Apply pressure, regain possession and then use the ball in this three-part session. By MICHAEL PHILP MORE
Through the thirds – Small-Sided Game
WHY USE IT
This session helps to build up players’ awareness and ability to play through an overloaded midfield.
Set up an area from penalty box to penalty box (no wider than the penalty box), with a goal at each end. Divide the area into thirds. Players are split into two teams, including goalkeepers and one neutral player. Set up players to replicate desired formation, minus one centre- midfielder.
HOW TO PLAY
Play a normal game, but with neutral player locked into middle third to provide a central overload. Goalkeepers are restricted to playing within the ‘D’.
Encourage midfield players to play on different lines. Players should look to find the spare player, making use of their overload. Players should look to find the furthest forward available pass and players should look to receive to play forwards where possible. Teams should ensure defensive balance when in-possession.
The pitch size can be altered to increase/decrease the challenge. The neutral player can also be freed to play anywhere, but with reminders on roles and responsibilities in their position.
1. Play 10v10 plus a neutral player (white)
2. The neutral player is locked into the middle third to provide a midfield overload for the team in possession
3. The neutral player is locked into the middle third to provide a midfield overload for the team in possession