Magic box

This session uses an attacking overload to encourage midfielders to create scoring opportunities by combining with strikers in and around the penalty area. Combination play around the box is vital if teams want to score goals. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard will often link up with strikers, playing one-twos or quick passes and get on the end of them to score.

Set up

Use half of your pitch split into three zones and coned off in line with the penalty area. The penalty area will be one zone but the area at the opposite end is only 10 yards, meaning play is much tighter and harder for the attackers. We’ve used 12 players. You need balls, cones, bibs and goals.

How to play it

Split your players into two teams of six including goalkeepers. One striker and one defender go 1v1 in each end zone, with a 3v3 in the middle zone. One midfielder for the team on the attack can roam anywhere but every other player must stay in the starting zones. Teams can only score from the end zones. There are no offsides.


This session replicates the movement between attacker and midfield players, with the midfielder able to link up and create space by joining the 1v1 to make a 2v1 overload in favour of attack.

    1. The game starts with a pass out from one of the goalkeepers to the defender in the end zone
    2. One midfielder from the team with the ball can go in any zone but all other players must stay in their zones

    3. Teams play 3v3 in the middle zone and must compete for the ball and move quickly into attacking positions
    4. Here the midfielder has received a pass and plays a one-two with the striker to score a goal

    5. At the opposite end to the penalty areas, the attacking zone is much tighter, making it harder for the attackers to combine
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