Formations, whilst ‘important’ in some ways, it is only really the way you line-up before kick-off.
Beyond that, it all goes a little crazy, and a lot of success will come from that crazy.
Traditionally, players have been pigeon-holed.
“Today you are a defender, so you need to defend” which also translates to “you don’t attack” – think of seeing players standing on the halfway line or the build-out line waiting to ‘defend’.
Recommended 7v7 formation.
1 ‘goalkeeper’ – 3 ‘defenders’ – 2 ‘midfielders’ – 1 ‘striker’
Whilst the players are identified in lines (defense, midfield, attack) they should actually be referred to by their position number – #2, #3, #4, #6, #8, #9. Each position number then has responsibilities.
For example, this formation lends itself to attacking centrally, so you might set up to ‘attack’ like this:
Note. The #4 who is traditionally a ‘central defender’ is integral to helping this team attack through the middle, so think about the responsibility explanation to that player. You might also flip this and use the #2 and #3 to attack with width – now they are not just ‘defenders’ but ‘attackers’ too.
Why is this recommended?
One of the key nuances for 7v7 is the build-out line, so having three in front of the goalkeeper will help to create support for the ball being passed into the game. Ahead of the ball, two and one can be used as target players to help the team move forward.
Importantly, because there are fewer players further forward, the formation will lend itself to a game model that doesn’t want to play boot ball.
All formations can be tailored to your own style and also your own players. You might have a really creative player who is confident with the ball, so letting them play free may mean you technically play a 1-3-1-1 with the 7th creative player anywhere!
When you move to 9v9, your 1-3-2-1 could become a 1-4-3-1. It could also be a 1-3-3-2. It’s your choice, but understand that what you set up now, will help with familiarity at 9v9 and after that at 11v11.
Other formations to consider and explore:
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