Stop or delay forward progress (shot/assist/forward passes – in that order)

  • Keep the opposition player’s (with the ball) head down
  • When an opponent has his /her back to goal and cannot see you, try to intercept the pass. 
  • If that ‘isn’t on’ stay close enough to stop your opponent from turning to face you (usually inside 1 metre or close to it) but not so close that your opponent can feel your body and ‘roll’ on you to beat you
  • If your opponent passes the ball your role will change to that of ‘other defenders’

Why is it important

  • Failure to apply pressure to the ball within shooting range can lead to conceding goals
  • When the ball is near the goal you should try to block shots or deter an opponent from taking a shot for as long as possible. Stay on their feet and do not dive in. 
  • Preventing passes or crosses into the penalty box becomes the next priority, when the player in possession is not in a position where a shot at goal is likely. You should try to get in a position to do this as your opponent is receiving the ball (often within 2 to 3 metres)
  • Preventing smart or forward passes is the next priority so teams cannot create alternative assists

NWS Spirit Mens First Grade example