How to build a wall

Why use it

We’ve all seen direct free-kicks win matches in both professional and youth games, but a well placed wall will cut out a very high percentage of goals from free-kicks at youth level. That is what you should aim to achieve with this session.

Set up

Use the penalty area of your pitch. We have used six players plus the goalkeeper for this session. Place two cones outside the D of the penalty area, one on each side. You need cones, balls and a goal.

How to do it

You need to use players who are not afraid to be in a wall and try to select the tallest. Use between two and four players for the wall. Number them one to four in the order they should stand in the wall. Use one of your free-kick takers. Players should stand on the goal line and on your call run to get into position. Play six free-kicks three on each side.


By following this session teams are less likely to get punished from quick free-kicks or from direct shots at the goal. The positioning of the wall and the keeper are key to successfully defending free-kick set pieces.

HOw to build a wall

    1. When a free-kick is given, a player stands in front of the ball to prevent a quick free-kick
    2. The goalkeeper communicates with the first player in the wall to position it correctly

Wall in soccer

    3. The first player in the wall should position himself eight paces from the ball in a direct line with the near post
    4. The wall and the goalkeeper should cover the whole of the goal between them

Defend free kicks

    5. Young free-kick takers will find it hard to get the ball over the wall and dipping into the goal. Any low shots will hit the legs of players in the wall
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