Dublin 6-a-side football tactics

Dublin 6-a-side football tactics

Coach Brian Mcdermott, with LOI Shelbourne Fc goes through the different 6 a side soccer formations your team can use...

Did you ever just watch a game of football, be it on telly, down the local park or across the water at a Premiership match and think to yourself…

“What the hell is the manager at with these tactics, sure I would do better myself.”

Come on let’s not kid ourselves, we’re all guilty of doing it at one time or another! Whether it was cursing Mick McCarthy into the ground for that erm…….draw in Georgia or after a heavy night on the porter you head down to your local junior football team’s game on a Sunday morning and vent your displeasure to the gaffer (who you know personally) as to why the lads aren’t playing like Man City despite their being no grass on the pitch and most of the team are pushing for retirement.

The key to 6-a-side football tactics is to make sure your team has the right balance, and most importantly you have to build the team around your players strengths and obviously their weaknesses too, which might not be the easiest if you have a company football team and the boss is playing!!

Formation: 1-2-2-1


Pros – Offers great balance right through the team from having a solid base at the back, numbers in midfield and a focal point up top.

Cons – It’s a very rigid formation so unless everyone knows their role in and out of possession otherwise the opposition will likely pick holes in it. This formation can only work if your midfielders offer balance between defence and attack, i.e. be extremely fit.

Formation: 1-2-1-2


Pros – With two strikers up top brings an increased goal threat, ideal formation for pressing from the front, with two defenders it gives the side a solid base to build from.

Cons – Due to it’s attack minded nature, your team will likely give up a lot of chances, with only one midfielder in the engine room if there’s no support given your side will likely get overran in a crucial area of the pitch.

Formation: 1-1-3-1


Pros – Allows your team to boss possession in midfield with strength in numbers, ideal for pressing in midblock, offers a lot of balance between defence and attack which is perfect for transitioning.

Cons – May leave your defender isolated in a 1vs1 situation with the opposition striker, unless midfielders offer a balance between defence and attack your side will find it hard to keep clean sheets as-well as to score.

Formation: 1-3-1-1


Pros – Defensively solid which will make your 6s team hard to beat first and foremost, ideal for attack minded defenders who will love the extra space down the flanks.

Cons – Likely to give up a lot of possession to the opposition, unless the defenders are willing to get forward your midfielder and striker will be left isolated.

Brian’s Pick
My 6 a side football formation has to be 1-1-3-1. I like my teams to try and dominate possession and gain control of midfield. With this formation any side that's looking to do so, this is perfect and it gives a superb balance to both your defence and attack in and out of possession.  But your midfielders have to be prepared to do the defensive side of things as well as getting up to support the striker when you find yourself in the opponent’s box.

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Brian McDermott, is a coach  with over 15 years coaching experience from working at the FAI, to Elite Youth Level and past stints as a player at Bohemians FC and Kilkenny City, I’ve gotten the chance to work under some fantastic managers/coaches and hope to continue progressing as a coach.  I hold the UEFA B Licence Qualification and I’m currently coaching at Shelbourne FC, Dublin.  Long suffering Sunderland fan and a keen supporter of the Irish Football Team.


Linkedin: brianmcdermott1988