This is a broad training session that enables players to practise a range of skills across multiple exercises.
It rehearses ball skills in terms of tidy, quick and intelligent passing, plus finishing in and around the box. It’s also excellent for movement, closing down and positional awareness.
These ranges of skills are essential for any footballer. It is important to practise these because the scenarios in which players will need to display these skills occur regularly during games.
What do I get the players to do?
We practise a range of short drills…
We mark out a 6×6 yard area using four cones. Playing 4v1, we rotate the defending player, who must chase and close down, looking to win possession.
In a larger 20×20 yard area, we arrange five players to construct a technical passing move. Cones are placed on two diagonal corners, with a further three positioned just in from one of the other corners. Players construct a passing pattern in and around the box – yellow passes to blue and follows his pass, blue performs consecutive one-two passes with red before passing to grey and taking up red’s position.
Grey plays one-twos with red, and those two players switch positions before the move is reversed and played back in the other direction. A white player assumes yellow’s original start position to complete the move.
We use five players and a passing diamond measuring 10x10yards. An initial one-two pass along the side is made before the ball is set outside the cone for the receiving player to turn onto. He then side-foots the ball along the next line, waits for a one-two, then follows his pass. Players progress around the passing diamond.
We mark out a 36×20 playing area, with a goal at each end and add a halfway line – offside applies at this point. This is a 2v1 attack versus defence game, with one attacker and one defender positioned at the halfway line (though in their own halves), and another attacker on the far dead ball line.
One attacker lays the ball into the feet of the other; the two must combine, attempting to score in the goal. If the defender wins the ball, he can shoot. Keep changing the defensive player and progress this to 3v2. The three attacking players cannot all be in the attacking half at any one time.
What are the key things to look for technically/tactically?
In all of these drills, players must be firm in their positions yet able to move quickly. We look for the disguising of passes with the use of subtle reverse balls, turns and flicks. Movement off the ball and away from opponents is crucial, while the Short Attacks game rehearses all-out finishing, technique, placement and power.