Similar to Penetration, teams must adapt their defensive support strategies based on the field zone they have the ball in to maximize the effectiveness of the defensive principle. Here are some defensive support strategies that teams can use in different field zones:
In the defensive third, the primary objective is to prevent the opposition from scoring. Defensive support strategies in this area should focus on:
Compactness: Maintain a compact defensive shape to limit space and make it difficult for the opposition to penetrate the defence.
Pressure on the ball carrier: Apply pressure on the opposition’s ball carrier to force mistakes or turnovers.
Clearances: When the pressure is too high, defenders can use long clearances to move the ball away from danger and regroup.
In the middle third, the objective is to limit the opposition’s opportunities and regain possession. Defensive support strategies here include:
Pressing: Apply pressing on the opposition’s ball carrier or passing lanes to force mistakes and regain possession.
Marking: Man-mark the opposition’s key players to limit their influence on the game.
Interceptions: Anticipate the opposition’s passes and make interceptions to regain possession quickly.
In the attacking third, the goal is to prevent the opposition from scoring while maintaining the ability to counter-attack. Defensive support strategies in this area involve:
Defensive cover: Maintain a defensive cover to prevent the opposition from making runs in behind the defence and scoring goals.
Pressure: Apply pressure on the opposition’s ball carrier to force turnovers and start counter-attacks.
Set-piece defending: Defend set-pieces carefully by marking tightly and clearing the ball out of danger.
By adapting defensive support strategies to different field zones, teams can effectively use the defensive principle to limit the opposition’s opportunities and maintain a solid defensive structure throughout the match.