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How to mark a technically good player

  • 31-03-2023 10:33pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2

    Hi I am a centre half back at u15 and I am looking for suggestions on how to mark players as I am seen to be one of the leaders of the team so I am expected to both mark strong players and also attack. I need to learn how to mark intelligent players who make good runs as I find it difficult. Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,986 ✭✭✭evolvingtipperary101

    Lower the blade.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,986 ✭✭✭evolvingtipperary101

    I'm not trying to be smart but it will be worth the money to pay out for some specialist clinics, especially at your age. Plenty of the top coaches and current inter county players in hurling and football are giving clinics all over the country. On how to place feet, track and target the opposition body, when to commit, when not to commit, how to tackle with your chest/arms/hands, zonal marking, shadow players to the wing, turn and all that. If you put hurling or football clinic or coaching into twitter or google they'll come up. But just do a little research on who is giving the clinic just in case it's someone from the past and the game has moved on from their thinking. Some players or coaches will do one to ones. But each county board will have web pages with info on it. But there are other avenues, I think OurGame put on clinics at clubs now too.

    Eoin Brislane: "most frees come from aggressive tackling" - YouTube

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,696 ✭✭✭StupidLikeAFox

    Fair play to you for focusing on improving your game. Lots of young lads who show early promise like you just assume it will continue forever and inevitably get left behind, so congrats on the continuous improvement mentality and keep it up!

    Have you looked on YouTube- are lots of videos on YouTube with established coaches. Here are some coaching workshops that have a focus on defending that might help, but if you Google "gaa coaching defender" there is lots of similar content that should help:

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,249 ✭✭✭Choochtown

    Great answers above and I'll add 1 small seemingly insignificant comment to them.

    A lot of young players in the half back line seem to focus too much on the defensive aspect of the game. It's likely most centre forwards that you'll face will hate the defensive part of the game. If you keep your fitness levels as high as possible you can ensure that your opponent can worry about you every time your team has possession.

    Keep making those 20 metre bursts again and again. Centre forwards generally hate having to track them and if you have the edge in fitness over your opponent he's going to be much less effective when his team are in possession especially if he's just had to make a few lung busting runs beforehand.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,453 ✭✭✭flasher0030

    That is definitely not insignificant. I played half back for most of my youth. I spent a great deal of time focusing on my attacking skills - shooting, fetching from kick-outs, 50 yard sprint bursts up the wing. Identifying the appropriate runs going forward. It was always my intention to put the forward on the back foot. and get them defending. I remember some of the guys I was marking got so bewildered.

    One very important tip from me. Practice shooting, and try to get on the score sheet in the first 15 minutes. If you do, the management (and supporters) will turn on the half forward and harass him for not tracking back. And unless he is a very good player, that will be the end of his game. His mind will be off his own game, and he will be focusing on you. All you have to do after that is make a few runs forward, and he will keep following you. He'll get tired and will be ineffective. To really trump it, if you can tag on another score yourself in the first half, there is a strong chance that the forward will get taken off.

    This policy has worked for me over and over again. Treat it like that from the throw in. When the ball is thrown up, be ready to make the burst to the middle of the pitch. If your teammates win the ball, create the overlap for them and take the pass. The half forward will not expect this, and probably won't follow you. After that, you got him thinking. And straight away management will be on to him re following back. It's a forwards worst nightmare. Forwards will love if you just follow them around.

    I remember getting 2 points in the first 20 mins of a very important match long time ago. The guy I was marking got tonnes of abuse from the sideline (some of it over the top) for not following me. He was off the pitch within 25 mins.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,194 ✭✭✭Jarhead_Tendler

    Don't worry with the way football is going his team mates won't be allowed pick out his good runs anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 519 ✭✭✭1373

    Your the kind of player a manager loves, a backman who doesn't want to focus on his actual main job DEFENDING. . Six defenders doing their job with scoring seen as a bonus is my belief

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,064 ✭✭✭crusd

    The best backs have been dragging thier opponents all over the pitch for decades

  • Registered Users Posts: 519 ✭✭✭1373

    I wouldn't agree . The best backs have been keeping their man scoreless for decades first and foremost. No point flying up and down the field and your man getting plenty of chances because you can't actually defend

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,453 ✭✭✭flasher0030

    That is way too old school in the modern game. Look at the likes of Jack McCaffrey, Lee Keegan, Paul Murphy, Peter Harte. Paddy Durkin (Mayo) is getting into that bracket with similar type performances i.e. attacking threat. Jarlath Burns from Armagh. It frightens the opposition when you have a speedy, fit half-back who will tack on a point or 2. Takes the half-forward of their game. I think it's actually crucial in the game these days with blanket defenses. You need runners of the shoulder to break it down or a couple of big target men with a strategy to play good ball into them. Otherwise, you'll get nowhere.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,064 ✭✭✭crusd

    And the not quite so modern, Sean og de Paor, James Nallen, Tomas O Shea, Declan Meehan, Anthony Rainbow

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,971 ✭✭✭teednab-el

    Being able to read the game is the most important aspect of any game for a player. See what's happening and act decisively and be a step ahead of the player your marking. Seamus Moynihan of Kerry an example. Fantastic reader of the game.

    Post edited by teednab-el on

  • Registered Users Posts: 519 ✭✭✭1373

    I'd agree with the names you've mentioned, but they all have one thing in common, they're great at winning ball in defence. The comment 5 is that some players focus too much on defence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,330 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    To answer your original question, I'd focus on a couple of things:

    • do what you can to work on explosive speed; if you can get out ahead/beside or even marginally behind your man and get a hand in to prevent him getting clean ball, that's the easiest way to defend
    • once he has the ball, shepherd him onto his weaker side; typically, this means he'll have to turn back inside before passing/shooting - this is maybe less relevant if he's comfortable off both sides
    • Use the sideline as your friend - shepherd him towards the line rather than letting him cut inside, makes it much harder for him to shoot/pass and again, he'll have to turn back inside

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,922 ✭✭✭MayoAreMagic

    Keegan, Durkan and Murphy mark their man first and foremost. Harte plays in a complex defensive system, that most people wont ever play in, that allows him to attack from deep without much responsibility, while Dublin used mccaffrey as a strike runner, again with other players taking up the slack defensively.

    These guys arent your average club player and their role reflects this...

    In reality your advice is the same trap a lot of guys fall into. That tactic is all well and good when your midfield are dominating possession, but when that isnt happening, all you are doing is leaving your fullback line exposed. You might kick your point, but your team will probably give up 3 scoring chances for you to get it. It is the classic club player half back mistake - big lump of ego in there too for good measure tbh, but sure, as long as you kick your point, that is the important thing...

    A good half back needs to be aware of what his other 2 halfbacks are doing in each play first and foremost, they need to think as a group rather than just one guy going all the time, because that ends up with all 3 going all the time, which again is a disaster waiting to happen.

    The guys you named are aware of this and adapt their game, most club players dont and are responsible for loads of scoring chances being conceded.

    If you just think of that for a second in terms of another sport - it is the equivalent of all your midfielders on a soccer team running up alongside the strikers in every attack - it is madness.

    Post edited by MayoAreMagic on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,453 ✭✭✭flasher0030

    There's a balance of course. I didn't mean it as bomb forward every opportunity. Pick the right moments e.g. give the shout to the midfielder and half forward to hold the half back position.

    I mean for half-backs to use the attacking opportunity as a weapon to surprise the half-forward.

    Many a game I have won on account of this role. No ego on my side. I was well able to defend when it was needed. Just wanted to contribute to the team winning. In fairness, it was junior football, so any exposure that was leaving was limited to a certain degree.