Full Back Men and Women

Full Back Attributes

Qualities Needed To Be A Full-Back

A good full back is comfortable with the ball at their feet and excels in 1v1 situations in both defense and attack.

From a tactical viewpoint, they need to be very strong and understand the defensive concepts of pressure, cover, balance, and support.

It’s therefore important that a full-back has a wide range of competencies.

Here are the most important qualities needed to be a good full back in soccer:

Strong speed and stamina.

A good fullback needs to be able to get up and down the field constantly to help the team in both attack and defense.

Strong defensively in 1v1 situations.

Good full-backs are difficult to beat and are able to win the ball off tricky wingers who are trying to beat them on the dribble.

A good understanding of pressure, cover, balance, support, and the role they need to play in helping their team keep good defensive shape.

When not in possession of the ball, full-backs need to be able to adjust their position frequently to help protect the goal and stay connected with the rest of the defense.

Strong offensively in 1v1 situations.

Top-class full-backs are comfortable with the ball at their feet and can use effective dribbling techniques and moves to beat their opponents.

Confident and comfortable receiving the ball under pressure and making passes over short and long distances.

Able to combine quickly and effectively with their teammates to progress down the field with the ball and get behind the opponent’s defense.

Be able to effectively put crosses into the box at high speed and at different heights.

How To Play As A Full Back When Attacking

When a team is attacking a good full-back can be one of the most offensive weapons a team has A significant reason for this is because their direct opponents (usually wingers) are typically not as comfortable and efficient at defending as they are at attacking.

To play as a good attacking full-back, a player should do the following:

Give the team width and provide a forward pass option when the central defender or goalkeeper has the ball.

The full-back should look to receive ‘side on’ and with their hips open to the rest of the field so they have the option to continue to move the ball forward and help their team progress.

Recognize that when the number 6 (defensive midfielder) drops deep to receive the ball they can push forward and be more aggressive in their positioning.

Provide a drop option and make themselves available for a pass when their attacking winger in front of them is under pressure.

Look for opportunities to make overlapping and underlapping runs and get beyond the opponent’s defense when the attacking winger directly in front of them is in space and has time on the ball.

Upon receiving the ball, look to play forward passes to teammates.

Upon receiving the ball, look for opportunities to play through-balls for their wingers, the striker, or an attacking number 10.

Upon receiving the ball, given time and space, carry the ball forward into midfield and forward areas.

Put crosses into the box in the final third and create opportunities for the strikers and other attacking players to score.

Combine with the winger and number 10 to create numbers up situations in the attacking half.

How To Play As A Full Back When Defending

Although a full-back is now also expected to contribute in an attacking sense, their primary responsibility is still to defend.

The main responsibility of a full-back is to stop the opposing players from getting behind them and putting crosses in.

They also need to stop their direct opponents from creating scoring opportunities for others or shooting from distance.

To do this they have to be strong 1v1 defenders themselves but also possess an astute understanding of positioning and the tactical side of the game. When defending, a good full-back should do the following:

Understand when they are the ‘1st defender’ and look to put pressure on the ball as quickly as possible.

Make challenges and well-timed tackles, winning the ball whenever an attacker tries to dribble past them.

Be able to block crosses and shots and put high pressure on opponents.

Have a good understanding of where their teammates are and where to direct and lead the opponents should they not be able to win the ball back themselves.

Provide cover and support for other defenders when they are pressuring the ball.

Provide balance to the team’s backline when the ball is on the opposite side of the field.

Hold a strong line with the center back and other defenders and anticipate through-balls from their opponents.

In anticipation and reaction to through-balls, the full-back should drop deep and get to the ball before the attacking player.

In anticipation and reaction to through-balls, a full-back should look to play opponents and attackers ‘off-side’ by ‘holding the line’ & letting the attackers make pre-emptive runs behind them.

Intercept passes behind the defense, particularly those that are played in between the center-back and full-back.