Forward Leads

By Tony Wright - AFCA Committee Western Region

North Melbourne Kangaroos dual premiership player and assistant coach Brett Allison provided an insight into AFL football and the coaching of forward line play at the recent western region AFCA seminar conducted at the Kangaroos' new Arden Street facilities.

The night focused on forward structure, leading and set ups and how the opposition attempt to defend these strategies. An area which has greatly developed over the years is forward leading patterns which are designed to create one on one marking contests as often as possible.

Some of the types of leads discussed included:

Hit up leads

Hit up leads are the most common types of lead.  The forward should aim to lead on a 45 degree angle as it gives the player kicking the ball forward a better angle to hit the target.  Leading straight towards the man on the mark makes it difficult to keep ball low enough to hit targets.

Hook inside leads 

If not used in an original hit-up lead the player should hook into the corridor and be a front and square option at the contest forcing the defender not to drop off.

Slider leads

From the weak or narrow side of the ground, leading backwards towards the goals can often be difficult for defenders as space can open up back toward the goal.

Run or pull away lead 

When the ball carrier is streaming down the ground, lead up and then pull away.  This is a sacrificial lead to create space for those behind.