10 Tips To Help You Become A Better Five-A-Side Player

5-a-Side-Football Tips

What is the main difference between a top-class five-a-side football player and average one?

Good players simply do not make mistakes and if they do they tend to remember and not make the same one again, in effect they continually learn…

5-a-side football is usually played between friends and tends to be light-hearted and not particularly over competitive, however, there are certain things that you can do to make yourself a better all-round player…

In no particular oder, here are our top 10 tips to becoming a better 5-a-side footballer;

  • Don’t stand idle on the pitch (or 5-a-side court), football is all about moving, creating space and passing; and this applies to five-a-side football too…  If you are not moving, then you are useless and are better off warming the bench!
  • Ensure that you cover the pitch (or court) as quickly as possible, ensure that you can move from defence to attack rapidly, particularly when you have the ball in possession., If you lose possession, then your team assumes a defensive formation and it is important that you don’t get caught in between.
  • Utilise your goalkeeper as though they were an outfield player and in effect a  fifth man, when you have possession involve him to build from the back and to retain possession if you are being closed down.
  • Don’t over commit all your outfield players when attacking particularly in a tight game, always look to leave someone to ‘sweep up‘ if your attack breaks down.
  • It’s a good idea for your outfield players to choose an opponent and stick to marking that one person, zonal marking doesn’t work in 5-a-sde football (does it actually work in 11-a-side?!)
  • Concentration is key in a fast moving 5-a-side game, if you switch off for just one second your opponent could easily run down your blind side and score a decisive goal.
  • Don’t Solely rely on your in-step to control the ball, try using the sole of your foot as this gives you better control of the ball and more flexibility thus making you less predictable.
  • Don’t just rely on your physical presence, five-a-side football is a fast, skill-based game and as such, there is very little room for strong tackling and physicality.
  • Don’t assume that you have just one position in the game, 5-a-side football requires you be a defender and goalscoring attacker.
  • Don’t dell on the ball otherwise you will likely lose possession – you need to be fleet-footed and quick thinking to get ahead of your opponent.

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Overview of 5-A-Side Football

One popular variation of ordinary football is 5-a-side. In contrast to the ordinary 11-a-side game that we know so well, 5-a-side football is a more casual sport. Both the goals and the pitch used for the game are smaller, and it’s often played on Astroturf or indoor fields. The popularity of 5-a-side varies around the world. It is considered deadly serious in Brazil, for example.

In the UK 5-a-side football is regarded as a more informal variation of the game, often played on lunch breaks or in the evening. There are no major leagues, no FIFA involvement, and no significant governing bodies. The sport’s popularity is nowhere near league football. Most UK 5-a-side matches are played on Astroturf which are also know as ‘all weather’ pitches.

As noted above, typically a 5-a-side football goal is much smaller. The pitches are smaller and games don’t last as long, either. Even the set of rules used in a 5-a-side football match are normally more casual. To give one example, players are forbidden from entering the goalkeeper’s penalty box with the potential punishment of a penalty or free kick. This rule is enforced in some 5 a side games and ignored in others. While there are relatively few formally organised 5-a-side competitions in the UK, they are out there.

Futsal5-a-side football has some interesting regional variations, too. Futsal is a good example. This started as a street game in Brazil and Spain, and its emphasis has always been on individual talent and creative play. Futsal’s worldwide popularity is on the rise, and some of the larger international matches in the sport are beginning to appear on television. Futsal is typically an indoor sport. Unlike some other football variants, the field of play markers in Futsal are defined by plain lines on the floor rather than railings or walls.

At the international level, FIFA has established the Futsal World Cups to foster high-level competition. National teams compete in both knockout and group formats. At present, Brazil is the dominant force in FIFA Futsal, and their talents are globally recognized.

In some respects, 5-a-side football or Futsal call for the same skills as standard 11-a-side. There are important distinctions that separate great players in the different sports, though. Stamina and endurance are still necessities, even with the smaller pitches. Ball skills are considered dominant in these smaller games, though. A great 5-a-side player needs control, first touch, creativity, and individual skill to rise to prominence. Goalkeepers who tend the sport’s smaller goals need quick reflexes and polished shot-stopping skills.

