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Houghton, Bob.

Markham (Ont.), Penguin Books, c1984. 160pp, paper, $3.95, ISBN 0-14-007129-6. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Ches Sulkowski

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

Bob Houghton, coach of the Toronto Blizzard Soccer Team, has compiled ten years of his coaching experience in a small but concise handbook specifically designed for our amateur soccer players and coaches. His background as a professional soccer player, and broad coaching experiences in England, Sweden, Greece, South Africa, and now Canada, offers us an interesting analysis and philosophy of this fascinating game. The book is written with a more mature audience in mind. Less time is spent on individual skill development than in most soccer manuals and more on team skills needed for the complete game. All drills are game related with specific strategies to improve team attacking and defending. There is some specific training for individual performance such as goal-keeping and scoring, but most is directly related to understanding team concepts of play. He shows how to assess and teach the finer points of defending, midfield play, attacking, and scoring goals.

For the aspiring coach, this is a most important handbook. It is extremely refreshing to read a book dealing with team strategies and systems. His chapters on systems and analysis of team objectives when defending, attacking, and the "Thirds Concept" are excellent.

The handbook is easy to read with many diagrams illustrating set-ups and drills. All soccer enthusiasts will enjoy "World Systems of Play" and "My All-Star Team". Highly recommended for all secondary and college level libraries.

Ches Sulkowski, Annandale H.S., Tillsonburg, Ont.
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