Welcome to my series of soccer positions that is a guide for parents. In this post, I am going to talk about the winger position. So, what is the soccer winger position?
The winger position is actual 2 positions on the left and the right side of the soccer field.
So, you are going to hear coaches mentioning Left Winger and the Right Winger. These 2 positions are going to be covered by 2 players, not one.
We are going to cover the topics below, so please read on:
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Where Is The Winger Position?
The wingers are standing at the edge of the sideline and they will normally wear jersey numbers 7 and 11.
Due to fewer players in the kids’ soccer, the wingers can wear any number because there is no rule that defines it.
Unless of course, it is required by the team coach or the league organizers.
In the diagram below you will see that the wingers are colored yellow.
Below is the definition provided by Wikipedia:
Roles & Importance Of A Soccer Winger
- Make crosses into the goal area for teammates to score
- Cut in the goal area to score
- Open up the goal area by staying wide
- Assist in corner-kicks and free-kick
- Fall back to assist the defenders
Some wingers run diagonally from the sideline towards the goal to attempt to score – Christiano Ranaldo and Lionel Messi are experts in this.
They work with the goalkeeper, midfielder, and defenders and trying to link up with the striker, or scoring a goal themselves. Wingers normally stay wide at the sideline which attracted the defenders to leave their position to mark them.
This inadvertently created a space in the opponent’s defense. Wingers are good kickers so they are usually assigned to take free-kicks, corner kicks, and even penalties.
When the opponents have the ball the wingers go into defense mode. They run back to assist in their defense as cover backs, they fill in the position vacated by their defenders.
When there is a counter-attack the wingers returned to their positions. They may not be passed the ball all the time because one of their roles is to distract the defenders’ concentration.
What Makes A Good Winger?
A good soccer winger requires the following factors.
- Talents and Abilities
- Soccer Winger Tips
1. Talents And Abilities
- Speed and Agility
Some players are blessed with athletic talents and abilities while the rest of us will have to train harder. The winger is a position that requires a player to be confident in his or her abilities and decision making.
That is because he or she is directly facing the defenders when running with the ball and will be expected to be challenged. One weapon of a winger is speed and agility.
To be able to run fast, accelerate, twist, turn, and stop will give him or her an advantage on the field. A winger needs to have stamina because they run a lot and not to mention the number of times they are being attacked by the defenders.
A player that easily gets tired will not perform properly and will be a liability to the team. Being able to read the flow of the game makes it easier for the winger to determine where his or her teammates are.
This makes passing the ball accurate, especially at the goal mouth area where the striker is waiting for the ball.
The winger’s skills with the ball are vital for the team and will determine if he or she will that position permanently or not. He or she needs to know how to receive a pass with minimal effort, dribble the ball, then cross it to the striker.
Being able to kick the ball with accuracy and power during free-kicks and corner kicks can result in scoring goals. Overall, ball control skills are a must for the winger because they attack as well as defense for the team.
3. Soccer Winger Tips
- Always defend when opponents have the ball
- Stay wide during a counter-attack
- Provide options for your team – not necessarily to receive the ball
- Left or right-footed
The winger should switch to defense mode as soon as the opponent has the ball and start putting pressure on them. Run back to assist the defenders to apply another layer of defense for the team.
Communication with the defender is very important to avoid confusion and conceding a goal. The winger must stay wide during an attack to provide passing options to the midfielder.
It does not matter if they pass the ball to the winger or not but the opponent’s defender will be forced to leave his or her position. Consequently creating a space for the midfielder or the striker to shoot at the goal.
Being able to kick with left and right foot will give the winger an advantage. Firstly, the player can play in the left and right-wing positions which increases the chance of being select for the first team.
Secondly, the winger can run along the sideline towards the corner and make a cross into the goal area, or, make a diagonal run into the goal area and shoot to score.
Soccer Gear For A Winger
Shoes are mandatory by FIFA.
Wingers run and kick a lot therefore the soccer shoes need to be lightweight, stable, have good traction, and comfortable. Good soccer shoes are made of synthetic leather, mesh, or both.
These materials are lightweight, durable, and comfortable. The studs are usually molded TPU (plastic) that are evenly spread out under the shoe to provide traction and stability.
They should also have comfortable material inside the shoes such as neoprene and soft insoles to reduce the impact on the feet and ankle when running.
You do not want your kid’s feet to develop blisters.
You can find my shoe review here.
2. Shin Guards
Shin guards protect the area between the knees and the ankles. For a young winger, this area needs to be protected due to clashes and tackle from the defenders.
An ankle shin guard is an option for beginners because it also covers the ankles. The problem is that they restrict the movement of the player.
Another option is the sock shin guard and the slip-in shin guard because they are light but are limited to the shin area.
I recommended this type of shin guard for older kids because they may have already developed a better understanding of playing soccer.
You can find my shin guard review here.
3. Socks, Shorts, and shirts
Good socks, shorts, and shirts are made of nylon fabric.
They are lightweight, breathable, and do not hold moisture and sweat.
Best Wingers Of All Time
According to Top Soccer Blog, the 5 top wingers in 2019 are:
- Mohamed Salah – Liverpool FC and Egypt
- Eden Hazard – Real Madrid
- Sadio Mane – Liverpool
- Raheem Sterling – Manchester City and England
The winger position is probably the hardest in my opinion because their roles cover the defense and attack as well.
A winger can be able to score goals and go back to defend as well.
This requires a player to be fast, skillful in ball handling, versatile, and be able to have the energy for the entire game – stamina.
I hope I answered your questions regarding the winger position.
- What Is The Striker Position In Soccer – Parent’s Guide
- What Is The Soccer Defender Position – Parents’ Guide
- What Is The Soccer Midfielder Position – Parents’ Guide
- What Is The Soccer Goalkeeper – Parents’ Guide