Sean Dyche: Turning to play forward

By Sean Dyche, manager of Premier League side Burnley and Elite Soccer contributor

This session aims to encourage turning to open the opportunity to play forward rather than sending the ball sideways or backwards. Within this, it allows players to put the ball “at risk”. We all know that keeping possession is very important, but it has to be productive, and coaching players to be brave in possession is very important. Turning under pressure then looking to play forward puts opponents on the back foot so encouraging players to put the ball at risk also helps them along the way to playing with freedom.

This is a generic session that can be used to teach individual players or to enhance teams’ productivity, and from that, the team’s ability to penetrate the opposition. It can also be used for football fitness, if and when appropriate.

Set up

Area: 40 x 20 yards
Equipment: Balls, cones, goals
Number of Players: Up to 7v7
Session Time: 90-second bursts for 4-6 minutes

Turning to play forward

What do I get the players to do?

The session starts simply and in small groups. Setting up as shown (1), each team in possession looks to play with the outside reds in order to switch the play by turning under pressure, while the aim of team mates is to lose their marker and rotate, then receive from the reds.

We would start this all-in. Then, as players progress (up to first team level), we can adapt it to be three-touch. Each time a team plays from one end to the other, whilst incorporating a turn, a point is scored.

We will rotate the three teams in 90-second bursts.

How do I progress the session?

To take the practice forward we can increase the size of the playing area and add a minigoal (or mini-goals) at each end, as shown on a 40×20-yard area (2).

This session comes straight from Elite Soccer. Click here to learn more.