South Carolina Men’s Soccer Coach Tony annan was a bit taken aback by the style of play that many teams employ in college play. College football is not always the fluid sport that is typically played at the professional or academy level and it is something that Annan had to adapt to on the fly and make other adjustments to go from there. ‘before.
Kick off an English Premier League game and 19 of the 20 teams will play from the back, meaning defenders will pass the ball to the ground and even use the goalkeeper to try and build the attack from there. One team, Burnley, doesn’t do much of this, often choosing to pass the ball into the air towards the opposing team’s goal.
Instead of smooth football when the ball is held down, starting the ball for a long time leads to less appealing play.
And it’s a style that many college football teams choose to use.
Annan pointed out at least half a dozen times during the conversation that every coach has the right to play the style they want to play and that they will not look down on others and these programs. But it’s an adjustment he had to make to his coaching style.
âMost of the college football games I had watched at a good level were teams trying to play, and that wasn’t always the case,â Annan told TheBigSpur.com.
âPeople have to win games and they try to win games their way. I’m not criticizing their style of play or saying it’s bad, but it certainly poses more problems for you as a manager to work out when a team is playing that way. We must solve this problem without giving up what we stand for. It was the biggest surprise for me, although I shouldn’t have been surprised, according to everyone. I just thought it would be a little more tactical.
Annan said his âreal-life perceptionâ of the style of play in varsity play was one of his biggest lessons. It caught him off guard at the start of the season, and they made a few on-the-fly adjustments to their own playstyle to combat what other teams were doing.
âOur press to get the high ball is difficult against the teams we have played against this season. We weren’t able to push as high as we would like because of the playstyle of others, âsaid Annan. âI’m not criticizing him, but that takes away what we’re trying to do, which is one place where I think we need to make some adjustments. That doesn’t mean you can’t press with all the intensity and get the ball back quickly, but this is where you do it, where you draw your line is different than it is at other levels. football, because not everyone is playing in the back. “
The Gamecocks are certainly going to have to adjust their game, as teams that don’t play a direct style of football may choose to do so if Annan’s team are struggling with that style. Attacking an opponent’s weakness is never a bad strategy, so South Carolina will need to make sure they can defend themselves in different ways.
But it’s not just about defense, it’s also about attack. The Gamecocks’ high press is designed to create mistakes on the part of defenders on other teams and create immediate scoring opportunities.
“Watching the varsity game and the way I use my philosophy to make it work in this environment, it’s a big challenge for me, but it’s a challenge that I enjoy and look forward to.” , Annan said. âMaybe we need to make some adjustments to our philosophy here and there, but we’re going to be a playing team and we’re going to be an aggressive team in transition. These are the basics. I might need to tweak things a bit, but not let go of my philosophy and let go of the principles I stand by. “
This is part two in a series of interviews with men’s football coach Tony Annan. Read Part I here: Annan looks back on his first season at Carolina