Academy 02Week two of the girls’ academy couldn’t have got off to a worse start. Very heavy rain greeted the players, coaches and parents at Manor CE Academy, so much so that the coaches were very close to cancelling the session.

But, thankfully, the girls wanted to train and the session was absolutely fantastic. With a couple of players missing due to the heavy rain and the traffic this caused, we worked on getting the players to have a look over their shoulder before receiving a pass, and keeping the ball in a 3v3 situation. The playing area was kept big so the girls had lots of space to work in.

We then progressed to highlighting the body shape when receiving a pass, and how an open body shape could help the girls move the ball in a different direction. We progressed on to letting the ball run across the players’ body without a touch to change the direction of play. We emphasised this had to be used with the look over the shoulder or the player could turn into a defender or opposition player. We moved to a 3v3 directional game with a goal being scored by stopping the ball on the end goal line with the player’s foot on the ball. Alexia, Chloe J and Tia had a magic spell where their quick passing, movement and observations kept the ball with ease. It was very impressive to watch.

We finished with a match with Suzy and Chris joining in, more to keep them from freezing to death, than to add anything to the game! We got the girls to be patient with the ball and try to be very decisive when they attacked – Barcelona type play. A couple of the girls didn’t like this style as they said it was a little boring. We chatted after about when they progress to an 11v11 game on a full side pitch, they would not be able to play at 100 miles an hour for the full 90 minutes, and by keeping the ball it was a chance to have a rest and reposition themselves on the pitch.

The key messages from the night were: by moving the ball quickly and moving the opposition about, it was easier to create goal scoring opportunities. Also, good observations before receiving a pass helps decide the direction and type of play.

On a terrible evening, superb effort from all the girls and we just hope you have all dried out, huge thank you from all the coaches!

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