. Old fashioned but timeless values and principles operating in harmony with the new order.

Talent Spotting
The competition for children is fierce with the large number of professional clubs in London. The club has a strong local suppor t in the East end of London and in the hear tlands of Essex, which has historically been a good breeding ground for talent into West Ham. The club has a number of development centres and also has preacademy training for the more talented children of 6 and 7. Because clubs cannot sign youngsters until they are 8 years of age, these pre-academy players can be training with as many

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The 'spare man' drill

- Use a 10 metre square grid and two balls. - Three players (A, B and C) stand apart facing player D, ten metres away. - The two players with the balls feed them one after the other to player D who passes to the 'spare man', who is the one currently without a ball. - After a while, the players change places

Weight of pass Quick decision making One touch passing where possible Communication

The 'spare man' drill 2

- The same as above but now the serving players throw the ball to D who volleys back to the 'spare man'

- Weight of pass - Choose which foot (outside, inside or top of the foot) depending how the ball comes to the player and where the 'spare man' is.

'Spare man' drill with 3 balls

- A passes to D who passes the ball back with the left foot first time, C then passes to D who returns it first time with the right foot, B then throws the ball to D who heads back - The whole process is repeated quickly - This is very intense and should last no more than about 30 seconds, before D changes places

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


Ajax has, for the second year in a row, an U-9 youth team. The first U-9 team is performing well. Ajax won all 9 matches and scored an impressing 99 goals, with only 1 goal against. Heres a look behind the scenes with coaches Dennis de Haan and Patrick Ladru. Players have to have the ability to perform a move to beat a player with both feet. Paul van Veen and Jorrit Smink

Dennis de Haan and Patrick Ladru, youth coaches at Ajax:

Two-footed players are the most important component in the U-9 Ajax team
Dennis de Haan thinks it is easier at Ajax than at any other club. You are dealing with talented players, who can already do a lot and who are very eager to learn. They are kids, who have been recruited by Ajax through a talent search or they are recruited at the associations. As first year U-9 players they will train with the team at the end of the season, so they can get used to it. for playing a friendly match the next week. These games are played against the first year U-11s team, to create more of a challenge. Every Saturday they play in the U-9s competition. We believe that they should be able to apply the things they have learned, for example their creativity, in the matches. Against other U-9 teams this is possible. Against the U-11s teams it seems that the age difference is too big. Last season Ajax did compete in the U-11 competition, but this proved to be a little too hard. The physical difference was too big a gap. That is why this year they have chosen to compete in the easier U-9 competition and practice as much as possible against the U-11 teams. Against the U-9 teams they can practice their movements and actions and have the ability to execute a move to beat a player more often, according to Ladru.

The selection consists of 2 goalkeepers and 12 outfield players and they train twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays. The other Ajax youth teams train three times a week, but Dennis de Haan and Patrick Ladru chose to allow for a little more freedom with the youngest selection. When the other youth teams are training on Friday, the U-9 team is off. We believe they have to have fun and be able to play with their friends, says de Haan. This little bit of extra freedom is very important according to us.

Beating a player
Technique and beating a player moves are very important, according to the technical coaching team. The training is therefore aimed at this technique. With the U-9 player you teach a lot of technique, says de Haan. Training exercises on technique, gradually increasing the resistance. Lets take the scissor

When we train, we work very intensively. An hour and a half per session. Wednesdays are used for training one week and

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

NL- Ajax Amsterdam

movement for example; first they will execute this move without resistance, practiced with both feet. Afterwards you can increase the level of resistance by placing cones on the field, which will create a different situation. Subsequently, you will practice this movement with a defender and at last we stimulate them to execute the scissor movement in a match.

One of the players went straight from the U-9 team to the first U-11 team last year. You notice that he has a couple of shortcomings. He is doing exercises in a 5 by 5 area with someone marking him. He is handling it well and it is good to see how he performs.

U-11 youth
Ladru: With the second U-11 team you will start coaching them to execute this move routinely in a match. However, in the second U-11 team they aim to execute the move at the right moment and purposefully. In the first U-11 team we try to stimulate them to make the right decisions with passes or to make a decision. Furthermore, we stimulate them to improve playing at their positions.

