Forward Line Strategies

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 forward line strategies highlighted were:

Reset forward line

Rolling up and playing as a type of defender

Wheel and Go

This is where a forward is instructed to get the ball and wheel around to bring the ball deep into the forward line to get one on one contests.  Robert Murphy from the Bulldogs is an example of a player who takes the mark and then wheels around and plays on to get the ball down to the forwards. This is also known as kicking long to the spot.

No standing still 

If you are caught walking it means you are not in position, you are bludging and not playing to team rules.  Coaches should encourage their players to be constantly moving.

Forward zoning

Looking at combating the spare defenders that drop back you may wish to advise your players to stand between two defenders.