Modern day defenders aren’t just there to defend. They also have to attack. But it’s not as simple as bombing forward when their team is in possession. Do that and they’ll leave their team horribly exposed at the back.
If you want your defenders to bring another dynamic to the attack, without weakening the rearguard, you need them to be both comfortable on the ball and tactically aware.
Timing, positioning and bravery are key. Defenders have to be capable of assessing the situation and then ready to take responsibility by stepping into midfield, creating an overload and demanding the ball.
Nike Academy assistant coach, Edu Rubio, likes to equip his players with these skills. It’s something he regularly works on in training.
FFT took our cameras to St George’s Park to capture the Spanish coach run his team through a drill that does just that. Hit play and watch the session.
You can find out more about how you can get involved with the Nike Academy, and watch the players’ progress this season, by visiting facebook and NikeFootball.com.
For more tactical tips see:
Tony Carr: Playing out from the back
Rio: Playing out from the back
How to be a ball playing centre back
Build from the back
Nemanja Vidic: Pass under pressure
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