United Soccer Coaches' IAN BARKER on turning basic formations into systems MORE
Control the game in midfield
One thing that will help you control the pace of games and give you a winning edge is to have an effective midfield. This useful session will help your players learn how to pass the ball through midfield on the move.
Why use it
This is about awareness of the receiving situation allied to position on the pitch and the position of support players so teams can pass the ball through midfield, leading to controlled passing on the move.
Set up an area 60×25 yards split with two 10-yard end zones and a 40-yard centre zone with goals at each end. We’ve used 17 players.
How to play
Split players into three teams of five plus two keepers. One team is working and the others are waiting off the pitch. Starting with all five of the working team in the centre zone, one drops into the end zone to receive a pass from the keeper. The ball is then played out and must be passed up the pitch with every player touching the ball – the final pass must be into the end zone with the ball going in before the player. After playing it a couple of times with each team, get one team to go on as defenders with two players at first (then three and then four) to progress.
Look for quality of first touch to control and release the pass. Speed and accuracy of passing is important, with one-touch and two-touch play, as is decision-making.
- 1. The session starts with all the players of the working team in the centre zone. One drops into the end zone to receive a pass from the keeper
- 2. Players progress by passing up the pitch. Every player must touch the ball
- 3. Once the team has finished the move the next group attacks the opposite end
- 4. The final pass must be into the end zone with the ball going in before the player, like playing offside
- 5. Progress the session so the group at the end the team are attacking sends on defenders