De haan: We do everything with both left and right feet. Being two footed is very important. A move to beat an opponent has to be executed with both feet. We do a lot of technical exercises. Dribbling and movement, so they can change directions and then set-up a play with some resistance. In the beginning we train a lot in squares, for example a passing exercise. This way they have to control the ball, while they are still playing a game.

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


Ladru: There are also exercises where you stand on the ball with one foot and then switch to the other foot. They go forwards, backwards and sideways, like they are doing the Lambada. Moving your feet back and forth, making sure the ball stays under you. There is also an exercise where you will walk with the ball, touching it between your feet constantly.

Ladru: You could start working in a game related exercise, but when they do not posses the basics the process will become very slow. Especially with the U-9 youth, I think it is very important that you coach them to beat an opponent when they can, which is a lot of fun for them. Do not just pass the ball. A lot of people think that Ajax is very systematic, but that is not completely true. Of course everybody has to play from their position, but within that position creativity is encouraged. That is your space and you have to be the champion of it.

teams, but it is applied at all age groups. So, Ajax is big on repetition, including the plus formats of coach Ladru.

Besides the various technical formats the players also get homework, for example Wambertos Nigeria-move. The boys will get one week to practice the movement and if they do not succeed, we joke around with them and make them do some push-ups. This way we try to stimulate them a little bit, but we do it in a playful manner, according to de Haan, after which Ladru continues: Another assignment is juggling 50 times. We give them the assignment on Monday and expect them to know how to do it the following week. The kids are very enthusiastic and are very eager to learn. But once again, we are working with talented kids, who are mentally more developed. They understand the exercise faster than their peers.

De Haan: This has to be executed without looking at the ball. They also have to be able to do this backwards. Thus, going back, putting the ball behind your standing leg and take it with you. All exercises are practiced from easy to much more difficult. At a certain point they will master these exercises to perfection. They do not even notice that they are using both feet. All the exercises are very important.

You have to repeat the training a couple of times. Some coaches tend to train one thing at one training and something different at the next training, but I believe the learning process is enhanced when you repeat some of the formats a couple of times at different trainings. This, however, is not specific to the U-9

The plus format

- Player 1 passes to player 2 - Player 2 turns around and plays a through pass to player 3 - Player 3 receives the ball and will join the line - Every player moves up a cone - Execute clockwise and counter clockwise. Using both legs is important

- Technical execution: passing, receiving and turning

The plus format; one against one

- Player 1 passes to player 2 - Player 2 turns and plays a through pass to player 3 - Player 3 receives the ball and beats the defender (for example with a scissor movement) and joins the line - Every player moves up a cone - Execute clockwise and counter clockwise. Using both legs is important - Regularly substitute the defenders

- Technical execution: passing, receiving and turning - Stimulate action

The plus format with a finish on goal

- Player 1 passes to player 2 - Player 2 turns around and plays a through pass to player 3 - Player 3 receives the ball, take a shot on goal and will proceed to join the line at the other side - Every player moves up a cone

- Technical execution: passing, receiving, turning and shooting

Special considerations
- There are a lot of possible variations with the plus format

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


The art of Goalkeeping has changed greatly over the last few decades. The heroics of keepers such as The Banks of England (Gordon Banks) and The Black Octopus (Lev Yashin) are the norm, as coaching has become commonplace and the art of goalkeeping has moved on.

Goalkeeping Section
Many coaches who have not played in goal are fearful of coaching goalkeeping because it is alien to them. However you do not have to be an expert to coach goalkeeping. If you can learn a little bit about goalkeeping, that knowledge is often a lot more than a young player knows. So sharing your knowledge with your keeper will help him a lot and boost his confidence. Each issue we will be covering a goalkeeping topic and giving you some useful tips on technique to help the keepers. We will also be detailing a few games and exercises which help turn technique into skill by using a competitive environment. These can often be integrated into a normal training session with outfield players.

The Basics
No matter whether youre coaching David James or little James Smith, the basics are very important to work at on a regular basis. The more you get your basics right the less mistakes you will make. The best keepers are often those who are judged to have made the fewest mistakes. The recent England V Denmark game highlights this as Paul Robinson who made 3 great saves parried a powerful shot straight to Tomasson who struck the ball back into the net.

Photo: Fred Cammeraat

Set Position
No matter what sport you play, it is harder to do something when you are moving than when you are still. Therefore when the keeper is set (still and ready in the set position) he is able to push off in any direction and it is easier to save the ball as he is not moving and his eyes are focused and still. A keeper who is moving or bouncing does not have a firm platform and so must return to the ground before pushing off or forming a barrier.

