Veteran Old Timers soccer coach Boniface Manning has called on the technical teams of two of Liberia’s representatives in CAF tournaments to design effective midfield tactics to ensure success.
Coach Manning, who holds a CAF License B Certificate, told the Daily Observer yesterday that effective use of a team’s midfield is a sure way of handling the match in effectively.
“It depends on the score sheet,” Coach Manning said, “when you are in the lead, use the midfield to hold on to the ball and frustrate your opponent.”
He said, “Since your opponent is trailing, you can deny him the ball and frustrate him and make his job more difficult.”
He said many teams are defeated when they fail to understand the midfield concept and noted that with the achievement of Barrack Young Controllers, and the campaign of Red Lions, technical coaches should ensure an effective design.
“Poor handling of the midfield brings enormous pressure to bear on the defense and this can cause an own goal,” he said.
In a demonstration, Coach Manning said there are many ways a team can build its attacks.
“You can build from the midfield but you have to make sure that you have tireless wingers who will draw in, when the four midfielders advance,” he said.
He further explained that when players are fit, with abundant energy, providing support to team-mates becomes a matter of course.
“Consider counter attacks,” Coach Manning said, “in a counter attack a team using the modern 4-4-2 formation, must have players with strong abundant skills.”
“Such players must be able to singlehandedly take their opponents’ defense on, and be willing to release the ball when the goalkeeper is not expecting a shot,” Coach Manning said.
He said the two teams representing Liberia must go in for the goals before their opponents settle to play their own game.
He explained excitedly about a compact midfield to ease the pressure on the goalkeeper, and said that coaching knowledge and its application is essential for success on the field.
He urged players of Red Lions and Barrack Young Controllers not to relent because “the whole soccer community is behind you in your determination to change Liberian soccer history.”
Coach Manning played for the national soccer team in the 70s but was injured in a friendly match against Sierra Leones’ Leone Stars.
Reports from that period said he was a darling on the ball, who did what he wanted with the ball which endeared him to many soccer fans.
He coached the former sensational club, La Modelle International (along with Coach Frank Jericho Nagbe) and is presently coaching Veterans Oldtimers soccer team that is presently leading the LONA league table.
He has helped to develop many Liberian soccer players into national prominence.