Premier League possession

This multifunctional, directional session is about game-realistic play, positive moves and developing short and long passes.

It is important to practise this because possession is key at any level of the game, but particularly in the Premier League where sides can be so ruthless when they have the ball.

This session encourages players to receive play side-on as they cannot attack the same end zone twice in a row, while defenders have opportunities to tackle and turn over possession.

We have technically gifted players at Blackpool, so keeping possession is one of the strengths we work around and try to enhance. We work on this session at least once a week.



Half pitch (width ways)


Cones, balls

Number of Players

18 (6v6 with 6 neutral players)

What do I get the players to do?

Played on a half-pitch lengthways, with a 15-yard channel at either end featuring three neutral players, this is a 6v6 game in the middle of the pitch.

The ball starts with a yellow defender. His team must combine to work a pass through to the opposite end zone, in doing so they score a point. End zone players have two touches to get the ball back out to the team who made the scoring pass (in this case the yellows), though one opposing player (a blue) can go into the end zone attempting to overturn possession. Assuming the neutral players do their jobs, yellows now attack the opposite end zone.

If a tackle is made at any point, blues assume attacking responsibility and look to feed a pass into the opposite end zone to score themselves.

This is a high-intensity game. After three minutes, players should be rotated so that they switch positions and roles. And when the ball goes out of bounds, encourage players to adopt a different starting position.


• Yellow players attack the far end zone


• A point is scored and possession is maintained with an attack coming back the other way


• They successfully move play to the opposite end

What are the key things to look for technically/tactically?

We look for players to want the ball, and with it, responsibility. When out of possession, they should be encouraged and prepared to receive it under pressure, and when in possession, they should be comfortable in conducting a slick and precise passing game. This is a multi-directional session, so when the ball comes back the other way players must be able to receive it on the half-turn and quickly play it towards the other zone. Defenders closing down quickly make this game-realistic, with all players being open to both short and long passes.

How do I progress the session?

There are many ways in which we progress the session. Firstly, the player who passes into the end zone swaps places with the receiver, meaning players are being rotated in their positions.

Neutral players can also adopt a stronger grip on the game, with the ability to punish defenders who push too far upfield by playing long overhead passes to the other team of neutral players. In addition, we can also limit the number of touches allowed.


• A blue defender presses play in the end zone forcing the neutral man to deliver a long ball to the opposite end zone


• Despite the pass between neutrals, yellows retain possession and build again


• A tackle sees the blues now utilise the neutral players

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