The key player

Use this session to show your team the importance of a ‘key player’, whose free-roaming role on the pitch tips the balance in favour of the attacking team.

Why use it

This session helps you to coach a key player in your team to set up plays and unlock the opposition’s defence. Balls played into space beyond the defenders and into wide positions are encouraged, as are quick passing moves.

Set up

Set up an area of 45×30 yards, split into three 15-yard zones. Use normal goals. We’ve used 17 players in this session, including two keepers. You need bibs, balls, cones and two goals.

The Key Player

How to play

You need three teams of five – two teams are on the pitch playing 5v5 (plus keepers), and four members of the remaining team are around the edge to help the attacking team, with the fifth member on the pitch as the ‘key player’. Players must stay in their zones apart from the key player who can play anywhere. The ball must go through the three zones starting with the keeper.


This is a great way to get one player used to moving all over the pitch, using support from team-mates and passing into dangerous areas. It helps the key player to understand how overloads can work as he goes into the three areas of the pitch – he becomes the player who changes the balance in favour of attacking team.

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