Space invaders

A fast and exciting game that encourages players to spot the space and run through at speed with the ball.

Why use it

This drill is all about seizing the opportunity to burst into space with a change of pace when defenders are covering other players.

Set up

Set up a 25×25-yard square with an 8×8-yard square in the centre. We’ve used 11 players in the session. You need bibs, balls and cones.

How to do it

Split players into three teams of three (A, B, and C), plus two defenders who are in the central zone. Two players from each group are outside the main zone with one inside. Start with the A players in each group passing to B at the same time from outside the zone. The B players must dribble through the centre zone that is guarded by the two defenders and then pass to C. B exits the square and A goes in to receive a pass from C. A runs through the centre zone and passes out to B. C enters the zone and A goes out. Keep this going and award a point for each successful move. Defenders try to win the ball and dribble out of the square.


This is very game realistic as players run with the ball to get past defenders. Clever players can see the space and run through unopposed while defenders are trying to tackle the other players.

Running with the ball

    1. Player A in each team passes to the B players in the centre of the large zone to start the session
    2. The B players must make a decision when to run through the centre zone and beat the two defenders before passing to C to score a point

    3. When B has passed to C, he swaps place with A who goes into the centre zone
    4. The runners do not have to go straight across the zone but they must enter the zone and exit by different sides

    5. If the B players can coordinate their runs one of them should have the space to run unopposed to the other side
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