Good players can understand and play in a lot of different positions and formations. This session gives players a chance to see how overloads and changing numbers work in different positions.

Set up

Set up a 45×30-yard area split into three 15-yard zones. We used 18 players.

How do do it

Use two teams of nine including goalkeepers. Each team selects a formation to play (3-3-2 v 4-2-2 for example) with the players going into their respective zones and staying there.
Play for four minutes then each zone of players must move to the next zone, with the 3-3-2 team becoming 2-3-3 for example (the three in the defence zone move into midfield, the three in midfield move into attack, and the two attackers moves into defence). Again play for four minutes and then move the players on, so this time they are set are up 3-2-3. Add the scores at the end.
Get your players to try different formations and see how the players cope with the different playing positions.


This is a great session to see player understanding of roles in the game and there are lots of touches for all players.

Positions and formations

    1. The game starts with one of the goalkeepers passing out to the defenders
    2. The two teams play the starting formations they have selected – here it is 3-3-2 v 4-2-2, cancelling each other out

Understand player roles

    3. Now the formation changes as each zone moves up, so it now becomes 2-3-3 v 2-4-2
    4. The team with the strong midfield of four players can control the game and play into their attacking pair to set up a goal

    5. The final play is 3-2-3 v 2-2-4 and the team with the outnumbered defence is overrun by the three attackers
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