Foraging forwards

This sets up the coming together of two different tactics – it’s build up from the back versus the constant threat of the counterattack from balls played behind the defence.

Set up

Use an 80×40-yard area split into three zones as shown. We’ve used 14 players including two keepers.

How to do it

Split your players into two teams of seven. In the centre zone there is a 4v4, with a 2v2 in the large half of the pitch. The other zone is free. Play starts with an attacking player passing back to his keeper from a wide position. The keeper plays to a team-mate in the middle zone and the game commences. Play out from the back and build up through the centre zone to one of the attackers in the 2v2 zone. If the opposition win the ball they can counterattack and two of their players can enter the free zone unopposed. This team need to use the free zone to put balls behind the four defenders, so they can take advantage and score.


This is the perfect set up for the two rivals with different tactics. The team playing from the back will have to play short passes to create space to get the ball up to their attackers in the 2v2, then cover the back line to prevent any counterattack.

Playing out of defence

    1. All starts and restarts are with one of the attackers in the large zone passing back to his goalkeeper
    2. The keeper must play the ball out of defence to a team mate in the middle zone

Moving to receive the pass

    3. Teams must challenge in the 4v4 zone and try to win the ball and progress
    4. Here the attackers have moved to receive the pass but the defender is quicker and wins the ball


    5. Now the counterattack is on and a good pass puts the ball behind the opposition defence for two players to collect unopposed and combine to score
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