Final third attack


This game allows a team wanting to use short passing and mobility to train on transition to the front third and box organization.


You need balls, bibs, cones, one full-sized goal and two smaller goals. Set up an area two-thirds of your normal pitch. We used 19 players in the session.


The attacking team fields four backs, a triangle midfield and three forwards. The defending team fields a goalkeeper, four backs and four midfielders.

Smaller numbers can be used for younger teams. Restarts from the coach, who plays to the attacking team’s centre- backs. The defending team attempts to win the ball and counter to the small goals.

The attacking team practices stretching a compact defending block, learning patterns and mobility. The coach can imprint wing and central attacking schemes as well as showing players how to overload a defending group through box organization.


This environment, properly utilized, will develop a team’s attacking personality and patterns. Players learn to build relationships and understand one-another’s tendencies, all building more attacking chemistry.

1. Here the team is playing an attacking pattern for getting the wingers in behind a back line
2. How early can the right-back start their run? Can the team time its build-up to catch the back line in a vulnerable state and to allow the right-back to get in at speed?

3. Here, the team has opted for a central attack. The centreback plays in to the feet of the checking central striker. That player plays a one-two and gets in behind the defence
4. When should the centre-forward check? How does the reaction of the opposing centre-back(s) affect the decision to combine and get in behind? How can the wide forwards help set up this scheme?

5. The team has compressed and stretched the defending block and the right forward pulls the ball back to find the centre-forward between the opponent’s lines
6. The striker lays the ball off for the on-rushing attacking central midfielder who then puts their partner in

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