Formations 9v9: 3-2-3


PROS: Creating a lot of natural triangles, this formation enables fast forward play and plenty of options to pass around opponents. With three forwards supported by two midfielders, it is very attacking.
CONS: Light in midfield if the attackers are not getting back to help out, this formation can be weak against a counterattack if the midfield duo have pushed up in attack.


Defenders can be quickly outnumbered with only two in midfield to protect them, especially on the counterattack. The fullbacks must push into midfield when attacking and tuck in when the ball is lost. This is vital if the midfielders are caught upfield.


The two midfielders are vital to this formation. Supportive in attack, they must work hard to get back and cover any opposition breaks. At the moment of transition, they must flood back into midfield and try to get behind the ball.


The strongest feature of this formation, it plays forward with three attackers and the support of the midfield and fullbacks. The three forwards can play as two wingers and a centre forward or tuck in with three central attackers fed by the two midfielders. There is also the option for overlapping fullbacks.

Player development

This is very close to being the 4-3-3 of 9v9. This means when the players are ready to move up to 11-a-side they will already be used to a similar system and will handle the transition more easily. All that is needed is another centre back and an extra midfielder. Rather like a student building up to taking end of year exams, they will slowly build up their knowledge of this system.
It is vital players switch through all the different positions so they have a clear idea of what players have to do in those positions, making it more likely they will be supportive in attack and defence.

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