Football/Soccer Session (Academy Sessions): 3-5-2 match fundamentals

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Pro-Club: Glasgow Clyde College

Ciaran Carmichael

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Ciaran Carmichael
Name: Ciaran Carmichael
City: Glasgow
Country: United Kingdom
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer
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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Defending from goal kicks mid-block

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Defending from goal kicks mid-block
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Defending from goal kicks mid-block

Main principles of mid-block

  • Protect the middle: we are compact horizontally and vertically. Opposition go around not through and find it difficult to play between the lines
  • Set traps and look for triggers: we look to make play predictable (e.g., forcing wide) and look out for certain conditions / triggers to press aggressively (e.g., poor or long passes, hesitation, on opponent's weaker foot)
  • Patience and discipline: we need to be comfortable surrendering possession at times, staying compact and looking to engage at the right time

Scenario summary

  • GK plays to CB (#4)
  • CF (#9) looks to show CB wide (pressure)
  • CF (#7) offers cover and looks to block the switch (cover)
  • All unit lines shuffle across to intercept
  • Opposite side wing backs narrow off

Main points

When out of possession (in addition to main principles)

  • Move as a unit
  • Scanning and awareness
  • Communication and key words
  • Discipline and patience
  • Ball side, goal side to intercept

On regain

  • Speed of counter / break lines quickly
  • Create overloads 
  • Third man combinations
  • Quality on the ball (through balls, back foot, ball speed, body shape)

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Counter attacking

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Counter attacking
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Counter attacking

Main principles of counter-attack

  • Speed of attack: break lines quickly, limiting touches (one and two touch) with fast forward supporting runs from attacking midfield players
  • Create and exploit overloads: aggressive transition, on the shoulder to receive. Look for ways to create 4 vs 3s, 3 vs 2s all over the park. Create space for each other, making unselfish runs to create gaps. Communication (verbal and non-verbal (e.g., arms out to show where you want the ball)) and awareness
  • Quality on, off and around the ball: good ball speed and body position to receive, playing onto back foot or into space in front. Think about timing of runs to meet through balls just in time and triggers to make forward runs. Variation of runs (curved, rotations) to keep defenders guessing

Scenario summary

  • CB (#4) passes to RB (#2)
  • LWB (#11) regains possession and plays quick forward pass
  • Quick forward runs to get into scoring positions or positions to create chances
  • Back three and #6 squeeze up to guard against quick counters
  • If we win the ball and move quickly in this scenario, we're in a situation where we have #11, #10, #8, #2, #9, #7 all between the lines in a 6 vs 5 overload

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Build up play

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Build up play
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Build up play

Main principles

  • Compact verticallystay compact vertically at all times, squeezing up play and in a good position to counter press
  • Create overloads: particularly in wide areas
  • Patient and brave on the ball: if it's not on, turn out and start again
  • Width and quick switches: make the park big and use quick switches of play to drag defenders out of position and exploit gaps
  • Speed of attack: when time is right move the ball through the thirds quickly and with quality

Scenario summary

  • Play is building down left side to LWB (#11)
  • Back three shuffle across ('steering wheel') to protect left side against counters
  • Midfielders (#8, #10) operate in half space / inside channels
  • Team moves as one. Opposite side wing back (#2) getting into scoring position / back post run

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Dealing with long ball-recognising what's happening

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Dealing with long ball-recognising what's happening
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Dealing with long ball-recognising what's happening

Organizational / Instructions

Coaching Points

Progressions / Adaptations


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Dealing with long ball-adjusting

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Dealing with long ball-adjusting
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Dealing with long ball-adjusting

Organizational / Instructions

Coaching Points

Progressions / Adaptations


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