We expect all of our players (which includes GK’s) to be confident and comfortable with the ball in their possession. Any player who isn’t will not fit into our style of play.
Expect all of our teams to play to a high tempo and to dominate and dictate possession. All individual performances must be high in energy and technically efficient. We encourage players to express themselves and play with no fear of making mistakes.
Spatial awareness within our players is an essential necessity. If there is space in front of the player we want the players to exploit it and drive with the ball. Draw people in to create an overload and/or break the line. When there is no space, we look to pass and move. We want firm passes and constant sharp movements.
Always look to play forward but in the event where we can’t we will keep possession and be happy, patient and comfortable to play back to a new option or viewpoint that may be able to then play forward. We will not force the ball forward if it is not likely to be retained, or create an attacking opportunity.
In possession we are structured and positional minded until the final third. When reaching the final third, players become free to go and do what they like. We encourage roaming and like inter changing positions.
Look to stretch teams through our movement. We want to open gaps between their units, split their screens and turn their defenders around to face their own goal.
We look to play out from the back. This doesn’t mean we always go short. This means all our players are in position to play short and that they are willing to receive (opposed or unopposed) and show the confidence to play. Sometimes a player further forward may be a better option and this may have been made possible by the defenders showing willing to receive short.
Our Goalkeepers must have a high start position and be as comfortable on the ball and in possession as the outfield players.
FOCUS THROUGH THE AGE GROUPS
Stay on the ball, master the ball.
Develop a mastery of the ball and the confidence to try new things.
Excite with the ball and seek creative solutions.
Be exciting and positive in possession, playing with individuality and with elements of disguise and surprise.
Connect and combine creatively with others.
Combine creatively and intelligently with others to create and score goals.
Look to receive the ball in all areas of the pitch and be prepared to stay in possession.
Seek creative solutions to game situations particularly when outnumbered or in congested areas.
Stay connected with the ball and your teammates to retain possession, open up compact defences and score goals.
Retain possession with intent, both individually and as a team.
Open up compact defences with outstanding individuality and teamwork.
Use clever combinations to create and score goals.
Counter-attacking is one of the most effective methods of creating goal scoring opportunities in open play.
Dribbling, running with the ball, incisive passing and effective support play are key aspects of counter-attacking. Counter-attacking aims to exploit space, eliminate opponents and create goal scoring opportunities.
FITC Academy goalkeepers play a crucial role in initiating counter-attacks and will be challenged to exploit attacking opportunities using a variety of distribution techniques to deliver the ball effectively over varying distances. Quick free-kicks and throw-ins are other ways of creating counter-attacking opportunities.
RETAINING THE BALL
FITC Academy teams aim to dominate possession with the aim of creating opportunities to penetrate the opposition and create goal scoring chances. Ball retention allows teams to manage the momentum of a game, requiring a patient and controlled approach. A combination of intelligent passing, dribbling, and support play all contribute to effective ball retention. Again FITC Academy goalkeepers will play a key role in this phase of play, fulfilling the role of the 11th outfield player and adopting effective positions to support the play.
PROGRESSING AND PENETRATING
FITC Academy teams aim to penetrate the opposition by moving the ball intelligently between and beyond opponents to create goal scoring opportunities. Progressive and penetrative play is an effective method for opening up compact defences and eliminating opposition players from the game. Through accurate, intelligent and creative play the ball can be moved between and beyond the opposition to create goal scoring opportunities. Accurate and deceptive forward passing, skillful dribbling and running with the ball combined with effective support play and movement are crucial to effective penetrative play.
As with everything we do, FITC Academy goalkeepers will contribute to penetrative play by using a range of effective distribution techniques.
CREATING AND SCORING
Progressing play to the creating and scoring phase is the aim of all other aspects of the playing philosophy.
Clinical and creative individual and combination play is encouraged in the creation and execution of goal scoring opportunities. A variety of finishing skills, including unorthodox goal scoring techniques are encouraged.
During all aspects of the in-possession philosophy, defensive security should be considered. Awareness of defensive security ensures the team remains organised at all times and can react effectively when the ball is lost. All players contribute to ensuring defensive security, in particular the goalkeeper through effective positioning, organisation and communication.