EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Narrow pitch attack

Working on a narrow pitch helps players to be more direct in their attacks – defenders also get a grasp of how important the central areas of the pitch are.

Why use it

Playing through the central areas is a quick way to hit the heart of any team – also a great area of the pitch to control the game especially with a high pressing team.

Set up

Use the central areas of your normal pitch creating two end zones on the edge of the penalty areas. We’ve used 14 players. You need balls, bibs, cones and a goal.

How to play

Split your players into two teams of 7 players with a 3v2 at each end and a 2v2 in the centre circle area – players are locked to their zones. Play is directional and must go through all three zones. Teams score by one of the two forwards dribbling over the line and stopping the ball in the end zone. Look for players supporting each other to enable movement of the ball through the zones.

Technique

When a defender in possession of the ball gets his head up to
pass into the midfield, one midfielder must come short towards the ball and the other
midfielder must go long to create space for each other

Direct attacking

    1. Play a 7v7 with teams split 3v2 in the outer zones and 2v2 in the centre zone.
    2. The players in the middle zone must move into space and into line with the player with the ball, and they can bounce the ball back to a free defender to build-up the play.

Narrow tactics

    3. Encourage the midfielders to ‘play round corners’ into the strikers. You don’t have to beat your marker to get the ball into the strikers. Half a yard of space is enough to make the pass. Passing off the front foot gives better momentum.
    4. The pass from the midfield into the attackers must be to the side nearest to the attacker, the opposite side to where the marker is positioned. This enables the receiving player to be able to screen the ball from the opponent.
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