Hawks aim to keep possession intelligently, selecting the right moments to progress the play and penetrate the opposition to make goalscoring chances.

To do so, we aim to develop Hawks players with outstanding skills and decision-making abilities in all four aspects of the in-possession philosophy:


The fluid nature of the game means each aspect of possession is closely linked. Similarly, possession may be lost at any stage, prompting a transition to the defensive philosophy.

The Hawks goalkeeper will play an important role in all aspects of the in-possession playing philosophy.



Counter-attacking is the execution of quick and incisive attacking play with the aim of exploiting opponents’ defensive state to create goalscoring opportunities.


Why is counter-attacking important?


Counter-attacking is one of the most effective methods of creating goalscoring opportunities in open play.


How does counter-attacking happen?


Dribbling, running with the ball, incisive passing and effective support play are key aspects of counter-attacking. Counter-attacking aims to exploit space, eliminate opponents and create goalscoring opportunities.


Goalkeepers play a crucial role in initiating counter-attacks and will be challenged to exploit attacking opportunities using a variety of distribution techniques to deliver the ball effectively over varying distances.


Quick free-kicks and throw-ins are other ways of creating counter-attacking opportunities.


We will aim to penetrate the opposition by moving the ball intelligently between and beyond opponents to create goalscoring opportunities.

Why is progressive and penetrative play important to the DNA?

Progressive and penetrative play is an effective method for opening up compact defences and eliminating opposition players from the game. Through accurate, intelligent and creative play the ball can be moved between and beyond the opposition to create goalscoring opportunities.

What skills are needed for effective progressive and penetrative play?

Accurate and deceptive forward passing, skilful dribbling and running with the ball combined with effective support play and movement are crucial to effective penetrative play.

Goalkeepers will contribute to penetrative play by using a range of effective distribution techniques.



We aim to dominate possession with the aim of creating opportunities to penetrate the opposition and create goalscoring chances.


What are the benefits of effective ball retention?


Ball retention allows teams to manage the momentum of a game, requiring a patient and controlled approach.


How does ball retention happen?

A combination of intelligent passing, dribbling, and support play all contribute to effective ball retention.


Goalkeepers will play a key role in this phase of play, fulfilling the role of the 11th outfield player and adopting effective positions to support the play.


Progressing play to the creating and scoring phase is the aim of all other aspects of the playing philosophy.

What skills are needed for effective play in the creating and scoring phase?

Clinical and creative individual and combination play is encouraged in the creation and execution of goalscoring opportunities.


A variety of finishing skills, including unorthodox goalscoring techniques are encouraged.


During all aspects of the in-possession philosophy, defensive security should be considered.


Awareness of defensive security ensures the team remains organised at all times and can react effectively when the ball is lost.

All players contribute to ensuring defensive security, in particular the goalkeeper through effective positioning, organisation and communication.


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