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General Principles of a 3/4 or 1/2 court press
- This press aims to create space for a team to counter attack from by setting up a midfield pocket where there is an overload of players. Aim to try win the ball off the opposition in this pocket and then you can counter attack into space creating goal scoring opportunities with limited number of passes.
- This press that can be used as a form of saving legs for a short period and to change the tempo of the game as there is a definite change in pace as the one team drops off and the other tries to assess how they are going to play it. However the tempo increases drastically when the defensive team wins the ball and counters and thus these systems still require large amounts of legwork.
- It could also be used when the coach has identified that their back 4 may be slightly slower then normal and the aim would be to create space for your forwards by winning the ball closer to the half way line and then countering with pace.
- The CS is the key to this system as this is the player that aligns them self and their team in the correct line and the correct area of the field. The 3 strikers must not be flat ensuring that the RS and the LS are diagonally behind the CF.
- The 3/4 press is played from the imaginary line between the 25yrd line and the half way line. The 1/2 court is played from the half way line. The team must ensure that the middle of the field is secured as a first priority.
- The key to these systems is the ability of the team to maintain the defensive “SHAPE” and stay compact. If short balls are played into the system then the Midfielders need to step up quickly to defend these and try not to get eliminated but rather force the ball back wide.
How do I set up a midfield pocket? The LM marks the opposition RM but makes sure that when the opposition RM receives the ball the LM forces the player infield toward the other players. LS applies side pressure to the RM and makes passing out wide very difficult. CM steps up from deeper and the CS applies reverse pressure to close the pocket. The movements by the defending team must be dynamic and physical. The benefit about these pockets is that if the ball is manipulated out of the pocket by the attacking team it is normally played wide and then the team can readjust to defend the line.