Even though the UK remains fairly lukewarm on the subject of 5-a-side football, it shares some of the growing international mania for Futsal. It’s highly likely that future years will bring even greater interest (and media exposure) in the Futsal World Cups and international leagues. The prospect of an England Futsal team being formed in the future is certainly likely. For football players who love to cultivate and demonstrate individual skill, the rising popularity of 5-a-side and Futsal is certainly welcome news.

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The Benefits Of Playing 5-A-Side Football

5-a-side-footballAny sort of 5-a-side football game is an excellent way to get fit. Actually, when compared even to a full 11-a-side match, or other sports such as jogging, 5-a-side tends to be better than both in terms of the health benefits it offers.

Take a look at this evidence – even if you believe you’re an old professoinal at 5-a-side or Futsal, the results can be quite remarkable.

The Physical Benefits Football Provides

We’ll start with football in general, not necessarily 5-a-side matches. Back in 2010, Professor Peter Krustrup, from the Copenhagen University, made a study with his team, in order to take a deep look into the benefits that football provides, as a fitness tool.

The study discovered that football provides a wide array of fitness and health benefits, that are at least as effective as running, and, in many situations, even more healthy.

For example, one of their studies got about fifty men who suffered from problems relayed to high blood pressure, and asked them to either play football or run for an hour two times a week, for three months in total.

By the end of the experiment, playing football had much better results – those who played saw a reduction in their blood pressure of approximately twice as much than those who undertook running.

The weight loss measured in the two groups was about the same – but the levels of cholesterol fell only in the football group, not in the running one. Another study detected that their bone density was increased twice as much by playing football than by running.

The Mental Effects that Football Provides

Not only it offers greater physical benefits than running, it appears to be more of an effective mental release as well, according to Professor Krustrup’s studies.

His team looked into 6 groups of men and women who played football, and determined that every single group experienced a high level of flow overall, during the experiment.

The term ‘flow‘, if you’re not familiar with it, refers to the optimal state one reaches when they are immersed completely in a moderately challenging task. ‘Flow’ is the feeling one gets when they’re completely focused, motivated, engaged and happy in the activity that they are doing at that moment.

According to many psychologists, regularly experiencing flow is an excellent way to lead a happy life. This point is well-made in Paul Martin’s book ‘Making Happy People‘. You should get as much ‘flow’ experience as you can in your life, so if you do it while getting fit, you’ll be at a nice, win-win situation!

Not only it offers a fun challenge, football has a dynamic nature and offers unique, fast-paced puzzles, which makes it a game that requires concentration, making it a physical and mental work-out at the same time. Basically, football requires you to engage and utilize our brains, a lot more than merely running forward until an established point, then stopping, and turning back.

Perhaps due to this, the football studies lead to another unexpected finding as well: The men who played it reported to the team that they had a lot less worries than the ones who jogged. The groups of men were asked to determine, on a 0 to 6 scale, what their levels of worry were. Runners came out at approximately 4.0, while the football players came at a 2.8.

Curiously, this effect wasn’t the same for women, who appeared to worry similarly regardless of the physical activity they were engaged into.

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Glasgow Celtics Hooped Shirts

Celtic CrestThroughout the majority of their history the Celtic’s home strip has sported green and white hoops –it wasn’t always like his though. The original strip had a white top on black shorts, the socks were hooped with black and green stripes.

The badge of the Marist Brothers,  a red circle around a green Celtic cross also graced the right hand side of the top.

In 1889, a few changes were made to the clubís strip that would be in effect over the next fourteen years–the top was now vertically striped with green and white and no longer featured a crest. The shorts would switch repeatedly between white and black during this time.

The now famous green and white hooped tops would be adopted in 1903 by the Celtic club. The new strips made their first public appearance on the 15th August 1903, when Celtic entertained Partick Thistle.

