Red team vs Blue team.
Set up a diamond midfield formation
2 strikers, 4 midfield, 4 defenders.
Set up cones as shown on the diagram
(3 sets of cones. 2 pairs before the top of the diamond numbered "1", one pair of cones lower down in the middle of the diamond numbered "2")
Works on the Defence channelling the ball into certain areas.
The 2 red team strikers try to stop the blue team from playing the ball through either of the "1" cones, so that play is encouraged into a central area (top of the diamond).
Once the blue player with the ball has reached the top of the diamond, players will looks to direct him outside of the "2" cones and into wide areas (occupied by the 2 red wide midfielders).
Red fullbacks need to recognise where the ball is going and move into an advanced wide position to put pressure on opposition's wide players.
By doing this the red team are attempting to dictate how the ball moves.
Play for half an hour.
The red players should use their angle of approach and body position to effectively channel the blues.
They do this by running up and in, on a curve to block passing options in a certain direction before engaging with the player.
The main benefit of a diamond formation is so that the number 10 (top of the diamond) can receive the ball in space between the oppositions defensive and midfield unit. The number 10 can also make runs in behind Defenders creating space for the other Attackers to drop in and receive the ball.
The Defenders are attempting to make play predictable and prevent the ball going very wide because we do not want the wide midfielders going too wide and leaving space to be exploited.
Success of this drill judged by the coach observing and feeding back. If the Attackers from either side take the ball through the coned areas then they could be given a point.
With something so match and team specific, the team should be constantly questioning why this approach is being taken, and allowed to voice their opinion.
Diamond formation midfield in an 11 a side game. Reds vs blue.
Set up in the formation:
2 strikers, diamond midfield, 4 defenders and a GK.
The midfield players are attempting to channel the attackers to one side of play, to keep pushing them out towards the side and limit their options.
Encourage individuals to channel the ball and contain players in certain areas and to be aware of covering other Defenders.
Play 2 v 2 in the area furthest from goal and 2 v 3 in the defensive area around the goal. Make 2 small goals on the end line for the defense to play out through.
The attacking team (gold) in the area furthest from the goal, combine to play the ball into the two attackers in the opposite area. The two defenders in the area furthest from the goal attempt to intercept passes as they are played through. The three defenders in the defensive area mu st pressure the ball, marking tightly when close to the ball or goal. Defenders from the area furthest from the goal may enter into the defensive area to support the three defenders and to serve as midfield players for clearances from the back. If defenders intercept the ball, they should attempt to play the ball through either of the small goals at the bottom of the diagram.
Red defends blue. The blue player must try and beat the red defenders and reach one of the blue cones, with the ball still under control.
Red player 2 role is to cover the other defender. Whenever either red player gets in possession, the other red must find space so as to create a passing option.
This drill encourages players to work together in a Defensive unit and is especially relevant for midfield players.
Set up 3 areas in a line: 5 x 5 yards, 20 x 5 yards and another 5 x 5 yards
Opposite this, within shooting distance (about 15 yards), set up 4 goal areas in a line, marked by cones. The 2 inside goals will be used for the first game and then just the 2 outside goals will be used for the second game.
Have 1 player restricted to each of the 5 x 5 areas, and 2 players in the 20 x 5 area. The goal of these players is to pass amongst themselves to score (firstly in the goals marked "1" and then in the goals marked "2").
Against them will be 4 defenders who will need to work together to shut down these shooting opportunities, starting midway between the boxes and the goals.
The coach plays the ball to the Attackers, and at this time the Defenders will approach the Attackers. They cannot travel into the boxes but will use angles to try to stop a quick pass and shoot option.
Move the defender laterally to create space in which to dribble the ball and exploit the space behind the defender.
Move the defender laterally to create space in which to make the pass behind the defender. Attacker should make the pass through the goals at either end of the coaching square.
The attacker dribbles the ball in a confined space from left to right in order to try and move the defender. The aim here is not to get past your man but to reach the cones at either end before the defender by creating as much space as possible.
Two players with a ball each stand in a 10x10 square. Player 1 has 1 minute to tag player 2 as many times as possible on the shoulder. You must maintain possession of the ball at all times; if player 2's ball leaves the square then player 1 is awarded a tag. After every tag the tagger must retire to a corner. After 1 minute, player 2 tries to beat player 1's score.
Play 5 v 5 +1 goalkeeper at each end. Only defending players and goalkeepers are allowed in the end zones. The game is started by the coach playing the ball into an end zone. The object of the game is for the team to score with a shot on the opposite goal. A defensive player receives the ball from the goalkeeper at the top of the diagram. The defenders must attempt to pass the ball around the area until an opportunity arises to play the ball forward to the lone striker. Defenders and midfield players must then push forward toward the opposing goal line in support of the attack. Defenders and midfield players should retain position until they are able to play the ball forward without fear of losing possession.
Objective: Opposed practice developing recovery runs and increase understanding on roles and responsibilities. Detail: Mark out 4 channels / areas 15 x 30 (age / ability dependant). Players are organised into groups of 4. Each group work within a channel. Player one serves the ball to player 3 who attempts to beat player 2. Player 2 must retreat into own half before applying pressure.
Set up a line of defenders on both sides of your 18 yard box and two lines of attackers roughly in line with the edge of the center circle. On the coach's call the attackers should sprint towards the goal. At the same time the defender should run out and try to do the following: Get themselves between the attacker and the goal. Try to channel the attacker out towards the wing. Slow the attacker down to force their head down. If possible make the interception
The 4 players inside the blue square must protect the square and stop the ball carriers entering. To begin with the players inside the square are only allowed to shadow and block the outside players from entering. One point is scored by each player who successfully carries out their objective. If the defender wins the ball then the players switch roles.
The players each have a ball. On the coaches command the defending team comes in to the area and tries to kick all of the balls out. If a player gets his ball kicked out then they can stay in and help their team mates by finding space to receive a pass. If a player does a turn when pressurised by a defender then add 5 seconds onto the time.
Objective: Application of the individual & unit patterns/movements of defending with a 8 v 8 practice. Detail: Set up - Half a full size pitch with sidelines brought in 10m or 70 x 50 marked out. Split the players into 2 balanced groups of 8. Give each team a scenario for the game (for example Team A are losing 2-1 with 15 minutes to go). Select a team captain who will work with their team to discuss a strategy & tactics. Individual, unit & teams roles and responsibilities when defending (out of possession). When, where, what, how & why to press in specific areas of the pitch. Hunting in packs Goalkeepers angles & distances in relation to the defensive structure.
"It is not only useful for staff who are experienced but a valuable tool for those subject staff who have to take teams."
The variety of sessions across sports - sometimes we steal session ideas from one sport and use them with another.
As we enter the business end of the competition, we take a look at the remaining eight teams and the key talking points surrounding each side.
Give it a try - it's better in the app