A defender’s primary objective is to protect their team’s goal, but in the modern game an ability to support the attack has become a valuable commodity.
In fact, marauding full-backs such as Marcelo and Dani Alves have shown that their desire to get forward can actually act as a defensive weapon.
More after the break
The Brazilians’ ambitious runs forces the opposition’s winger to drop back to prevent their own full-back being caught in a 2 v 1 situation.
Fitness and offensive instincts are essential components of an attacking full-back, but Manchester City’s Micah Richards believes bravery and confidence are just as important.
In essence, you need to have the courage to take a gamble.
“I’ve got six assists this season (2011-12), not through being brilliant going forward, but by making that run and looking for someone in the box to square it to,” Richards told FFT.
“It’s just a simple run basically, but it’s just a case of wanting to do it.”
So what are you waiting for? Get on the overlap and support your winger!
Micah Richards is an ambassador for If U Care Share, a charity that encourages young people to discuss any problems they have. For more information visit www.ifucareshare.co.uk