Anticipate long passes

It is important to press defenders and not give them chance to play long passes that can catch an unwary defence out. Coaching players to force the player at the back to play short gives chances for team mates to push on and win possession.

Set up

Create a 60×30 yard area made of three zones with an 8 yard central area. You need 14 players including two goalkeepers, bibs, ball, cones and two goals.

How to play it

Create two teams comprising of a goalkeeper, four defenders and two attackers. All players are confined to their zones – the central zone is a no go area. The goalkeeper passes out to a team mate in defence and the game begins. Now the team in possession at the back must play the ball over the central zone to a team mate at the attacking end. All restarts are with the goalkeeper from the team who gets possession


Players must be alert to the danger of long balls coming into attacking areas. Good first touch and anticipation are key along with pressing from forward players.

1. Goalkeeper from one team starts the session and all restarts are from the goalkeepers
2. Play out from the back looking for opportunities to play a long pass

3. Defenders must try to anticipate long passes and intercept the ball

4. Progress so the attackers are now closing down and intercepting the ball or winning it from a tackle

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