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Liberty Leopards
Michael G. Morelli
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  Keeper Page  
 

How to play against a marking forward (cornerkick)
Frequently when an opponent is taking a corner kick, an
opponent will have a player stand right beside the keeper to
try to beat the keeper to balls (ok let’s be honest here,
the real reason frequently is to obstruct the keeper as
well).

The dilemma for the keeper is whether to have a player mark
up this opponent or to leave this player unmarked and for
the keeper to take full responsibility for this player.

It’s my recommendation to leave the player unmarked because
bringing another player into this concentrated area just
brings one more obstacle for the keeper to have to work
around to get to the ball. While this puts some additional
pressure on the keeper, it also allows the keeper to have a
better understanding of what they do and don’t have to do so
there is no confusion.

It’s important that all players on the team know whether an
opponent right on the keeper during corner kicks should be
marked or not. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer
but it’s important that a decision be made before the
situation arises rather than having confusion during the
game.

Too many keepers get into pushing battles with the opponent
who is standing beside them during corner kicks. They
become more concerned with winning the "space battle" than
in trying to keep the ball out of the net. The real key is
to concentrate on the ball and don’t let the opponent become
a major distraction.


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Ball distribution: how to attack
Too often when a keeper gets the ball and decides to throw the ball (or roll the ball) to a teammate, they do so in a way to get the ball to a player who is open (hopefully) but there isn’t enough thought as to how to get the ball to an open player and to try to bypass at least one opponent to start the team on a numbers up situation. Coaches like to talk about keepers being both the last line of defense and the first line of offense, but not enough emphasis is put on this aspect of the game.

When the keeper gets the ball and rolls or throws the ball to a teammate who is open but has 11 opponents in front of them, this doesn’t do much to help the team in their attack. To see an example of this please see the diagram below



An example of better distribution where the keeper acts like the first line of attack can be seen below where with one throw (still safe distribution) two opponents are beaten.





There are times when a keeper will play a simple safe pass that doesn't bypass even one opponent but whenever possible they should look to initiate the attack in a positive manner. If the other teams forwards try eliminating the wide pass, another example of beating the opponents with the initial distribution would be to find a central player and splitting the opponents. See the diagram below



The best way to work on this is by playing small sided games (6 v 6) where the keeper plays as a keeper/sweeper and if the keeper can't distribute with the hands they put the ball down and play with their feet looking to bypass at least one opponent with the initial pass.

It's important for keepers to look to bypass one or more opponent whenever possible however, it's also important to remember this should NOT be done if it increases the risk of losing the ball in the back fourth of the field



   
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