What are the advantages of playing in different positions?

Women's football: what are the advantages of playing in different positions?

Goalkeepers excepted, every female footballer will ask themselves the following question at least once in their career, no matter what level they play at: how do you develop as a player if you're restricted to just one position?

With time, every player develops according to their physical and athletic attributes and progresses on a technical and tactical level.

In today's game, there aren't many players who stick to one position for their entire career. So does the famous "favoured position" still exist? In theory, yes, but it doesn't stop you from trying out others and enjoying them as much as you enjoy the position you were born to play in.

What are the advantages of playing in different positions?

In footballing terms, you will develop.

When you're young, you're more explosive, and you can make the difference, though it's harder for you to manage games and finish them. You also need to progress on a tactical level, to improve your positioning on the pitch. As time goes by, you build up your stamina and reach a stage where you can just keep going, which is when you're much more able to manage yourself and last a full game. As you get older, you become more and more tactically aware.

So it's partly because of that development that it's not unusual to play in three or four different positions on the pitch.

What are the advantages of playing in different positions?

You'll be versatile

The female footballer of today will try every position at least once in their careers.

You can start out as a forward and then move on to central defence, full-back, playmaker and ball-carrying midfielder before switching to defensive midfield and ending up back in central defence.

At the start of every new season, the coach has different types of players in the squad. They'll try to find the best combinations, the best possible understanding between players, by taking into account the qualities they possess. It's all about the tactical set-up and the ability players have to link up automatically. The coach isn't going to force players to play in this or that position. They'll have the ability to change their tactics in line with the players at their disposal, the formation and the opposition.

What are the advantages of playing in different positions?

You'll find that you can adapt, for lots of different reasons:

You'll be able to help your team out in a match if a team-mate gets injured or sent off, or over the course of a season.

You'll show what you can do in another position and your coach will want you to play there again.  

You're the first person who wants to play in other positions.

Over the years, you'll show that you've got more strings to your bow: when you're young, you'll want to play in your favourite position, which in 95 per cent of cases is the position your footballing idol plays in. In any group of 20 young girls, half of them will want to be playmakers and the other half forwards.

You've had time to take stock of the seasons you've played. When, after a few years, you start to really understand the game, you realise that you can have a lot of fun playing in goal, in defence or at full back, which are all positions that don't appeal that much on paper. You realise that you've got what it takes to be the driving force of your team and to take pleasure from playing in those positions.

You have the skills to play in certain positions, for sure, but there are other players in the team who are perhaps a better fit for them, so your coach is going to play you somewhere else. That's also what makes football so much fun.

Even if you're not a natural for a certain position, if you can understand tactics and play for the team by learning to take up the right positions, you can make progress. It's all a question of opening your mind and embracing the idea.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to contribute to the team, to know where you need to be when the team's attacking and defending and, above all, to have fun.

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