This session is about trying to penetrate a four-man unit as an attacking drill. It also looks at stopping that ‘probe’ by forming a tight compact shield that is able to intercept balls and exchange strategy when in possession. MORE
This is a possession-based session aimed at encouraging players to use high quality combination play and intelligent movement to keep hold of the ball and work it into the final third. It focuses on teaching players when to pass forward and when to switch play.
The session works on both tight area play and more expansive play to make it as match relevant as possible. In the tight areas, fast passing means that a good first touch and accurate passing is vital to success, just as it is in areas like the penalty area. In the more expansive game, switching play with movement and support from all players becomes key to keeping possession.
To add a competitive element to the session, it culminates in a small-sided game that uses supporting wide players to help create goal-scoring opportunities from crosses.
We would normally run this session every two weeks.
|Up to 44×36 yards|
|Balls, bibs, cones, 2 full size goals|
|Number of Players|
|18 players + 2 goalkeepers|
|Tight possession: 15mins
Big possession: 20mins
Small-sided game: 30mins
We set up an area of 24×20 yards, divided into two halves. We’re using 18 players, split into three teams of six. Two of the teams start with three of their players in each half, making it a 3v3 in each half.
The other team plays on the outside, as shown . They play for the team in possession and the two outside players on the halfway line can pass into either half, while the other four can only play into their own half.
The coach starts play with a pass into one of the teams in the centre. They must pass to keep possession of the ball, using the support of the outside players if necessary, but the outside players have to play the ball back into the area as soon as they receive it.
Play for 15 minutes, rotating teams so everyone has a go on the outside.
We use the same set-up as before but we remove the halfway line. Teams now play 6v6 with free movement across the whole area, as shown . The team in possession can still use the outside players to help them keep hold of the ball, but the outside players must always pass back into the area rather than pass between themselves. Look for players to switch the play by moving the ball across the pitch and linking the outside players from one side to the other.
Play for 20 minutes rotating teams regularly.
We now set up an area of 44×36 yards with a goal and goalkeeper at each end. We’re using the same basic principles, with two teams of six outfield players in the central area and a third team of six supporting play from outside the area.
The two central teams have three players in each half. We use two-touch wide players on the outside and we encourage them to support the team in possession by playing crosses into the strikers, as shown .
We can progress this game by allowing one player from the defensive half of the pitch to cross the halfway line and join in attacks when his team are in possession, giving the attackers a 4v3 overload in that half.
To keep possession we want to see good use of combination play and intelligent movement from the central players. We also want to see that players are picturing where their next pass is to be made before receiving the ball.
Typical mistakes include players making wrong choices of when to play forwards or switch play. Also, players can tend to force play when trying to keep possession in tight areas.