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Counterattacks in elite Gaelic football competition

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This study objectively analyses how Gaelic football teams counter-attack. Fifteen matches played in the All-Ireland senior football championship during the 2007 and 2008 seasons were analysed using publicly available broadcast coverage. Results indicated that the outcome of counter-attacks was significantly associated with the destination area of the counter-attack (p<0.001) with more counterattacks occurring in central areas of the pitch, in front of goal. There was a significant difference between the number of passes (p < 0.001) and the duration of the counter-attacks (p < 0.001) between counterattacks of different outcomes. Successful counterattacks relied on teams maintaining possession, allowing players to move the ball in a controlled manner, allowing players off the ball to obtain good supporting positions and exploiting the opposition whilst they are vulnerable and disorganised. Attacks lasting between 26s and 35s were found to be the most successful. Longer passing sequences during counter-attacks were found to be more successful compared to attacks with fewer passes which had a higher turnover rate. Successful counterattacks require players to have the ability to carry the ball, break the tackle and provide support for the man in possession.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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