Score more goals in 5 weeks WEEK 2 Moving into midfield



In this five-week series we will show you how to move play through the thirds to get the ball into positions where your strikers can attack the ball and score more goals

If you don’t have the ball, you can’t score goals – and playing out from the back through the thirds is one of the best tactics teams can use to develop both individual and team play. It is an approach that youth teams should be adopting at all levels and stages of development and ultimately it will help your team to score more goals.

Last week we covered playing the ball out from the keeper to the defence, while this week our training sessions will help players learn how to get the ball into the midfield area. Moving from the defensive third into the midfield requires defenders to take the ball there or make good passes to bypass nuisance opposition strikers who are trying to force mistakes.

Liverpool start attacks with defenders

The best examples of this kind of play in the English Premier League can be seen in the performance of Andrew Robertson at Liverpool this season. Under the watchful eye of manager Jurgen Klopp, Robertson has become one of the best defenders to feed the midfield.

Liverpool prefer to keep possession of the ball and start attacks from the back. That key movement of the ball from defence to midfield has blossomed since last season, and as the players have got used to the possession style of play they have been scoring goals for fun, blasting the opposition away playing out from the back.

Virgil van Dijk has become a ball playing central defender who has adapted to his manager’s tactics adding to the club’s success this season as the style of play has become more about ball possession and playing clever passes through midfield.

One of the key things for coaches to remember when they are teaching this style of play is that youth players will have the opportunity to make more mistakes because they will have many more touches of the ball. Allow them to learn from their mistakes and like Liverpool they will begin to have a lot of success and play in a way that their coaches can be proud of.

Barcelona creates excitement

Teams are much more fun to play in and exciting for the spectators to watch if the defence sets up play through midfield. Think of the excitement at Barcelona when Gerard Pique bursts past the opposition attackers with the ball, or at Juventus when Danny Alves dances down the wing to pass into midfield – that is how exciting it can be. So try running the activities below and see your team learn the basics of playing into midfield.


If you want your team to score more goals, make sure they play accurate passes out of defence to midfield…
> Defenders should play quick short passes to the feet of their team-mates.
> Patience is needed until the right space opens up to run out of defence and into midfield
> Passes into midfield must be accurate and to a player’s feet – high passes give too much room for error.
> Stay alert at all times and be aware of opposition attackers coming from behind to intercept passes.


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