This exercise is another of the practice I used during the first two weeks of training sessions for my U15 team. It is about building up from the back phase of play.

Talking about team tactics, both during possession phase and defending phase, we always think about many U17 or older practices.

I thought instead to insert team tactics exercises during this season, by making the players involved into situations that could happen during the game, following an attacking and defensive positioning that reflects on the field, developments and movements of the team; this is the reason why, in my opinion, the concept of team tactics for 14 or 15-year-olds cam be introduced.

In this game situation, we are going to coach two basic concepts:

  • Possession phase: building up from the back and break through the first pressure line
  • Defense pressure: high pressure, recovery and counterattacks

11 players are placed inside a 3/4 of an half field, where an “end zone” is marked out with 3 free midfielders inside.

The team that has to build up from the back is lined up on the field with 4 defenders and the goalkeeper. The goal is to play to the 3 midfielders and keep the possession 4 + 1 (+3) v 3, trying not to use any dropping back midfielders between the center backs and managing the ball under pressure.

The team of three players is pressing high and it must always try to shape defensive triangles near the ball area, pressing the ball carrier and trying to close the nearest passing lines.

If the 3 free players receive the ball from the team while building up, the goal is to keep the possession switching the side of play to start the sequence again from the goalkeeper.
If they receive the ball from the forwards, after winning the possession, they must support the counterattacking phase, to finish in the opposition goal as fast as possible.


11 players



Control the ball under pressure

Build up from the back, breaking the first pressure line / Pressure

Overload the ball area

cones, balls, bibs

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