Left wing could be said to be the trickiest position on the hockey pitch. So I’ve been seeking out some tips and advice about playing this position and playing attack in general.
This clip from Korea v New Zealand in the 2014 world cup shows a near perfect pass from the left attack which resulted in a second goal for Korea. It’s hard to see what’s happening on this clip – about 1:20 in, but I was there in person, sitting right by the left corner. I can assure you it was amazing.
It was Korea’s No 10 Park Mi-Hyun (one of my favourite women hockey players) sending an amazing back-stick cross into the D from the very top left corner. It was netted with a touch by a team mate. This has to be the ultimate left wing move. The clip also shows another earlier backstick cross from New Zealand which didn’t result in a goal.
So number one play from left wing has to be the ability to send powerful crosses into the D – off the backstick if need be. Sending them in a good position to be netted for a goal.
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Continued…This next clip from Ireland v US shows a lovely receiving of the ball by the left wing before she powers it into the D for a team mate to get on the end of. See 1.05 minutes into the clip. It didn’t directly lead to an immediate goal but it started a chain of events that led to a goal a few seconds later.
I love the footwork she uses to get into the right position to power the ball into the D.
But this is pretty advanced stuff. For the mere mortal hockey club-players a thread on Field Hockey Forum is quite useful…
In response to a question asking for how to play this position the following tips were suggested. Here’s a summary, but click on to the website itself for full details. Actually, it’s one of the best hockey websites around with user generated content from players who seem to know their stuff.
- Pass and move into space, repeat. Look for give and go passes with your centre mid or thread some passes through to strikers and follow up to give them an option to drop back if they need.
- If you are in the D there are only three options, shoot, pass or put the ball on a foot. If you are in the 25 it is acceptable to take players on
- Get in a space nice and wide and start shouting for the ball.
- Get on the post when your team attacks and pick up deflections.
- Play deep – slightly behind attackers so you can easily be seen and passed to.
- Look for an early pass from deep, diagonally to the inside right position to wrong food defenders. (I’m not sure exactly what is meant by this tip on the thread, perhaps somebody can expand on this further?)
- If you do ‘go for goal’, cut-in from the wing as soon as you cross the 23
- Avoid if possible being forced into the corner.