Many young players despise playing in back, especially in the fullback position. This sometimes comes from the parent’s lack of understanding of the game. They want their children playing a glorified position like forward or midfield. Anything that directly involves the accumulation of points is seen as relevant involvement.
The game is now play in four bands instead of thirds. Two of these bands exist in midfield. The players in this area are either defensive or attacking. The box-to-box midfielder is now a rarity in the game today. The new box-to-box player is the fullback. He has to be extremely fit and efficient, as well as effective in attack and in defense. The difference between two good teams is sometimes decided by the effectiveness of the fullbacks when pushing forward. Not only because they provide a numerical advantage in attack and good service from the flanks, but more importantly, they force the opposing wide players deep into their own defensive third. This substantially reduces their involvement in attack.
The fullback today has to have excellent technical ability, pace and intelligence. Young players asked to play this position must understand that their function is of the utmost importance to the success of the team. It takes a special type of player to perform in this position. It will probably go a long way to explain to the parents that there is no such thing as being “stuck in the back.” Players all have roles and responsibilities, and if done well it contributes to goal scoring opportunities and goals. This is why soccer is a team sport and astute soccer minds appreciate team efforts, because they know how much has taken place on the training ground to produce the final product.