Defending 16 yard hit-outs
1) ARROW HEAD press
The ARROW HEAD press is to be used when the 16-yard is being taken in the middle of the field.
OBJECTIVE: to force the opposition to play the ball wide by defending the middle of the field.
In order for press to work the strikers need to respond quickly to the free hit, set up early and position themselves in the correct positions so that the rest of the team can line up around them. The CS is the tip of the ARROW HEAD and they must line up in the direct line of the ball. The LS and the RS must take a 45-degree line behind the CS to create the rest of the ARROW HEAD. The shape of the ARROW HEAD can be too flat or to acute depending on the positioning of these two strikers, thus it is important to analyze what distance of the field is being covered.
The midfield and the defenders take their positions off the 3 strikers and form the next line in defense.
WHAT if they hit through the middle?
2) FUNNEL press
This press is normally set up when the ball is slightly infield but not in the middle of the field. OBJECTIVE: cut the field in half and force the ball to one side only.
On the RIGHT the RS lines directly in front of the free hit. The RS must work just off the 5-yard area ready to apply max pressure to any ball that is made live, close down an overhead in an attempt to put off the defender and win the make the play dangerous, to force an inaccurate pass and to defend the direct line.
CS has a crucial role in keeping the ball on one side of the field. CS must position themselves just behind the line of the free hit, i.e. prepare to move in from the BLIND SIDE. CS must assist the LS in preventing any switch ball being played across the field ensuring that it is kept on one side of the field. The CS is also vital in applying reverse pressure on the ball carrier once it has been made live to force loss of possession and prevent the player from turning out and switching the ball.
LS move in and across approximately in line with the outside post of the goal. If the LS gets too close and a ball is switched out then the distance for the LS to cover is too greatAnd their RB will gain an advantage over them going fwd with the ball. The LS must prevent the square ball being played to the opposite outside Back. The LS is also often the player that should be targeted once possession is won, as they will be free due to the positioning of their direct opposite number.
The ball side players like the RM and the CM must step up behind their players allowing the ball to be played to their player and then once the ball is played stepping up immediately to close down any further options. They are also crucial in being ready intercept any release ball that the defender tries to hit through the strikers line as a release of pressure. Thus the midfielders need to be tuned in and have a low body position. Communication from the midfielders to the strikers is also vital as the midfielders ensure that the strikers are covering the right angles and the midfielders then work off these angles.
RB must flat triangle mark, i.e. give themselves an opportunity to step up and intercept the ball, OR allow the striker to receive it and apply max pressure immediately.
LM is in and across in a covering position making sure that they are not too deep. They must be inside their direct opposite player.
CB is marking
LB is covering in and across
Sweeper can be in front of the CB or behind depending on how you play it.
On the LEFT HAND side of the field? Principals remain the same but the LS
SO what happens when we get the ball played into the pocket? Movement must be dynamic, with intent and done in unison. Communicate it…. opposition feels this pressure!
OR they get out of the press? REACT and re align ourselves quickly dropping off the ball slightly and adjust the set up to where the ball is now on the field.
3) HIGH SIDELINE Press
This press is set up when there is a free hit situation on the sideline in the defensive 25-yard area. This has similar principles as the Funnel press and should be easier to keep the ball on the same side of the field.
OBJECTIVE: On the RIGHT is to keep the ball down the line and not allow it to come infield. Ideally you want them to play it short into your set up so that you can put max pressure in the hope of a dispossession, a turn over and a counter attack.
The RS can line up slightly infield so as to make sure that the ball is played down the line and not infield. If it is played infield then reverse pressure can be applied.
CM, RM and RB must be ready to step and intercept any long pass hit through the press.
LS not too far across field ready to drop out if the ball is manipulated across the press.
OBJECTIVE: On the LEFT is to position the LS on the sideline a good distance away to intercept the big ball down the sideline and make them play it short.
CM and LM must be ready to step up onto the short ball.