“To develop technically proficient and tactically astute players who understand the game and make excellent decisions; who demonstrate a winning mentality and passion for improvement through work-rate and commitment; and who are physically capable of meeting the demands of the game, by providing an engaging and challenging learning environment where players can express themselves without fear of failure.”
- Players are to be comfortable with a possession based passing game, where the team will look to try and play out from the back in a coordinated and controlled manner and is developed through the thirds in order to produce goal-scoring opportunities when possible
- Players will look to recognise opportunities to play forward and execute counter-attacking opportunities where possible but not at the expense of losing possession
- Players will, upon losing possession, look to immediately regain possession by defending from the front as a preferred option, or to drop and establish a compact defensive shape when unable to do so
- Above all, our teams are expected to display a competitive and winning mentality – winning games is of importance however this is not at the expense of the playing philosophy
Within the Foundation Phase and the Youth Development Phase this will be consistently adhered to. The u9s – U12s age groups will predominantly focus on technical development incorporating decision making and consideration for basic principles of play. The u9s and u10s squads will generally play in a flexible 2-3-1 formation whilst the u11s and u12s will play predominantly in a flexible 2-4-2 formation with players encouraged to rotate positions. The u13s – u16s age groups will focus more toward tactical understanding and technical refinement. Players will still be required to have an understanding of a range of positions but as they progress through this phase should begin to develop a primary position within the team. 11v11 games will adopt a flexible 4-4-2 formation. The key aspect regarding formations is that they are to be used as a guide, with the style of play dictating the playing philosophy being the paramount consideration more than the system itself.
Within the Professional Development Phase, players will be exposed to an environment where points and league positions will become significant. Learning to win will become a key element of their development in preparation for progression into the first team. We will still work within our preferred formation of a flexible 4-4-2 but on occasion may change either to exploit our own strengths, to counter the opposition’s weaknesses, or based on player availability. Players will be encourage to drop off to allow the opposition to play out from the back, we will then press from the front as a team as the preferred option. If the opposition choose not to play out from the back then we shall drop as a team and hold a compact defensive shape. In possession of the ball we encourage our players to play out from the back, maintaining possession through forward passing. If opportunities do not arise to play this way we will play in a more direct manner looking for opportunities to play forward quickly as necessary.