If like many students out there, you have made it your New Year’s resolution to get fit during January and February, then it is highly likely that you have seen fit to do this through a regimen of healthy food and football.
This time of year is huge for 5 a side teams popping up all over the place and entering the local leagues, especially among student communities where young people make up a large part of the demographic.
If this is the case and you don’t want to end up getting tonked by every team you play, then you may want to take a look at Young Academic’s quick-fire guide to setting up a top team in 2016…
Lots of 5 a side teams expect to be able to just join a league and start winning, purely because they have been playing well with their pals. Sadly, this isn’t the case and should you end up against a fit team who have played in the league for years, you could be on the wrong end of a cricket score.
Don’t be afraid of setting up some football training drills and having the odd session before your games. This could mean that your play is a lot more fluid when it comes to match day and addressing some of the less glamourous parts of the game such as defending and set pieces could turn you into a force to be reckoned with.
Perhaps the biggest difference between teams in a competitive 5 a side league is fitness. You could all have the touch of a young Kaka, but if you can’t get around the pitch then you are going to come unstuck. If you know that you and the boys (or girls, of course) are a bit out of shape after Christmas then why not do some endurance training? Even a few sessions a week could put a spring in your step and mean you can take on some of the more seasoned 5 a siders out there.
Find a Keeper
Finally, something that often lets teams down in a 5 a side league is having a decent goalkeeper and perhaps more crucially, one who wants to be there! You may have a great little side put together but if you are conceding every time the ball goes the other way, you will lose more than you win. It may be worth you finding a half decent keeper so all your great attacking play and goals aren’t wasted by a defence that is leakier that Sunderland’s!
If you are putting your University team together this January, following these tips could well help you to get off to a flier! Have your own tips, why not send your articles into us at [email protected]?