Attack-Minded Fullbacks – Full Session Plan and Key Coaching Points

Attack Minded Fullbacks Positional Play Progression

All of the best professional teams in the world have attack-minded fullbacks deeply rooted into their system and style of play. The likes of Liverpool have achieved much success with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson bombing down their respective sides from their positions as fullbacks. Between the two of them, they’ve assisted 42 goals in the last two Premier League seasons, breaking records left and right as Liverpool have completely dominated the league. But it’s not just Liverpool. The growing importance of fullbacks further up the field has been one of the most popular revolutions of the modern game and it is no longer just the very best of the best that deploy these types of players. Defenders at the youth level often see themselves as only defenders. They tend to believe that there is an imaginary line that they simply cannot cross. But this is not the case! Fullbacks can make a massive difference to the attacking prowess of a team and if our youth teams are to achieve greater attacking success, the fullbacks need to be more heavily involved. This session plan provides coaches with an opportunity to start to develop that attacking-mindset in fullbacks. Enjoy!

WARM-UP: CHANGING POINT OF ATTACK

Changing Point of Attack Warm-Up

Execution: 3v3 in one central grid. 2 players on the outside of the grid for each respective team who can move up and down the line but not inside the grid. In order to score teams must combine with both of their outside players from one side to the other.

Coaching Points:
– Receiving on the half-turn to play both forwards and backwards.
– Movement up and down the line of the outside players (acting as fullbacks).
– Switching play from one side to the other as soon as it’s available, but not forcing it from one side to the other.
– When attacking, don’t block the passing lane for the switch of play.

GAME: DISCOVERY GAME WITH NEUTRALS

Attack Minded Fullbacks Regular Game with Neutrals

Execution: 5v5 in a central grid, both teams playing a narrow formation to allow width to come from the fullbacks. Fullbacks (Green) acting as neutral players outside of the grid and can move up and down the line. All restarts from the goalkeeper (Yellow).

Condition: Any goal scored by or delivered by a fullback counts for two.

Coaching Points:
– If the ball goes to the right, the Left FB can get high as we look to switch play at the right moment. If the ball goes to the left, the Right FB can get high
– Use of the CM’s to switch play from left to right
– Fullbacks timing of the cross
– Speed and running with the ball down the wing from the fullbacks
– Desire to shoot and score
– Allowing the width to come from the fullbacks as other players remain narrow

POSITIONAL PLAY

Attack Minded Fullbacks Positional Play

Execution: White is the attacking team. Black is the defending team. Two Green neutral players (fullbacks) on the outside of the field, up and down a line.
– Ball always starts with the Black team striker passing to the White team and then transitioning into defense.
– White scores on the large goal, Black scores in two small goals on the outside edge of the field. Neutrals can score and are encouraged to. Neutrals can not have the ball stolen from them when it’s in their zone, but can and should be pressured.

Condition: Any goal scored by or delivered by a fullback counts for two.

Coaching Points:
– Reinforce key factors learned so far re: switching play, timing of runs and timing of crosses.
– Fullbacks and wingers working together to create 2v1 advantages/overloads.
– Speed and running with the ball down the wing from the fullbacks + desire to shoot and score.

POSITIONAL PLAY PROGRESSION 

Attack Minded Fullbacks Positional Play Progression

Execution: Same as above, except now neutral players (fullbacks) become part of the White team. They are not always locked into their zone. If a winger from their team advances into their zone, they can enter into the middle, allowing for positional
interchange. Fullback should retreat back into their zone at the right time as winger goes back to being inverted.
– The ball still cannot be stolen in the fullback’s zone, although pressure is allowed to be applied.

Conditions: Any goal scored by or delivered by a fullback counts for two.

Coaching Points:
– Same as above except importantly…
– Wingers and fullbacks positional interchange. If fullback is wide, winger should be inside (inverted). If winger wants to go wide, fullback can cut inside
– Timing of the runs to create numerical advantages

FINAL GAME

6v6 Game Attack-Minded Fullbacks

Execution: No restrictions and normal rules of the game apply. You can keep or remove the condition of fullbacks’ goals/assists counting for two. Setup in a defensive shape with fullbacks or wing-backs such as a 3-1-1 for 6v6.
– Emphasize importance of fullbacks getting up and down the wings and when one can go forward versus the other.
– Reinforce key factors, but minimal stoppages of play and minimal interventions. Now is the time to test the players’ learning.

Shapes
5v5: 2-1-1, 1-2-1
6v6: 3-1-1, 1-3-1
7v7: 3-1-2, 1-3-2


There it is! A complete session plan on Attack-Minded Fullbacks. Although trying to be like Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson might not be something our players will ever achieve, having fullbacks develop an attacking-mindset and teaching the other players around them how to better get the fullbacks involved could be a vital change to a team’s attacking flair and prowess. Be sure to check out more Session Plans before heading out. Thanks for reading and see you soon!

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