Vital turnover ball

Turnover of play is one of the most common occurrences in a football match, and equipping our players to know how to maximise space and possession in these situations means we can make best use of the ball.

Why use it

This session focuses on decisions made by individuals and the team when winning the ball back in a transition.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and goals. For the warm up use a 12×12 yard square and the small sided game is 44×18 yards. We used 14 players in the session

How to do it

Start the session with a warm up using a passing square – four players on cones placed midway along each side of a 12 x 12 yard square. There are two balls – both go anti-clockwise – with two stationary players as opposite target men. The other pair are runners, swapping positions in time to receive passes from the target men before moving the ball on. All players are two touch. Try and switch pairs’ tasks frequently, so target men become workers and vice versa. Look for quick, accurate link-up play and working players running onto passes.
Five-goal game
The five-goal game puts elements practised in the warm-up into a competitive setting. Place five gates, each five yards wide, in a 44×18-yard area. There are two positioned vertically in from the left and right touchlines, and another horizontally across the middle. Play 7v7. In possession teams try to score through the five gates, whilst staying aware of their defensive duties, since turnover of play is frequent and quick. Out of possession, players need to decide whether to press opponents or protect the goals.


Passing, dribbling, pressing and finishing.

Passing and support play

    1. In the warm up, target players remain stationary while working players swap positions as the ball rotates
    2. Play is two-touch with two balls in play at all times

decision making

    3. In the five gate game players try to score through the gates – opponents must try to block and press to stop them
    4. Play is directional each team attack and defend a pair of gates but the centre gate is for both teams to attack and defend

decision making

    5. When play is turned over the team that has lost the ball must drop back and cover the goals
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