What are the best training tasks for a central defender?

Central Defender is a position reserved for a player whose primary task is to stop the opponent’s attack.

If we translate this sentence into FM attributes, my attention is focused on: heading, marking, tackling, jumping and strength.

Without them, I do not believe that a player will achieve good results on the pitch (especially against a strong opponent).

There are some other indicators that can be interesting at this time: age, height, international experience, and personality.

They have a big impact when choosing the first 11. Of course, the attributes are the basis, but relying only on them is not good.

Let’s go back to the topic.



The aim of this article is a detailed analysis of individual training tasks that will draw the maximum from the player at the position CD.

Based on my personal experience, I can say that the players are more motivated on the pitch when right training tasks are given.

Their transfers leave big money to the club! That’s why this is my favorite option in Football Manager because I have the freedom “to form a player” the way I want.

There are only 3 roles – First things first …

The main job of the Central Defender is to stop the opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.

However, especially for more aggressive tactics, he must also possess the technique and composure to able to help the team maintain possession and lay off simple passes to more creative players.

The three main duties are:

defend – he will stay in line with his defensive partner and look to break up attacks, mark opposing forwards and prevent the ball from getting into the box;

stopper – he will push ahead of the defensive line and close down players before they get to the area;

cover – he will drop a little deeper and sweep up through balls behind the defensive line.

Ball-Playing Defender

The main job of the Ball-Playing Defender is to stop opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.

However, unlike standard central defenders, the Ball-Playing Defender is encouraged to lunch defense splitting through balls from deep to generate counter-attacking opportunities.

Duties remain the same: defend, stopper and cover.

Defensive Centre Back

The main job of the Defensive Centre Back is to stop opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.



The aim is to win the ball without giving away a free kick and get it cleared safety up field in a no-nonsense manner. The duties that apply to Ball-Playing Defender also apply here …

A Central Defender ‘s Preferred Moves

It’s time for individual training tasks. As an example, I’ll use a young player from my club. He is 19 years old and 183 cm tall is.

The attributes that stand out are the following: Tackling 15, Aggression 16, Natural Fitness 16 and Balance 15. Based on these data, his best position would be Central Defender – Stopper.

The first task – avoid using weaker foot. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see that under the prefered foot writes “right only”.

Attributes Technique 5 and Finishing 3 confirm that the player can not perform attractive moves on the pitch.

If he would use more left than the right foot, I’m sure that he would be the main “culprit” for a (some) conceded goal. So this is a good start.

The second task – stay back at all time.

Pay attention to attributes Acceleration 11 and Pace 11.

So what can I expect from him in the attack without major consequences in the defense?

How to improve passing?

The third task – play short simple passes. It is enough to look at the attribute Passing 8.

A wrong passing of the ball by Central Defender in this position, as a reward, has conceded a goal in most cases.



But … If the grade of this attribute is at least 12, then something else would be interesting at training – likes to switch ball to other flank.

The fourth task – play no through balls. Someone likes central defenders to “create a game” on the pitch. I do not like it!

I think the player who plays in this position, does not need to send too many long balls towards midfielders. But …

If a player has certain qualities for that, this task would be skipped.

The Good side of the story

The fifth task – dives into tackles. Here is the most important Tackling 15.

The problem may be Decisions 10 because there is a possibility that the reaction does not follow in due time.

However, this is a young player (19 years old) and has a lot of room for improvement.

The sixth task – runs with ball rarely. I think there is no need to explain this task.

Just look at the following attributes: Dribbling 6, Finishing 3, Long Shots 7 and Technique 5.

There is another task that is interesting for this position, and it’s marks opponent tightly. The main condition is Marking 12+.

On the other hand, top players should not be burdened with tasks unless they’re making mistakes on the pitch.

What to do if a player has the wrong “threat” or Preferred Move?

This is very simple. Find the option that defines the task. You’ll notice a new word, and that is “stop”. After a certain period of time, you will see whether there is any improvement or not.



The point is to be persistent! It is likely that results will be “bad” for the first time. But, next training, will have more chances to solve the problem.

That’s it. In some of the following articles, I will pay more attention to the Full/Wing Back position. Thank you for your attention and time.

Author: Alen Stefanovic     Game: Football Manager 2017

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