Midfield rotation, forward play


Up to 60x40 yards


Balls, cones, goals

No. of players

Up to 16

Session time

Each game 20mins

This session aims to develop my midfield three in creating space to receive the ball, as well as being positive when in possession. It’s important to practise this because I want my players to be confident receiving in any area of the pitch, even when under pressure; I want them to make positive decisions in terms of how to break through the opposition.

What do I get the players to do?

End zone game (1)

Blues work to create space to receive from end zone players. Each must touch the ball before it can be transferred to the other end. Red defenders are passive to begin with. Rotate players frequently.

• Receiving from the neutral end players, each red must touch the ball before it’s transferred to the other end

Boxed corners game (2)

The aim here is for the midfield three to receive the ball from either corner and work an opening into the front target man. Defenders can be used to create a 5v3 but cannot come out of their areas. To progress, add a guarded goal at each end – the striker must receive and shoot.

• Now play is built via the corner boxed players

8v8 game (3)

The team in possession must play through the thirds. An extra player can move into each section when his team is in possession to create a 4v3 overload in midfield and a 3v2 in the end zone.

• Here, in the 8v8 game, the defender prepares to move into the middle zone to create a 4v3 overload

What are the key things to look out for?

Movement to create space, quality passing and good receiving technique – first touch and opening the body to play the next ball – are all vital.