Delay from the front

When the ball is lost in attacking positions, this session will help players learn how to regain the ball by forcing mistakes and buy time so that the defence can sort itself out

Set up

Set up an area of 35×20 yards with a five-yard neutral zone across the centre. We’ve used 12 players in the session. You need balls, bibs, cones and two normal goals.

How to play it

Split your players into two teams playing 6v6 including goalkeepers. In the outer zones, set up the teams with three attackers against two defenders.
A keeper starts the session by playing into the neutral zone where one of the attackers has dropped off to receive the ball. When the attacker touches the ball in the neutral zone, it releases an opposition attacker from the other side of the pitch to drop back and press in order to delay and deny space to the player on the ball.


This is a good session for coaching players to get back into their own half when they have lost the ball in attack and it teaches them to quickly respond to the player with the ball. The faster the released player moves, the more they can affect play.

Win the ball back

    1. The session starts with a pass from one of the goalkeepers into the central zone
    2. An attacker drops back to receive the ball in the zone and must control and turn quickly

    3. When the attacker receives the ball in the zone it releases one of the opposition attackers to drop back and try to delay the attack
    4. Here the player gets back quickly enough to force play wide where another defender can close down and stop the attack

counter attack

    5. Here the retreating attacker is too slow and the team breaks away to score a goal
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