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004


4) body upright and leaning slightly forwards if you are upright, you are in equilibrium and equally able to push off in any direction. All too commonly and especially under pressure a keeper will lean forwards exaggeratedly. This will make him hugely off balance as his backside will stick out behind to counteract the forward weight. As a result the keeper is off balance and likely to fall backwards on the shot. 5) head still and facing forwards if your head is still you are focused and so it is easy to pick up the flight of the ball. If you are moving or bouncing, you are not focused and will react slower with less direction

Photo: Fred Cammeraat

A keeper who is moving or bouncing does not have a firm platform and so must return to the ground before pushing off or forming a barrier
If you clap both hands together the sound and therefore impact will be more significant than that of clapping a stationary hand. Like wise if your hands try to meet the ball as it arrives, you are likely to get a loud noise and the ball is more likely to rebound.

1) Feet shoulder width apart If the feet are too far a part the keeper can not get enough spring and if they are too close together, the keeper can not generate enough power in his dive 2) knees bent bend your knees as low as possible without it hurting. When it starts to hurt you are spending too much energy balancing and have therefore gone too far. By bending your knees, your weight will automatically go onto the balls of your feet which gives you the platform to dive. 3) hands in front and wide of body, elbows bent this is my preferred technique as your hands are closer to shots wide of you. Therefore they are waiting for the ball and dont have to move much to save the difficult shots. The more common theory is of handcuffs, where the keepers hands are ball width apart (as if you are in handcuffs) and about waist high. This is easier for catching as the hands dont have far to move to catch the ball.

However if your hands are out early and waiting for the ball, it is much easier to cushion the impact of the ball. Also it is easier to readjust when the ball moves in the air if your hands are still and waiting.

W Shape
This technique is used for shots that come above belly button high and to the side of the body (if you cannot get your feet across in time). Your hands are naturally shaped to catch a ball as when relaxed they are curved to shape a ball. Put your

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


The W Shape
The more you get your basics right the less mistakes you will make.
Some coaches say to push off frontward after you have picked up the ball as if you are meeting the rebound. However if two objects meet each other at pace, there is a greater likelihood for a rebound (which is dangerous), this is why I teach to cushion the impact of the ball in these situations.

K Shape
This is a compromise between the cup and the cradle for balls that bounce up off the surface and create uncertainty as to how high they will bounce. Place your knee on the back of your other knee and stand side-on to form a K shape. The ball bounces form the cup shape and rolls into your chest. This stance is both as wide and high as possible to prevent an awkward bounce defeating you.

thumbs about 2 inches out in front of your body to form an open W shape. They should not be too close as the ball will bounce out and not too far apart as the ball will go through. The bigger your hands, the closer together you thumbs can be. Your elbows should be bent, to take the impact of the ball, but far enough in front that you have enough leeway to cushion the ball.

These techniques can be practiced in pairs. Depending on the ability and age, you can feed using underarm throws, strikes or volleys. Whatever technique you use, make sure the feed is not coming down on the keeper as this is unrealistic. When throwing the ball, you can trap the ball between your fingers and forearm in one hand as this will help you have a big back lift in your feed without dropping the ball. Many young keepers struggle with feeding.

You do not have to be an expert to coach goalkeeping

Cup Shape
This is used for shots knee high to belly button high. Put your hands out in front of you in a cupped shape. Your hands and arms should form a ramp shape which you use to roll the ball into your chest before clamping your arms around the ball. Your fingers should not point too far to the ground or the ball will bounce off them and should not be pointing too high or they will get stubbed.

The cradle is a name used to describe you cradling the ball into your arms. You should always aim to get your body behind the ball, in case you make a mistake you have a safety barrier. Also, balls closer to your eyes are easier to judge. This is why we form a large barrier with our legs and with our body as close to the ball as possible. Place your knee on your ankle and form a side on position. Your back foot should be dug into the ground to stabalise you. You form the cup shape as before, but need to lean your backside out excessively, as this balances out your arms being in front of your body. As the ball comes in, use your ramp to roll the ball into your chest.

