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“Technique Over Tactics”, says Lunga Nobela, ‘Downs Academy coach

By Ongama Gcwabe , in Football | Featured Football | News , at 2024-05-21 Tags: ,

In an era where technology has enabled coaches to employ a more analytical approach, leading them to try out different tactics and adding nuances to the game, the basics cannot be forgotten. But the access to information has proved to be, especially at the professional level, integral to the success of teams.

Others draw their inspiration from the top clubs and coaches, so it is natural that academy and school coaches strive to take a leaf out of the leading teams’ and coaches’ playbooks.

Sometimes, the successes this leads to can also undermine the progress of young players, who get caught up in the results, but left behind in terms of their development.

Football at the academy and school level is, after all, about equipping young players with the basics of the game, with technique featuring as a crucial aspect of their development.

Lunga Nobela, the head coach of the Mamelodi Sundowns‘ u13 boys’ squad, knows which approach he favours. He is adamant that the success of the Sundowns’ academy is due to its focus on technique over tactics.

“What we focus on the most is the technique. The moment players are good technically, then we believe that they can play anywhere,” Nobela told SuperSport Schools during the third episode of the Football on 216 show.

“We don’t think about tactics a lot, because any coach has his own tactics, but the moment you work on your technique, fine-tune it, and get everything right in your technique, then it’s easy for you to feature any tactic. We believe the technique is able to influence the tactic.

“If you look closely, you will see that Sundowns plays a possession-based game and for you to be able to keep the ball you have to be good technically. Right from the goalkeeper to the forwards, you have to be good technically to fit our style of play,” he explained.

Nobela’s side recently was on the wrong end of a humbling 2-3 defeat at the hands of the mighty Soweto giants, Kaizer Chiefs.

That was, however, the only loss suffered by Sundowns’ during the 13th round of fixtures of the Gauteng Development League when the clubs’ u13s, u15s, u17s and u19s locked horns at Clapham High School on the weekend.

Despite the loss, Nobela remains positive, citing the improvement that he witnessed in his group of players during an intense clash.

“It was one of the biggest games that we’ve played in. It was very intense. I was saying to my colleagues that we can play these kinds of games week-in and week-out because that’s how the boys are going to develop,” he said.

“Whenever the games are intense, it also challenges us to sit down and analyse the next opponents, because you know you will find the same intensity from your next opponents. To be honest, the boys did very well.

“Yes, we created opportunities, and we did not convert. In football, it’s like that. If you don’t take the opportunities you create, then chances are you will lose the game. That’s what we saw. Chiefs created chances and used their chances. But performance-wise it was a good game.

“That game also gives us homework. We now have to go back, sit down and think about the next game to see how we are going to improve from here.

“Each and every game, the boys are improving and that’s what we want to see from them. It’s not only about getting results but also about getting improvements from the boys.”

Up next, Sundowns travels to the Greek Sporting Club to take on Joburg City on Saturday, 25 May.

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error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.