Make the most of defensive mistakes

It’s all well and good getting the ball into the danger area. Now you’ve got to make it count.

One thing about having a positive passer is it puts teams on the back foot and, although the pass may not reach your forward, the opposition defence has got to deal with it and that’s when mistakes occur and your attackers pounce.

In his 64 More Small-Sided Soccer Games manual, Michael Beale has a great game to practice pouncing on the through ball from your positive passer – and how to hassle a harassed defence.


  • Pitch size: 30×20 yards (minimum) up to 40×25 yards (maximum).
  • Mark out a 10-yard square on one touchline as in the diagram.
  • Two teams of four players.
  • One goal, one keeper.
  • One team works as the passing team.
  • One team works as the defenders.
  • The passing team works in the 10-yard square, passing the ball around and attempting to retain possession.
  • Each player in the defending team has two turns at entering the area and attempting to win possession from the passers.
  • If the defending player manages to force a mistake or win possession, then he breaks out of the 10-yard square and receives a pass from the coach in order to shoot at goal.
  • If the passing team manages to make 10 consecutive passes, then the defender is ejected and replaced.
  • The passing team scores a point for each set of 10 consecutive passes.
  • The defending score a point for each goal scored from a pass from the coach.
  • When each defender has had two attempts at defending, swap the teams’ roles.
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