This session is designed to encourage attacking midfielders and wide players to make deep runs in behind the opposition defenders. MORE
This session rehearses passing, receiving and offering support through thirds of the pitch. It takes directional passing as a warm-up, then brings in opposed possession challenges in outlining a variety of key technical points.
When these elements are combined and practised at a good intensity, the session offers our players a great base of core skills, and presents a variety of scenarios that have been played out in both first-team and reserve matches, such is the all-encompassing nature of the session.
|Up to 50×30 yards|
|Balls, cones, goals, mannequins|
|Number of Players|
|8v8 plus keepers|
|Warm-up, Directional Possession game and Goals game, 15mins each|
We begin with a warm-up, as shown (1), marking out a 30×10-yard area with cones; mannequins are five yards apart.
We have eight players per group, working as a team. Two balls are in play at the same time, with players in the middle beginning by feeding the ball out to the sides (2a). When side target men receive, they bring the ball straight back into play (2b), combining with any player available in moving the ball back the other way. (The player who passed to the side player now takes his place.) The practice therefore sees two balls working continuously, albeit in opposite directions.
Accomplished short passing and receiving (with the inside and the outside of the foot) is important, but we must see good angles of and speed of support, be that behind, from the side or in front of the ball. Finding space quickly is vital, as is the team’s ability to work the ball to the end zone as quickly as possible.
We’re keen to see good one-twos and excellent spatial awareness – in other words players knowing the best time to set back, turn and pass, based on who is around them.
If players are comfortable in what they are doing, we will consider introducing a third ball.
Now, in a 50×30-yard area, we set up as shown, playing 8v8 (3). The principles and technical/tactical observations are similar, but this is now fully opposed, with teams having to work the ball diagonally from one end to the other.
Finally, in the same area, we mark out an offside line and place a goal at each end (4). This is again 8v8. The smaller central area compresses play and increases the need for accuracy, while offside lines offer a point for players to break beyond, run onto a pass, and test the keeper.
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