Battle for space

If you want to teach your players how to make that final attacking pass to an attacker, use this training game to show them how it’s done. This replicates a midfield battle with the final pass vital to scoring points in the game. Players learn where and when to make the pass and how movement off the ball is vital to success.

Set up

Set up an area between the penalty area and the halfway line of your usual pitch using the full width. Split the area into three equal zones and have two goals on each side of the area, one in each outer zone. We’ve used 10 players plus a server. You need balls, bibs and cones.

How to play it

Split the players into two teams to play 5v5. Players score by dribbling through the small goals – teams also get a point for each zone they take the ball into if the move results in a goal. So if a goalscoring move is only in one zone it is one point, but if the ball goes into all three zones the team gets three points. Each team must have one player in each zone at all times. Start with a pass from the server into a zone.


Players have to make use of the space to maximise the points available in the game. Passes into space for players to surge onto and burst through the goals are vital to the success of the session. The set up of the game will encourage good passing and movement.

    1. The session starts with a pass from the server and when the ball goes dead all restarts are from the server

      2. Teams must have at least one player in each zone at all times

        3. Movement is vital to encourage good passing and to move the ball across the area

          4. Teams get one point for every zone the ball has gone into if it results in a goal

            5. Here the final pass has caught the defence out and the whole move has given the team three points

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