Set pieces can be some of the hardest things to deal with as a goalkeeper and one of the most important plays in a game. It is important to talk with your coach and develop a plan for free kicks: Who is in the wall; How many?  Who is the bullet man?  Here are some things to remember while defending against Free Kicks.


  • The wall is made up of Forwards and Midfielders.
  • The wall should be set up by the goalkeeper.
  • The goalkeeper will tell them how many, where to slide and when to hold.
  • The wall should run from shortest towards the middle of the goal out to the tallest.
  • 5 words - Wall-Number-Move Right or Move Left- Hold


The number represents where the kick is taken from and how many players should be in that wall if the kick is taken from there. One player should be completely outside the goal in your wall off your near post to guard bending around the wall. Each keeper and coach will have a different approach to free kicks taken outside a threatening shooting range. comment:  I was always taught that any kick 35 yds out doesn’t require a wall.  Maybe 1 person if a keeper or coach feels more comfortable.  Any kick taken further than that should hold at the 18. comment: Vertical positioning of the keeper and distance of the wall will depend on the  comfort level of the keeper as well as physical characters.

Learn to set a wall from the middle of your goal.  Too many of us run to the front post when the whistle is blown and you leave the whole goal open.  Set the wall and if the referee stops play to walk off the 10 yards, then go to your front post to correct any mistakes you might have made.

Indirect in the box close to the goal – The goalkeeper should line his players on the goaline and position himself in front of the ball. The goalkeeper should be the bullet (player who runs at the ball during a free-kick) in this scenario. As soon as ball is touched, attack ball as big as you can throwing your body at the feet of the attacker.