When executing 'Near Post' tactics the goalkeeper should utilize ' Ready Position #4 - Wide
During Near Post situations the ball is located very close to the goal so the goalkeeper
will not have a lot of time to react once a shot is taken.
He must try to cover as much of the goal as possible without letting the ball slip
through him. Fortunately for the goalkeeper, when the ball is located at wide positions
the target area of the goal is very narrow.
The goalkeeper should stand with the feet just slightly apart so that the ball cannot
slip though the legs.
The upper body should be leaning slightly forwards towards the ball to ensure that
the goalkeeper does not fall backwards when the shot is taken.
The arms are extended out from the side of the body with palms facing towards the
Once the goalkeeper knows how to stand in the goal, the next thing he must consider
is where to stand in the goal.
To know where he must stand, the goalkeeper first has to picture an imaginary line
extending out from the goal line up the field starting at about one step just past
the near goal post.
The goalkeeper should then utilize the principles of Angle Play.
The next consideration is how close to the ball should the goalkeeper stand?
In the above diagram, Position #1 is too far out of the goal and Position #3 is
too far in the goal. The ideal position is Positon #2.
It also happens to be located directly on the imaginary line that the goalkeeper
pictured extending out from the goal line.
This is the ideal location for the goalkeeper to stand for several reasons.
The first is that the goalkeeper is far enough out of the goal to cover almost the
entire goal scoring area with very little movement required.
This position also allows the goalkeeper to move in either direction (left or right)
without being obstructed by the goal post.
From this position, the goalkeeper should easily be able to direct rebounds out
of bounds with no fear of the ball mistakenly sneaking into the goal at the near
This position will also allow the goalkeeper to get back into the goal quickly to
make a save if the ball is cut back across in front of the goal.
During Near Post Scenarios one of four situations will happen:
- Opponent will pass the ball away from goal to a teammate
- Opponent will lose control of ball
- Opponent will shoot
- Opponent will attempt to cross ball in front of goal
The first situation is the easiest for the goalkeeper. He simply re-evaluates the
situation and adopts the correct Ready Position and executes the proper tactics
depending on where the ball is received by the opponent.
If the opponent loses control of the ball the goalkeeper must make a split second
decision on whether or not he can make it to the loose ball. If the goalkeeper determines
that he can get to the loose ball then he must call 'KEEPER' and sprint out of the
goal and either scoop up the loose ball or make a diving tackle if there are any
opponents in the area.
If the opponent shoots, the goalkeeper must focus his energy on saving the ball.
The goalkeeper must remain patient and not move too early. If he has adopted the
proper Ready Position and is standing in the correct place, he will already have
most of the goal scoring area covered. He does not want to accidentally move out
of the way of the ball. If the ball is not going to hit the goalkeeper, he should
only have to move a short distance left or right to make the save. Saves at Near
Post scenarios can be made with any part of the body and the feet will be used on
a lot of occassions.
The goalkeeper should attempt to catch the ball if he feels comfortable, but in
most cases this will not be possible or an acceptable risk to take. The goalkeeper
should be more focused on how to control the rebounds. All rebounds should be directed
out of bounds past the near post using the hands, body or feet. If the rebound cannot
be directed out of play, it should be directed back towards the corner flag away
from the front of the goal.
If the opponent decides to cross the ball in front of the goal the goalkeeper has
- Attempt to intercept the cross by catching it (in the air, or along the ground)
- Attempt to re-direct the cross by deflecting it
- Let the cross go and recover his position in front of the goal
The goalkeeper should only try to intercept or deflect the cross if he is 100% sure
of making contact with the ball. If the goalkeeper fails to catch or re-direct the
ball he will be left completely out of position and unable to have any further influence
on the play. This will also leave the goal wide open to any attacks for an agonizingly
short period of time until the goalkeeper is able to recover his position. To know
when the goalkeeper should attempt to intercept the cross see 'Interception
If the goalkeeper is unsure about intervening on the cross, he should utilize 'Position
Recovery Tactics' to move across the front of the goal and get into the
best possible position to save any shots that might occur as a result of the cross.