Long passes can be a key way to open up an opposition defence or to find space on the pitch by switching play. A great way to help young players to spot longer passing options and to see beyond the first players in their line of vision. MORE
Find the forward
Quick passing upfield can catch the opposition cold. This week’s session is designed to improve passes from your team’s defenders to its forwards.
What this session is about
- Forward passing.
- Playing to the forwards early.
- Combination play in the final third of the pitch.
What to think about
Forwards, no matter what level they play at, need good-quality service and support if they are to score goals and win matches.
When your defenders have possession of the ball, the midfielders will be under pressure from the opposition.
When defenders play a pass directly to the forwards, your midfielders can now turn and face the opponent’s goal and run past their marker and into attacking positions to assist forwards.
The team’s midfielders can help this process further by moving towards their defenders to bounce a pass back to a different defender and therefore create space for the defenders to play forward.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||15 minutes||10-15 minutes||10-15 minutes||10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Use just over half of your regular-size pitch. Place four defenders a short distance across the halfway line with a ball each.
The defenders take turns to play forward passes to one of the two forwards. The forwards must quickly combine to get a shot at goal.
For the next attack, a new defender makes the forward pass. Swap roles regularly so everyone is a defender and a forward at some point.
Now add a midfielder to the process.
Four defenders again line up across the halfway line. A fifth defender starts behind the defender on the left, who has all the balls in this game.
To start, the left-sided defender plays a pass to the midfielder who passes the ball back to a different defender before a pass can be made to the two forwards.
As this pass to a forward is made, the midfielder must run upfield to combine with the two forwards in order to take a shot at goal.
For the next attack, the defender who made the forward pass becomes the new midfielder and the fifth defender takes up the spare place in the defence. The forward or midfielder who took the shot becomes the fifth defender.
Play a small-sided game. Each team has five players inside the pitch and two full backs outside the pitch, as shown in the bottom picture.
The full backs must stay in deep positions and inside their own half of the pitch.
The full backs cannot be tackled when in possession and are free to receive a pass and play it to the forwards.
The aim for each team is to make a forward pass, it can be on the ground or lofted, to the forwards, who try to score a goal.
Offside rules apply at all times in this game.
The following progressions can be applied:
- Allow the opponent’s full back to pressure the attacking full back when he is in possession.
- Bring the full backs into the main pitch because this increases the difficulty for both teams in making forward passes.