Five-goal decisions

Many of us feel our teams can become rigid and predictable. In contrast, all great sides have flexibility in the way they play, so here’s a practice that offers just that.


How to play it:

  • Set up an area as shown above.
  • I play this as a 5v5 but you can use any team numbers from 3v3 right up to 8v8.
  • Put two coned goals on each five-yard channel (protected by one neutral keeper on each side) and one target goal at each end.
  • Teams can score in each other’s single target goal, but can also score in any of the side-coned goals (although a team taking possession from a neutral keeper must attack the opposite side or the target goal first).
  • Play for 10 minutes.
  • You can step up the sessions by adding the rule that players can only score in the side goals by dribbling the ball through.

Technique and tactics

  • This is a fast-paced game that, in essence, sees teams defending and attacking five goals each.
  • With opportunities and threats coming from all directions, players need to be aware of all that’s going on around them.
  • The game’s open nature means that playing “sideways” is potentially as productive as moving forward, thus teaching players to consider all directions of play.
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