This 5 v 5 + gks progression has the goal to try to answer some questions I often ask myself, while planning my training sessions:

How to work on directed possession games? How to make the game situations different? How to attack the depth keeping the team balanced?

This new series of articles will show exercises to coach fast possession to attack the depth, keeping the team balanced among attacking and defending players.

The basic set-up is a rectangular shape with regular goals, divided into 3 areas; two goal areas and a center one.

I use this kind of set-up a lot to organize both possessions and positional games; especially when I am alone with the whole team.

In these cases I always divide all the players into two groups, placed inside two set-ups of the same kind, working on this exercises from the warm-up phase up to final small sided games.

This warm-up exercise works on fast and free build up phase (2 v 0), on the finishing phase (3 v the goalkeeper) and on the balance during the possession phase (2 defending players) to recover the second times of the ball or rebounds.

There is a first duel 3 v 2, which will be developed in the next exercises, as the defenders can recover the positions and defend the goal after a first rebound of the goalkeeper.

6 players for each team are placed inside a rectangular set-up that is divided again into 3 areas; 2 goal areas and 1 center area, where each team is placed with 1 goalkeeper, 2 players in the goal area and 3 center area. Both goalkeepers are in possession of the ball and they start the moves.

The goalkeepers pass ball to the defenders and they must send it toward the 3 team mates in the center, after a passing combination between them.

The center players must attack the goal and finish the move after a cross pass or a killer pass in the final third, playing 3 v the goalkeeper.

The passive defenders must run up inside the center area, supporting the move and keeping the team balanced.

If the goalkeeper saves, the defenders become active to recover the second time of the ball and to finish again.

Variation: If the goalkeeper saves, the opposition defenders become active and they can run back to to try to defend the goal, creating a 3 v 2 + goalkeeper duel.

U14 – U16

12 players (10 field players and 2 goalkeepers)


Passing, Receiving

Shoot on goal

Mobility, Depth Play

Build up from the back, Goal defense

cones, balls, regular goals

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