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


Holland and Scotland had to play against each other for one of the five final places for the European Championship in Portugal. Scotland won the first match, Holland won the second one. Holland won 6-1 on aggregate and will be present on EURO 2004 in June. Bert-Jan Heijmans saw both matches and analysed them for SoccerCoachingInternational. By: Bert-Jan Heijmans

The difference between Holland and Scotland (6-1)

Is there a big difference between Holland and Scotland? Well the tourist brochures would lead you to believe Scotland is a land of hills, bagpipes, whiskey and kilts, and that Holland is flat, full of windmills, tulips, Edam and clogs. However, they do have a common interest in football. They both have an intense pride and want to be the best. The two countries appear to like each other, unlike the intense rivalry of the Scots and English and the Dutch and Germans. However that is where the similarities end as Holland is at present ranked at number 6 in the world while Scotland languishing in 58th place in the FIFA table. Both still had a chance to qualify for Europe. Scotland had played above themselves against Germany but without winning while Holland helped to beat themselves again against the Czech Republic. The draw for the play off had particular significance for both managers with Dick Advocaat returning to Glasgow where he was manager at Rangers and Bertie Vogts pitting himself once again against his old foe the Dutch.

Holland v Scotland, Amsterdam Arena

The Scots come to Amsterdam confident that they could get some kind of result to see them through. The atmosphere was electric and the Scottish fans in their kilts and the Dutch fans in their clogs even had time for a game of their own on the DAM in the centre of Amsterdam. Holland was nervous. They still had in the forefront of their minds the game against Ireland, which seemed only a formality but ultimately ended their World Cup hopes. That afternoon they had opportunities a plenty but no killers to finish the job and Ireland triumphed 1-0. Was history about to repeat itself? The Dutch with all their star players, but no team spirit had a problem. After the defeat at Hampden Park, stars with egos bigger than their bank balances shifted the blame onto each other. Advocaat made a major decision by bringing in the hungry youngsters Van der Vaart, Sneijder and Ven der Meyde for the spoilt stars left on the bench. With the likes of Kluivert, De Boer and Seedorf left to sit it out could the young guns handle the pressure and could they also handle the passion and commitment of the Scots. Holland 6 Scotland 0! (6-1 on aggregate)

Scotland v Holland, Hampden Park Glasgow

The Scots were clearly the underdogs going into the game. But they were confident as they had nothing to lose and they had the famous Hampden roar behind them. Holland as always argued about everything before the game with a number of petty squabbles in the press. Dick Advocaat decided to go with experience even after the disaster in Prague and the show of petulance from Ruud van Nistelrooy. The game was a good one with the Scots displaying their passion and commitment against the total football of the Dutch. Scotland won the game because of the arrogance of the Dutch who showed no team spirit and who were only thinking about surviving the first leg with a clinical performance. No passion, no team spirit and a deflected shot from McFadden put the Scots 1-0 up at the half way stage. Even after the defeat some Dutch players thought there was a reason for celebration in the Glasgow nightclubs.

What was the difference?

The Scots can take away at least some pride. They won one of the two legs and played the game they know best, straightforward and with passion and commitment. The Dutch were the bookies clear favourites but lost the first leg. They showed their total football on both games but in the first game they lacked passion and commitment. In the second leg they still played total football but the Dutch also showed PASSION AND COMMITMENT, which made the difference. The difference between Scottish and Dutch football is that the Dutch at times can play with passion and commitment but the Scots are never able to play TOTAL FOOTBALL.

The complete soccer coaching experience

No. 1 - January/February 2004

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Motivation Trick
During the Antwerp Derby, Belgian first division team Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen (GBA) beat Antwerp FC 0-4. The credit went to GBA-coach Marc Brys and his garden dwarf. In the week before the important match Antwerp-coach Rene Desaeyere had called opponent GBA a dwarf team, because of the amount of small players in that team. The players of GBA were already irritated, but when they found a garden dwarf in their dressing room before the match, irritation turned into anger. A totally disgusting joke, GBAplayer Agyeman said after the match. The fact that we have no tall players in our team is no reason to joke. And we won 0-4. Who are the dwarves now? First it looked like FC Antwerp was responsible for the garden dwarf, but one of the Belgian newspapers found out that GBA-coach Marc Brys told one of his assistants to place the garden dwarf in the dressing room. Looking at the 0-4 result, this was apparently a huge motivation for his players. A great story on how to motivate your players.

No. 1 - January/February 2004

The complete soccer coaching experience


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