Solid defensive core


This session gives defenders a good work-out, with attacks coming in from the wing. Solid defending and covering can make sure your defenders block any move from wide on the pitch.



Set up an area of 40×30 yards with a five-yard ‘winger alley’ on either side of the pitch. We’ve used 12 players. You need balls, bibs, cones and a goal.



Split your players into three teams of four. The first team has a goalkeeper and three defenders. The other two teams take turns to attack, with two of the attacking team in the wing alleys and two in the central area. The ball must be passed to one of the wingers who are allowed two touches to cross the ball or pass into the middle. The nearest defender can go to block the cross but he is not allowed to go into the wide zones. Swap teams after every four attempts on goal.



The session will help your defence hold their triangular shape. With practice the three players will forge a good understanding that they can take onto the pitch with them to help make a stronger defence.

1. The game starts with the attacking team passing the ball wide to one of the wingers

2. The defenders are not allowed into the crossing alleys but must move to cover any cross or pass

3. The player in the crossing alley has two touches to either cross the ball or pass back into his team-mates in the centre

4. Defenders must keep a tight shape to cover both types of attack

5. Here play has gone down the wing but the central defender wins the header to keep danger at bay

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