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A wide-angle shot of a girls' grassroots football match. A player in a blue kit cuts inside with the ball with an opponent close behind her.


No one knows what position a player will have in the future. Especially when they first start playing football.  

What we do know is that young players should be comfortable running, changing direction, throwing and catching. This gives them confidence in their body and what it can do.  

And, to create skilful players, we need to understand that skilful play takes place across the pitch, varying from one position to another.  

To a midfielder, it may be a quick turn and dribble past an opponent to put their team on the front foot. Whereas to a defender, skilful play is more likely to be a well-timed interception or tackle.  

It's important to allow players to experience and develop these different actions. And a great way to do that is by playing in different positions. 


What do players and coaches think of playing in different positions? Find out in the video below.

Don't throw them straight in at the deep end. 

Rotating players too much during a match can be overwhelming and reduce continuity. 

Use your training sessions to allow players to experience different positions. You can then bring that into your next match by encouraging a player to focus on a specific position that week. 

In this clip, FA regional coach development officer, Lee Brown, discusses how matchday can be used to expose players to different positions.

You may have a player who is dead set on playing in goal. That’s not a bad thing. 

But it's still important for them to develop their ability on the ball. One way to expose them to this is by playing them in outfield positions during training and matches. They may enjoy playing elsewhere, but they can use the experience to help them develop the skills needed to be a modern-day goalkeeper. 


As the coach, you will know your players. 

If a player will have their confidence shattered by playing in a new position, don't force the issue.  

If you’re unsure about how they’ll cope, talk to the player's parents to see how they may react.