A football team will normally have up to 11 players on the pitch at any time. One player will be designated as the goalkeeper and they are allowed to perform certain actions that other players are not allowed to perform. The outfield players have designated a position based on the chosen formation. These positions do not have special actions. It is easier for players to move from one position to another during the course of the match. A football match always begins with the toss of a coin. The match referee and the two captains meet at the center of the field. The captain who wins the toss gets to decide which goalpost to attack in the first half, while the team that loses gets to kick-off to begin the match. The players take a position in their own half. The ball is placed at the center point of the field. Once the referee blows the whistle, a player from the team that lost the toss takes the kick-off, and the ball moves forward.
Goalkeeper – FOOTBALL POSITIONS
The role of the goalkeeper is to prevent the opposing team from getting the ball into the goal. This requires agility, vigilance, bravery, and lightning-quick reactions. They must be ready at all times, as the action can move from one end of the pitch to the other in a few seconds. A keeper should be able to kick the ball accurately over long distances because this will be required as part of a goal-kick.
They handle the ball within their own penalty area; however, there are some restrictions on when they handle it. They may only handle the ball for six seconds and must not touch it with their hands again after it has been released until the ball has been touched by another player. They cannot handle the ball if it is deliberately passed to them by a teammate.
Full-backs (left-back or right-back)
A full-back helps to keep opposing players away from the goal by protecting against attacks. They must be able to tackle effectively and accurately every time so that they win the ball without committing any fouls. A full-back should also be able to cross and pass accurately so that they can help to get the ball up the field once it has been won from the opposing team. Full-backs must have a good working relationship with the goalkeeper so that they are able to anticipate each other’s movements.
Centre-Backs (Central Defender)
A central defender has a similar role and skillset to a full-back, but they must take charge of defending against attacks that are coming from the center of the field. They may run between the right-back and the left-back to provide support where needed.
Sweeper – FOOTBALL POSITIONS
Some managers like to play a sweeper behind the main line of defense. A sweeper must act as a penultimate barrier if an opposing player is able to break through the main defense. They should be vigilant to any threats and they should be quick on their feet. The presence of a sweeper can allow the defense to play further forward. They must be able to communicate effectively with both the goalkeeper and the defense.
Central Midfield – FOOTBALL POSITIONS
Good central midfielders will be able to provide reliable support to both the defenders and the strikers. Because they must be good communicators, central midfielders are often given the captain’s armband. A central midfielder must have high levels of stamina and their passes and crosses should be highly accurate. Central midfielders must be creative as they will help to create opportunities that strikers are able to convert.
Wide Midfield (Left Midfield and Right Midfield)
Wide midfielders take similar roles to their central counterparts. These players need speed to allow them to create plays. Wingers have great ball control skills and they should be able to pick out strikers accurately.
Striker (Centre Forward)
A striker’s main job is to get the ball into the back of the opposing team’s net. Fans will religiously scrutinize their conversion rate to make sure that they are changing their chances into goals. Strikers have the right mixture of pace, power. A striker should be prepared to face hard challenges, as they will be targeted by defenders.
Behind the Striker – FOOTBALL POSITIONS
Instead of playing two strikers, some teams prefer to have one striker up front and have a second person playing behind the striker role. These players should be able to produce bursts of speed which will hence allow them to move forward to join and assist the striker.