Defending Workshop: Create overloads in defence

It’s vitally important our players know how to efficiently and effectively close down
opponents in winning the ball at the back, especially as this is an area where space between the lines is a vital target for opposition attackers.

Helps players to understand defending and you will definitely see players progress so they “want” to defend and are prepared to work hard for the good of the team.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and goals in a 20 x 20 yard area. In the second and third parts you need a small goal at the end of one channel and a normal goal with goalkeeper at the end of the other. We used 12 players in the session adding a goalkeeper in parts 2 and 3.

Defending Workshop

How to play

Defending 1v1 This is a series of 1v1s in a 20 x 20 yard square. In pairs, one tries to win the ball back off his opponent, who can use neutrals inside the squares to play off and retain possession.

1v1 up to 2v2 defending This is a simple 1v1 in a 20×10-yard area. Two servers link up before playing into the first or second 1v1 box. Attackers look to score in the goal in their channel, though only the player receiving the ball, and his opponent, are active. Defenders must win possession and pass back to the servers. We can progress this game in two ways. First, defenders in the first area can recover and make a 2v1 in the deeper square. Then, defenders and attackers both join in the deeper square to make a 2v2.


Movement and support play to create 2v1s and nullify the attacking threat.