Apply pressure, regain possession and then use the ball in this three-part session. By MICHAEL PHILP MORE
WHY USE IT
When opponents play a defensive high line or favour the offside trap, they are always vulnerable. This teaches players to get behind the defence with well-timed runs and passes.
The playing area can vary from 40×30 yards to a full pitch, depending on age and ability. Divide the area into thirds. Each ‘end third’ has three defenders and two attackers, and the centre contains four midfielders.
HOW TO PLAY
The server begins each phase by passing to any midfielder. Midfielders combine before passing to either forward at either end. Under pressure from defenders, forwards hold the ball up and pass back to any midfielder. As soon as the ball is passed back, all opposing defenders must ‘step up’ to try to play the forwards offside. Both forwards must drop to stay onside. As they do so, midfield players make forward runs from deeper positions and the midfielder in possession attempts to find them with a well-timed and angled passes.
Forwards must act as decoys and learn to stay onside, and midfielders should consider the timing, speed and angle of their runs and passes.