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5 vs 5 + Neutral player

5 vs 5 + Neutral player

  • Sufficient markers to outline the field
  • 5 cones
  • Enough balls
  • 1 regulatory goal
  • 11 vests (5 red, 5 blue, 1 green)
  • Playing area: 50x60 meters (regular half of the field)
  • Players: 11 + 1 goalkeeper
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Series: 2 series of 7 minutes with 1 minute passive recovery
Summary Secondary Objectives
How to train attacking ball possession with the aim of passing vertically
Peripheral vision, Pass, Finishing, Intercepting, Switching the attack, Defensive shape, Ball possession, Verticalization, Prevent passes through the lines, Insertion, Transitions
Divide the playing area (regular half of the field) into 3 horizontal zones using the markers: the first zone from the goal line to a distance of 25 m (simulating the opponent defensive line / dead zone), the second zone by splitting in 2 the zone between the opponents defensive line and the halfway line. Using the markers divide the playing area in 2, starting from the halfway line up to the defensive line simulated by the markers (as in the figure). Number the zones 1 to 4. Divide the players into two teams using the vests (5 red vs  blue + 1 joker in green). The keeper stays at the goal.
Field the two teams with the players performing their prescribed roles in the formation (in the example, inside right/left, left wing, striker in a 4-3-3) according to the rules of position games + 1 joker (representing the play or the central defenders). One team starts possessing the ball, the other defends the defensive line.
  • The objective of the team possessing the ball is to reach the blind zone and finish the action
  • The objective of the team without the ball is to recover the ball and pass it to the jolly
  • When the team possessing the ball succeeds in finishing and scoring the game restarts from the joker and the same team restarts attacking all over again
  • When the team without the ball succeeds in recovering the ball and passing it to the joker, strikers and defenders switch positions immediately, this team occupies the attack positions and the other team becomes the defence. 


  • During the game the coach indicates the number (1,2,3, or 4) of the zone that the team without the ball can defend
  • This simulates the situation of an opponent midfield that acts in variable ways, for instance pressing high (defenders in high zones) or “waiting” low (defenders in low zones), or in mixed ways, so that the attacking group must adapt their choices continuously according to the free zones

  1. Reduce the number of zones in which the defenders can act; increase the number of jokers (for instance add a support one, or change a player, for instance the outside defender,  into a jolly
  2. Leave the defending team free to cover-attack into the space as they choose; insert defenders instead of the markers playing always in the defending team, in order to work on the running phase following the preparation.  Limit the number of touches.
Coaching Points
  • The exercise shall be performed in a sequence having the aim of getting players used to make the right choices according to the behaviour of their teammates and opponents, in the preparation phase for the lunge. The players must have a good knowledge of the different sub-categories of the possession phase (keeping the ball - build up – preparation – lunge ), losing the marker and passing (space and time) principles according to sub-category and teammates.
  • Challenge the players to use the defender/midfielder/joker as a flank player to improve ball possession and develop offensive action.

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