Long and short ball

This game gets players used to different ways of attacking and defending in 4v2 situations.

Attackers must communicate well at all times – one is charged with attacking the ball, the other is required to cover.

They will find themselves coming short or dropping back depending on whether their role is to play the ball long or short, and defenders will also need to check their style of play to suit.

Defenders should be able to repel the attacking threat given they have a 4v2 overload, but must then drop off as a group to allow the next attack to begin.

How to play it


This game contrasts two different methods of play, teaching teams to attack in one style and defend in another.

  • It’s played in a 60×30 yards area with a goal at each end.
  • There is a 4v2 in favour of the defenders in each half. Each player must remain in his designated half at all times.
  • In the pictures above, one group of grey defenders has the ball and combines before playing a long ball to the pair of forwards, who cannot be tackled until they have brought the ball down. As soon as contact with the ball is made though, the defenders must try to clear the ball out of their half.
  • If the ball is intercepted, or goes dead, an attack immediately begins in the other direction. Whites’ task though is to play a ball through to their attackers by using short passes – again the attackers cannot be tackled when receiving the pass.
  • Play for five minutes then switch team roles.
  • To increase the difficulty, allow the forwards to pressure the defenders to affect the quality of the ball forward.
Share this

Follow us