Attack Your Space

Use this effective training drill to help your young players understand the benefits of using zonal marking at corners.

Why use it

This is the way Rafa Benitez would defend a corner using his favoured zonal marking system. In grassroots soccer the defenders would line up and attack the space in a zone in front of them – they wouldn’t go backwards, just forwards.

Set up

Use half of your normal pitch. We’ve used 12 players in this session and you will need bibs, balls and a goal.

Attack your space

How to play

For the defending team you need seven players plus a goalkeeper in the penalty area and one player outside as an outlet for the defending team. The attacking team has a corner taker, plus two attackers in the penalty area. The defending players must make sure that as the ball comes in from the corner they cover those areas marked in the diagram. The movement of the attackers is irrelevant and they only defend against them if the attacker enters the defending player’s zone.


This is a very regimental way of defending and can be very effective to cover the whole of the penalty area in front of goal. It is very good for grassroots teams and the only way an attack will breach the defence is if a good cross can get the attacker behind the defence.