Key Information

Phase – Youth Development Phase

Theme – Playing Through Midfield Third

Title – Coach midfield players in good possession, to play penetrative passes that break defensive lines, into attacking players feet or beyond.

5 W’s –   Who –Midfield Players

Where – Midfield third

When – In Possession

What – High quality penetrative passes

Why – To penetrate organized defenses

Principles – Support, Movement, Penetration, Spread Out & Improvisation

Exercise One

Principles – Support, Movement, Penetration, Spread Out & Improvisation

Set Up – 10×10 yd Square. Alter square size based on age & ability. Younger players need smaller square.

#’s – 4v1 or 5v1. Try to avoid 3v1 as its tough to get the principles out in this format.

Organization – Attacking team keep possession 1 or 2 touch and must remain on outside of the box. Defender must remain inside and can only intercept. Work for 1 min and change defender. If defender win ball he gives it back.

Key Points

1.Attacking team keep the ball properly

2.Defenders defend well, with appropriate effort

3.1st Touch, sideways not forward. Create options with first touch. Open body shape.

4.Try to encourage the straight pass. The penetrative pass.

5.Movement and support of players not in possession, always creating angles

6.Straight pass must be executed quickly, 1 touch or quick 2 touch

7.Disguise passes

8.Angle and distance of support. Risk vs reward

Exercise Two

Principles – Support, Movement, Penetration, Spread Out & Improvisation

Set Up – 10×20 yd area.

#’s – 5v2, 6v2 or 7v2. Works with groups of 7, 8, 9, 14-18

Organization – Attacking team have 1 central player, all others operate on outside of area. 2 defenders look to gain possession. Rotate defenders & central player every minute.

Key Points

1.Defend effectively, pressure & cover.

2.Reinforce key points from 1st & 2nd exercises. High quality passing, support, straight passes, disguise, 1 or 2 touch.

3.Supporting position of central player. Behind and between defenders. Don’t offer close support, as players either side can provide that.

4.Anticipate passes by reading body language, to get into early support positions

5.Can we find the central player by breaking the line of the two defenders.

6.Can the central player pull defenders out of position to allow forward pass?

Exercise Three

Principles – Support, Movement, Penetration, Spread Out & Improvisation

Set Up – 35×25 yd pitch.

#’s – 4v4-7v7

Organization – SSG with 1 or 2 target players for each team in. Targets 1 or 2 touch depending on ability. Must bounce off target player to score

Key Points

1.1st thought is always play target player. If players loft ball introduce below knee height restriction.

2.Movement of Target player, must always be making angles

3.Put principles developed in exercise 1 into practice

4.Introduce movement of players in advance of the ball carrier, to create space to play forward into target player.

Exercise Four

Principles – Support, Movement, Penetration, Spread Out & Improvisation

Set Up – 35×25 yd Pitch

#’s – 4v4 or 5v5. Can be more players, but must increase overall space to accommodate. Suitable topic to include target players either side of goal.

Organization – Game

Key Points

1.Reinforce key points from previous exercises

2.Coach What you see (Related to the topic)

3.Leave the last 10 mins for complete free play with little or no interruption