Substitute game

This is a favourite game of mine in which players do anything they can to keep the ball or they get substituted

This is all about players getting out of tight situations with possession of the ball. After a few games watch how creative your players become when faced with losing the ball.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and goals. Mark out a 40×30 yard area with a goal at each end. We used 10 players in the session.

How to play it

Split your players into two teams of five players. You need a keeper, 3 outfield players and a substitute on each team. Play a normal game but the twist is that if a player loses the ball – it goes out of play, a pass is intercepted, gets tackled – they are immediately switched with the substitute. Play continues while changes of players are being made so oen team could have only 2 competitive players if the changeover is slow. Score a point per goal and an extra point for 5 passes. You can add rules like if a player is tackled he has 10 seconds to try and win the ball back before being substituted


The session involves intelligent passing, dribbling and shielding, as well as clever ideas such as playing the ball off an opponent to win a throw-in and keep possession.

    1. Play a normal game with players trying to keep possession and score goals.
    2. Here the pass is intercepted by the defender so the player who lost the ball must swap with the substitute.

    3. Players must look to use the ball intelligently and not hang onto it allowing opponents the chance to tackle them.
    4. Here the player who is tackled has 10 seconds to quickly try and win the ball back or he will be substituted.

    5. During substitutions play goes on giving the opponents an overload situation as well as the ball.
Share this
Follow us