Accurate long passes

Making a long pass is a great way to pass to a team-mate in a more advanced position and in space. Good long passing from side to side or to an advancing player is important to the development of young players. Having the ability to see when a good long pass can open up one side of the pitch or get players behind the defence is vital to the success of your team.

Set up

Set up an area of 40×30 yards with a 20×15-yard zone in the centre of the pitch. We’ve used 10 players in this session. You need bibs, balls, cones and two normal goals.

How to play it

Play 5v5 including goalkeepers. The game revolves around the centre zone where play is restricted to one touch but unlimited touches are allowed outside the zone on the flanks. Play a normal game around the zone with throw-ins, corners, goal kicks etc.


Because players only have one touch in the central zone it will encourage them to keep the ball on the wings and make longer passes across the zone where it is easier to control the ball and make progress. It’s also good for players turning their bodies to face goal so they can make the one touch easier in the centre zone.

1. The game starts with the goalkeeper who must play out to a team-mate. Keepers must remember the one-touch rule in the centre zone.
2. Here a good cross field pass to the wide player means he can attack the goal. A final pass in to the central zone works well with a one-touch shot at goal

3. The one-touch rule means passes to players in the zone must be good. Here the player has no option but to pass to his keeper, putting the goal under pressure
4. The player on the ball must look up to see the best options for a pass. With this wide player unmarked, the pass to him would have been the correct one

5. Once teams understand the problems the centre zone causes they will start to make lots of long accurate passes out of defence

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