Attacking Principles apply when your team has the ball and regardless of the position that the ball is on the field.

The five principles that govern play when you are attacking are:

    1. Penetration (moving the ball forward, ultimately to score a goal)
    2. Depth
    3. Width
    4. Mobility
    5. Improvisation

Role of the 1st Attacker (the man on the ball) :

  1. to achieve penetration use improvisation and maintain possession.
  2. attempt to attack the space behind the defender, this may be done by:
    1. Shooting
    2. Dribbling past a defender
    3. Passing the ball behind a defender to a 2nd attacker and immediately offering support to that player
    4. Putting the ball and yourself into the space behind the defender, either by a pass to yourself or a wall pass
    5. Looking to run at angles to get behind the defender
  3. Create space behind a defender by committing the defender to challenge for the ball
  4. Keep possession of the ball
  5. Keep the ball moving and away from the defenders range
  6. Take the ball away from the defenders feet with your first touch
  7. Move the ball into space, and improvise to trick defenders into moving the wrong way



Role of the 2nd Attackers (players in the immediate vicinity of the 1st attacker):

  1. try and achieve depth and width by providing a supporting role.
  2. Supporting the first attacker at various distances within the visual range of the 1st attacker.
  3. Giving the 1st attacker a number of options
  4. Giving the 1st attacker a good angle and clear line to pass the ball.
  5. Be positioned on recieving the ball to play the ball in the desired direction (usually forward) with their first touch. (This is normally done by the receiving player having an open stance.)
  6. If the 1st attacker is attempting to dribble past the defender, the supporting players help by moving away from the 1st attacker, and thereby enticing the 2nd defender away from their supporting role.
  7. The supporting attackers should be in constant communication with the 1st attacker, letting them know of any dangers, or options that the 1st attacker is not aware of.


Role of the 3rd Attackers (other attackers that are away from the immediate playing area):


  1. provide a supporting role to the 1st and 2nd attackers in a number of ways to ensure that the principles of play are being followed.
  2. To provide mobility, depth, width and penetration
  3. Make runs on the blind side of defenders
  4. Attacks the space behind the defenders without the ball
  5. Runs away from defenders which can have 2 outcomes
    1. The defender follows the attacker and so space is created behind the defender
    2. The defender does not follow the attacker, so the attacker is now free
  6. Runs that are made with no intention to receive the ball must be encouraged as much as runs to receive the ball
  7. Commit the last defender by running past them and distracting them
  8. Entice 3rd defenders away and thereby creating space (the timing of runs is vital):
    1. Running to create space the run is made early
    2. Running to exploit existing space the run is made late
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