What is a Fullback in Soccer? How To Be An Awesome One.

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What is a fullback in soccer? A lot of people think that fullbacks are just there to run up and down the field and defend, but that’s not really the whole truth.

In fact, fullbacks play a vital role in both the attacking and defending phases of the game. Here’s a closer look at what fullbacks actually do on the soccer field.

What is a fullback in soccer?

The fullback is a defensive position and their main responsibility is to protect the goal. They are often one of the last people on the field, which means they have to be very strong and fast. They are also known as the Right Back, Left Back and Centre Back.

What position does a fullback play in a soccer team?

what position does a fullback play on a soccer field infographic

What is the role of a fullback in soccer?

A fullback’s primary responsibility is to provide support to the team’s defensive line.

They typically stay back while the team’s forwards and midfielders push upfield to attack.

When the opposing team has possession of the ball, fullbacks work to pressure the ball-carrier and prevent them from nipping in behind the defence towards goal.

If an opposing player does manage to get past the defensive line, it’s the fullback’s job to track them down, tackle them and stop them from scoring. 

In recent years, fullbacks have also been tasked with more offensive responsibilities.

Many teams now employ “wingbacks,” who stay close to the touchline and provide width to the team’s attack.

Wingbacks will often overlap with their team’s midfielders and forwards, giving them an opportunity to cross the ball into the box or make a cutback pass. 

Did you know?

There are two types of fullbacks: 

The first type is the attacking fullback. This type of fullback is responsible for going up and down the field to help the team score goals. They are often very good at dribbling and passing the ball. They are also known as Wingbacks.

The second type is the defensive fullback. This type of fullback is responsible for staying back and defend the goal. They need to be very good at tackling and clearing the ball away from danger. 

How do you become a good fullback in soccer?

Most fullbacks are physically strong players who have good stamina and speed.

They need to be able to run up and down the field for 90 minutes without getting tired, and they need to be able to keep up with speedy forwards and wingers.

Because they spend a lot of time defending, many fullbacks also have good heading ability so they can clear balls out of danger when necessary. 

It’s not easy to be a fullback! It’s not a role that any player can play.

A striker who is great at putting away goals might not have the stamina or defensive skills necessary to get stuck in and play fullback.

A central midfielder who is skilled at controlling possession might not be fast enough to make tackles and clear the ball away from goal.

So, if you want to be a fullback, you need to focus on developing the specific skills you’ll need.

Watch and learn: How to be a good fullback.

What is the difference between fullback and wing back?

Fullback and wing back are two positions in soccer that are often confused.

The main difference between the two is that a fullback is responsible for defending the goal, while a wing back is responsible for attacking.

A fullback generally lines up closer to the goalkeeper than a wing back, and their main focus is on preventing the opposing team from scoring.

They may also be called upon to clear the ball out of the area or to make tackles. A wing back, on the other hand, is responsible for carrying the ball up the field and creating scoring opportunities.

They will often line up really wide on the wings, where they can use their speed and dribbling skills to get past defenders.

what is a fullback in soccer infographic

What skills should a good fullback have?

The fullback is often referred to as the “workhorse” of the team! We call them ‘walls!’. And for good reason – they are responsible for a lot!

Not only do they need to have great stamina to run up and down the field for an entire game, but they also need to be able to defend against attacks and support the offense.

So what skills does a good fullback need? Here are a few:

Speed and Stamina

One of the most important qualities a fullback needs is speed. They need to be able to sprint up and down the field for an entire game without getting tired. This requires not only physical fitness but also mental toughness.

A good way to increase your speed is to do interval training, which alternates between periods of high-intensity effort and lower-intensity recovery. 

As well as speed, a fullback also needs great stamina. This means being able to run long distances at a moderate pace without getting tired. Interval training can also help improve your stamina by teaching your body how to better use oxygen. 

Defensive Skills

Another important quality for a fullback is the ability to defend against attacks.

This means being able to clear the ball out of danger when necessary and making tackles when needed.

Good fullbacks are also comfortable with using their body to block shots or crosses if necessary. If you want to work on your defensive skills, practice drills that focus on ball control and tackling. 

Game awareness

While fullbacks primarily play a defensive role, they also need to be able to support the offense when necessary.

This means having good passing and crossing skills so you can create scoring opportunities for your teammates.

It also means being aware of when to make a run forward and when to stay back and defend. If you want to work on your offensive skills, practice drills that focus on ball control and passing. 

What is the hardest position to play in soccer?

There is no easy answer when it comes to the hardest position to play in soccer!

Different players have different skills and strengths, so what might be difficult for one player may be relatively easy for another.

It also depends on your team mates and those you play with. A good team plays to each other’s strengths and weaknesses and are stronger as a whole team.

That said, there are a few positions that tend to be considered more challenging than others.

A goalkeeper is often seen as one of the most difficult positions because of the need for quick reflexes and split-second decisions.

Similarly, defenders often have to cover a lot of ground and must be able to anticipate the opposing team’s movements.

Midfielders also need to have good stamina in order to keep up with the play, as well as good vision and passing accuracy.

And strikers are the ones most under pressure to hit the back of the net!

The final score.

Fullbacks are an important part of any soccer team. They need speed, stamina, defensive skills, and offensive skills in order to be successful.

If you are interested in playing fullback, or if you are already a fullback looking to improve your skills, make sure you focus on drills that will help you in all aspects of the game.

With hard work and dedication, you can become an excellent fullback!

This article was written by

  • Anna Adams, Creative Director & Content Lead

    Hi there! I'm Anna Adams, your go-to source for all things women's soccer. I've been crazy about soccer for over 20 years, ever since I was kicking a ball around with my brothers as a kid. I've turned my passion into a career where I get to share all the cool stuff about soccer with you. As a content lead, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with various sports brands and publications. Whether it's the latest gear, pro tips, or just some cool soccer trivia, I'm all about making soccer ac...