Aberdeen FC Women’s star Francesca Ogilvie has offered support to young footballers during the Covid-19 lockdown – demonstrating two drills they can use to keep their skills sharp.
The 18-year-old winger, a Scotland youth international, has chosen the two exercises as they require limited space and equipment, encourage the use of both feet and help players think ahead.
As well as playing for the newly-promoted Scottish Women’s Premier League 2 side, Francesca coaches for Goals and the Russell Anderson Development Trust.
Here she is performing and explaining both exercises:
Francesca said: “For this drill you just need a football and a cone. If you don’t have a cone, you can even use a water bottle or similar.
“Place the cone a metre away from a wall.
“Starting on one side of the cone, all we’re doing is passing against the wall and taking a touch, with the same foot, to the other side of the cone and on to the other foot.
“Go as fast or slow as you like – the harder you pass, the more you’ll test your touch.
“Do this drill for 60 seconds or 10 pass-touches on each leg.”
Once youngsters have mastered this first part, the next step is to try the outside-of-the-foot variation Francesca performs towards the end of the clip above.
For this drill, Francesca said: “Set out four cones, or water bottles, a step apart.
“The first thing we’ll do is take a touch past the first cone, then drag the ball between the first and second cone with the same foot. You should end up on the other side of the cones.
“Then take a touch past the second cone with your other foot, before dragging the ball with the sole of your foot between the second and third cone, and so on.
“Build up your speed before trying another variation using both the inside and outside of both feet.”
The clip above should make both variations clear, as well as how aspiring footballers can join both drills together to create a passing and dribbling exercise.
On why she’s chosen the drills above to challenge youngsters, Francesca – who has been coaching for three years – explained: “It’s stuff you can do with both feet.
“Dribbling through cones, using your outside and inside foot, is quite good for someone like me who plays on the wing.
“Taking a touch as well – a lot of kids I coach take a touch and kill the ball dead. They don’t think about where they want their touch to go.
“So the aim was to put both those skills into the drills.
“It’s for any age range, from beginner to a higher level, because you can always make it harder by trying to go faster. It just depends how good you want to get at it really.
“I wanted to do a drill with shooting, but not everyone has the space for that or access to space, but most people will have a little space for dribbling or a wall for passing.”
Aberdeen, as a whole club, have been active in their engagement with the north-east community – young and old – during the coronavirus lockdown, with their #StillStandingFree campaign, which has seen staff check in with vulnerable supporters as well as efforts to prevent food poverty, receiving widespread praise.