Football/Soccer Session (Academy Sessions): Counter Attack Functional

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Benjamin Sohier

Profile Summary

Benjamin Sohier
Name: Benjamin Sohier
City: Telford
Country: United Kingdom
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer


Full Pitch Counter Attacking and Recovery Functional – Endurance (Anaerobic and Aerobic) with Tactical Outcome of Crossing and Finishing. 

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 1

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 1
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Screen 1 (20 mins)

Setup: Full 11-a-side pitch. 6 min-16max. Players to play in realistic positions. Ball starts with #1 (centre back), pass out to either #2 or #3 (full back), player who doesn’t receive makes channel run, player who does receives carries and then passes into #4 (centre midfielder) who receives, turns and passes into opposite fullback. Free #2/#3 (full back), #4 (centre midfielder) and #5 (centre forward) make forward runs to receive cross from #2/#3 (full back) who is in possession. #1 (centre back) squeeze play to half way centre spot. If #1 (centre back) plays out other side, ball is switched the other way. #6 (goalkeeper) remain in goal and play a normal game. Ball collection to be with #1 (centre back). Important to keep a high tempo flow to function.


Once attack is finished; goal, out of play, goalkeeper in possession, players have time limit to return back to starting positions (judge specific time limit upon group of players, age, skill set, physical condition etc.)


Practice can either be mirrored or split into different teams. In this instance, there is 16 players. Goalkeeper will remain in goal and outfield 15 players are split into 3 teams of 5. Each team will run through it once then swap with other team(s). There will be 3 players on each cone (1 from each team). Each team should get through 6-10 reps with rest every 2/3 minutes.


Aim: To re-enact a counter attack and then loss of possession forcing recovery. Finish functional pattern with a goal or shot on target. Function to be physically demanding but to remain realistic and to maintain player motivation/enjoyment.


Time: 20 minutes.


Rest: Players receives good rest whilst their team is not involved in function. 

Coaching Points:

- Game speed explosiveness, intensity and tempo in all areas

- Incisive and decisive passes

- Quality of first touch to receive

- Dynamicity of movement on and off the ball

- End product; crossing, finishing.

- Quality of runs into attacking third – act to lose opponent

- Communication; demand the ball, effective info

- Commitment and desire to make it within time limit

-  Full backs open body position when receiving to drive down line

- Centre midfield receive on half turn to play out in smooth movement to opposite wing



- Players not involved in attacking function to be passive opponents. Apply passive pressure at each starting point. Possible final oppositional progression would be to add in live defenders who come into play after 5 seconds of their direct opposition (at same cone) become active.

- Add overall time limit from start of function (centre back passing ball to full back) to players completing and returning back at start positions. Judge time limit, as previous, on group of players; age, skill set, physical condition etc.

- Touch limit

- Increase number of reps for each team before swapping

- Has to be first time finish




- Remove time limits but still maintain speed of function

- Move starting positions higher up pitch (closer to end goal)


Outline below the technical / tactical and physical benefits associated with the practice.



- Pass efficiency and choice; to feet or in front

- Quality of touch and consequent ball control

- End product quality at match speed; shot, cross, pass.



- Game situations, players will be able to familiarize and develop key components to then use on match day such as varying movements off the ball, tempo requirements of play, touch type (open o

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