Defender takes control

Without the ball your team can control attacking opponents with good positioning, forcing play away or keeping it out wide in ‘safe’ areas. This sessions helps players learn how good positional play can force opponents away from goals and into areas where they are much less of a danger.

Set up

Mark out an area of 15×15 yards. Place a cone halfway down one touchline for the defenders and one on the bottom end towards the corner of the grid, with a target goal on the opposite side. We’ve used eight players in the session. You need balls, cones and a target goal.

How to play it

Split your squad in two, with four players on each cone. The defender passes to the attacker and when he touches the ball it is the trigger for the defender to win back possession while forcing the attacker away from goal.


The defender shows the attacker outside and away from goal by positioning his body between the goal and the defender. Defenders need to adopt these habits of moving the attacker away from goal while trying to win the ball back.

    1. The session starts with a pass from the defender to the attacker
    2. Once the attacker receives the ball, the defender can move to cover the route to goal

    3. Body position is vital to get between the attacker and the goal before he can get a shot away
    4. Forcing play outside and away from goal will put pressure on the attacker and cause him to make a mistake and lose the ball
    5. Here good skill from the attacker has fooled the defender. The attacker heads for goal but the defender is quick to recover and blocks the shot
Share this

Follow us