EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Team shape via central defenders

This session will get young centre-backs surging out of defence with the ball to set up attacks – this gives your attacking players chance to get into goal scoring positions in the final third.

Why use it

One of the great sights in soccer is watching a centre-back storm out of defence into the opposition half with midfielders and attackers fanning out in front of them, creating chaos in the opposition defence. This session will get young players doing the same.

Set up

Using your normal pitch, cone off the penalty areas and play in the central area. Create a 15-yard box around the centre circle. We used 14 players. You need balls, bibs, cones and two goals.

How to do it

Play a 7v7 including keepers. Only the two centre-backs from each team are allowed to go in the 15-yard box and cannot be tackled in there – but the opposition centre-backs can press in it. If the ball is passed out from the centre-backs early, they can still receive a pass in there.

Technique

This will encourage centre-backs to run out of defence with the ball and move quickly through the centre zone to set up attacks from there. Also they will be encouraged to support play by advancing through that area to take up positions near the goal. Recovery is also vital if players lose the ball when the centre-backs are in an advanced position.

Centrebacks attack

    1. Play starts with a pass from the goalkeeper who needs to see where the space is to get a pass into the centre-backs
    2. Only the two centre-backs, from each team can go in the zone and there is no tackling but the opposition can force play by pressing

Playing out

    3. The centre-back runs into the zone and advances quickly, finding a team-mate in space to pass to and score
    4. Team-mates must be quick to support the play and see where the space is to give the centre-backs options to pass

      Centrebacks in attack

        5. Here pressing forces a mistake and the opposition win the ball but good recovery stops the opposition scoring
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