First Gothia Cup with nine-a-side teams - Gothia Cup

First Gothia Cup with nine-a-side teams

In this year’s tournament we find some new rules for the Boys 13 and Girls 13 classes. Instead of going directly from seven to eleven players on the pitch, the classes will now compete with nine-a-side teams. A system created for developing players.  

To create more ball touches for each player and to speed up the tempo in the game, the decision to implement the nine-a-side system was clear in front of this year’s tournament. Since the start of 2019 the system is nationally regulated in Swedish youth football, including a bit smaller field and ball size four. With the Tunisian team Academie de foot Djerba the feeling is mutual – the nine-a-side system is a good way for the players to develop.
“Back home we play with a seven-a-side team, but it’s better with nine players. It’s easier to work together and it gets the game going, but I think eleven players would be too much”, says Mohammed Ali Haddad.

His teammate Rami Aroua agrees and think it’s a perfect progress to increase the number of players with two, and not to play on a eleven-a-side field too soon.
“You get closer to each other when you are more people playing together, you learn a lot”, he says.

It’s normal for the players to develop skills and cooperation on the field around the age of 13. And according to the Swedish Football Association the goal with the nine-a-side system is for the players to have a fun, but most importantly – to learn as much as possible. The bigger fields make it easier for the attacking players to cut through the defending line and to create spaces for the rest of the team. Something Academie de foot Djerba clearly has been working on.
“It’s our first time at Gothia Cup and we want to make the most out of it. We have been training hard”, says Mohammed Ali Haddad.

The Tunisian boys have started Gothia Cup in the best possible way with two wins out of two, and they are hungry for more.
“We’re having a great time here, but we still need to improve and keep focusing on the next game. The teams here are very good”, says Rami Aroua.  

This post is also available in: svSvenska

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