How to Select Players for a National Soccer Team

One of the most difficult assignments you can get, as a soccer coach, is that of selecting players for a national soccer team. In any given nation, you are likely to find numerous – sometimes thousands of — talented players, who surely deserve a place at the national team. Yet, when all is said and done, the national team can only accommodate a maximum of 25 or so players, including the substitutes.  You are therefore likely to face the unenviable task of picking the best of the best: and telling the rest that they didn’t make the cut. Some of the key considerations you will have to make while trying to select players for a national soccer team include:

  1. Skill: the players who are selected to play for the national soccer team have to be folks with excellent soccer skills. So here, you look at things like passing skills, tackling skills, speed… and so on. You may need to send talent scouts, to identify the most skilled players in the nation, who can then be tapped to play for the national team. You definitely don’t want to end up with folks, in your national team, who have to be taught the basic rules of soccer!
  2. Experience: here, you have to ask yourself several questions, including the one as to which clubs the prospective players have played for, and for how long. You may want to dig deeper at the players’ backgrounds, as you try to understand the soccer academies they attended, the ages at which their soccer talents were spotted… and so on.
  3. Regional representation: this is a controversial aspect, where you may be required to try to ensure that all regions in the nation are well represented in the national team. But then again, you have to ensure that you don’t introduce mediocrity in the team in the name of regional representation.
  4. Discipline: all other factors being constant, the players with the best discipline records should be given preference over those with bad discipline records.
  5. Age: the idea here is to avoid very old players – who tend to be slower, and who tend to be more prone to injuries. But you also have to understand that with age comes experience. If you opt for a very young team, you may end up with one that is also totally inexperienced. And while going for reasonably young players, you have to ensure that you don’t end up with children (in the literal sense of the world) in your team. You know, the kids who are so young that, for instance, they probably wouldn’t be allowed to log on to Mygiftcardsite.com and manage debit cards there – on account of their age. Surely, if a fellow is too young to, say, manage a debit card at the Mygiftcardsite portal, he is probably too young to be on the national team. As far as age goes, most coaches seem to prefer players in the 18 to 25 years range. But you may also opt to have a few folks in their late 20s and early 30s,  to share their experience. That is because by age 30, most professional players have accumulated quite a bit of useful experience.

This article was written by David

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