Drill your defenders to cover each other while one of them deals with an incoming long ball that threatens your goal. Soon they’ll be experts at last-ditch defending. MORE
On the edge
When attackers enter your team’s penalty box they will find it easier to score goals and win penalties. One way of combating this threat is to teach your players the art of defending the edge of the 18-yard area.
What this session is about
- Defending on the edge of the penalty box.
- Preventing opponents from advancing to more threatening areas.
What to think about
Tell your players that:
- The nearest defender to the ball should close down space quickly but slow down on his approach and have side-on body shape.
- The covering defender should be ready to challenge if the first defender is beaten. He should take up an angle behind and goalside of the first defender.
- The furthest defender away should provide depth and mark the space.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|7-10 minutes||20-25 minutes||10-15 minutes||10-15 minutes||10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Mark out an area with a five-yard end zone and play 2v2 inside it as shown in the top picture.
A server, positioned at the end opposite to the end zone, starts the session by passing to one of the two attackers. The attackers try to either dribble into the end zone or pass to a team mate in the end zone.
The defenders attempt to win possession and pass the ball to the server. Restart with the server if the ball goes out of play at either touchline.
Teams switch roles after three turns. Also rotate the server.
The server comes into the playing area to create a 3v2 situation after beginning the exercise.
Use the offside rule to make the activity more match-like and so the attackers do not gain another advantage.
Add an extra defender if the attackers are finding it too easy to reach the end zone.
Use half of your regular pitch, a goal and 10 players, as set out in the bottom picture.
Place two smaller cone goals five yards in from both touchlines at the opposite end to the main goal.
Split players into two teams in a 5v5 – defence (four defenders plus a goalkeeper) against attack (four attackers plus a server).
The attackers, including the server, try to score in the full-size goal but must do so when inside the penalty box, the defenders score by dribbling or passing the ball through the two smaller gate goals.
The game begins with the server passing to an attacker. Restart with a pass-in if the ball goes out of play at either touchline.
Reset the activity if either team scores or if the ball goes out of play at either end of the playing area. Teams switch roles after a set time.
To make the drill more match-like, you can set up the defence in a 3-1 formation, while the attackers play a 3-2 formation.