Tournament news
5 Key Elements to Winning in 5-a-Side Football
Published by Torneoz
21 | AUG | 2013
1. Fitness
5-a-side football is different from other versions of the game in that there are no throw-ins, corners or goal kicks. The ball is in play for the whole game and there is nowhere to hide! Whereas winning a corner or a goal kick in an 11-a-side game can give the team a quick breather, there is no such luxury in the 5-a-side game. The smaller pitches also ensure an end to end game which requires the players to get up and down the pitch for the full hour. If a single player is lacking in fitness, this can be exploited by an intelligent opposition so it is essential to ensure all players have a basic level of fitness.

2. Counter-attack is more effective than possession
Whereas most football coaches suggest holding on to possession is the key to winning, the opposite is true for 5-a-side football. Teams that keep possession can be kept at bay by getting all four outfield players behind the ball. This often frustrates teams and causes them to lose shape as they try to break through a stubborn 5 man defence. Once possession is lost, a quick burst up the pitch can lead to a chance on goal. Counter-attack football requires discipline, but can provide great results.

3. Passing ability
There is no long ball tactic in the 5-a-side game so passing ability is essential. A quick counter-attack can take you up the pitch in the space of two passes and create shooting opportunities. It is important that all outfield players have a basic level of passing ability in order to make the best use of quick counter-attacks.

4. Choose the goalkeeper carefully
Goalkeepers are a key part of any successful football team. Any game of 5-a-side football will see a barrage of shots and goal attempts. With the ball travelling quickly from one end of the pitch to the other, the goalkeeper must always be on his toes and ready to make saves from all angles. The ideal goalkeeper should also be brave and have good vision and distribution as a good counter-attack often starts from the goalkeeper.

5. Choose the correct formation
All 5-a-side formations are fluid and there will be a lot of inter-changing once the game begins. However, it is a good idea to start off with a 1-2-1 formation with the two fittest players playing in the two midfield roles. It is their job to help the defender when on the back foot and then bursting forward to help the striker when counter-attacking.