The Glasgow giants continued to wear their black socks well into the 1930s when the team changed colour in favour of green socks. In the 1960’s, sock color was again changed,  since this time white socks have been the predominant choice for Celtic to the day.

The badge was brought back into use in the 1930’s, this time featuring the clubs official title; The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Ltd – surrounding a logo featuring a four leaf clover. It wasn’t till 1977 that the club placed the club crest on the team’s shirts.

The crest went through a few adjustments before it was ready to be presented on the shirts. First the outer segment was adjusted; it now featured white text on a green back ground and the text was also shortened to The Celtic Football Club.

1945 saw the beginning of numbered shirts throughout Scottish football clubs, it went on to become compulsory in the 1960. By the time the regulation went into effect, Celtic was the last football club in the UK to adopt numbered shirts for player identification.

The staunch traditionalist Celtic Chairman, Robert Kelly, loathed the thought of the beloved green and white hoops being spoiled by the presence of the players numbers and so these numbers were placed on the shorts. This resolute tradition held true till 1994, although from 1975 onwards, numbered shirts were used when the team played European competitions.

The unconventional notion of placing numbers on players shorts was quelled in the 1994 to 95 season, when the Scottish Football League ordered the club to capitulate and place the numbers on their shirts like everyone else.

Celtic, still attached to their green and white hoops, responded by placing the numbers on the sleeve of their shirts but were soon sent back to do the job right – the numbers were to appear on a large white patch on the back of the shirt, undoing the green and white hoops.

Celtic - European Cup FinalIn 2005 Celtic ended a long term relationship with the sporting goods suppliers Umbro, with whom they had been working since 1960, they opted to begin working with Nike. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Celtics winning the European Cup  -a special crest was designed for their 2007-08 season shirts. The star that commemorates this triumph was reinstated on the team’s crest for the following season.

Celtic has since made a new deal with the Boston based sports company New Balance who will replace Nike at the beginning of the 2015-16 season. This kit contract is believed to be the biggest of its kind in the history of Celtic football history, far bigger than the 10 year long stint with Nike, who paid £5 million a year to supply Celtic with shirts.

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Introduction To The Teams

This season we have 8 teams competing in the league, they will all play each other 4 times throughout the season.

Here is a short bio to each team;

50 Shades of O’Shea

Chris O’Shea and his team start their 2nd season and will be hoping that they can improve on their mid-table finish last time round, Chris tells us he has recruited a couple of good players so we shall see!

Amil Accies

Amin Accies were formed by Amil Akbar and are a group of skilful and quick players, this is their 2nd season in the league. They are easily recognisable during the winter months due to the entire team wearing ‘woolly hats’, tracksuit bottoms and thermal gloves!


Last season’s runners up, Andy and his team return for their 2nd season hoping they can improve and get the better of Class on Grass, they are the youngest team in the league and have lots of ability not to mention pace!

Class on Grass

Last season’s champions and definitely the favourites this time around, Dave and his team only lost twice in the whole campaign and were fantastic to watch with their slick passing not to mention their goal-machine (and ex pro) Steve!

Glasgow Salt Hic

This is the third season that Ross and his boys have played in the league and they have certainly improved, finishing 4th last season 2 places higher than their first season – could they improve even further and challenge the top 2?!

Holy Con Billy

Holy Con Billy are the founding members of the Celtic League and are the only survivors from when the league was founded 4 years ago, they have changed their name (formerly Celtegg) but their stalwart captain Billy Holycon continues to play at the tender age of 40!

Puyol Pants Down FC

Ian’s team certainly win the ‘best team name’ award and join us for their first season, they have played in another 5-a-side league and so are no strangers to each other and if rumours are believed, they are a decent outfit!

Wee Bonnie Charlies

We welcome Charlie and his team for their first season in the league, they are a bit of an unknown entity and so we have no idea what to expect. Charlie is playing their chances down but it could be a case of ‘mind games’ :-)

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