Central line

This is a fast game that encourages players to use skill in defence and shows defenders how they can start attacks.
Defenders must react quickly to press the player on the ball and prevent central movement through to the target player. It is about starting attacks from central defence, and stopping attacks by getting tight on opponents.

Set up

Set up an area of 30×20 yards split into two zones with a small end zone of four yards at each end. We’ve used 12 players and you need balls, bibs and cones.

How to play it

Split your players into two teams of four playing 2v2, with a neutral player in each zone and a target player at each end. Players must stay in their zones.
The game starts with a pass from one of the target players to the defender nearest him. The neutral players cannot defend or pass to the target player. Each successful move from one target player to the other scores a point. The target players can move anywhere in their zones


This is a great all round test for young players. They have a lot to think about in the confines of the area and should move quickly to press attackers who threaten to score. They should press to confine players and force mistakes.

Defending in the box

    1. The game starts with one of the target players passing to the nearest player
    2. The neutral player is on the side of whoever has the ball and cannot defend

    3. In attack the neutral player cannot score by passing to the target player
    4. Players score by passing the ball to the target player at the opposite end

    5. Any move has to start in the opposite half to the one the team scores in. Here the defender wins the ball and sets up a quick counterattack
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