Football/Soccer Session (Academy Sessions): Defending from the Front with 9, 10 and two CMs

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Benjamin Sohier

Profile Summary

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


Defensive Setup with ST, CF, CM, CM.

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Function

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


Blues: 2 – 2 (#9, #10 and two CM)

Reds: 1 – 2 – 2 (GK, two CB and two CM) White - Neutral.

- Ball starts with Server (neutral player), distribute into GK

-GK play to Red CB (either side) and as try to deliver ball back to Server (neutral)

- Blue #9, #10 and two CM defend* and try to stop that delivery back to Server (neutral). Start behind retreat line.

- If Blues win ball back, score into goal.

Coaching Points

- The lone striker (#9) direct run to show outside and shut off the passing lane to the other CB (primary) or GK (secondary)

- Withdrawn (#10) pushes central for central cover and in preparation to press the other CB if ball is switched

- RCM outside shoulder of Blue CM. Positive defending, opportunity to intercept inside pass.

- LCM inside also for same reasons. Also provides anchor cover and shape.

- If play is switched, shuffle unit. 10 would take the 9 role and press, 9 would become 10 and play central and drop.

- Deny, Delay, Dictate

- Angle and timing of press from front two in particular, look for triggers.

- Timing of press from CM (when to drop and when to intercept pass) Unit press.

- Communication (work as a unit)

- Compactness and force play wide (away from target), block central and forward passing lines

- Decision making of when to intercept or just contain

- Pass on opposition CM if dropped deep. Allow 10 become the midfield defensive overload.


-#9, #10 have to retreat to allow CB to receive.

-(Progression) 15 seconds for Blue to play into Server (neutral) Point system (award for Red success)

-Red strikers to score goal if gained possession (8 seconds)

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): SSG

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): SSG
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SSG (25 mins)


16 Players

Half of 11-a-side pitch + 15m.

Blues: 1 – 1 – 4 – 2

Reds: 1 – 4 - 2 – 1

- Blue GK start with ball, distribute into Red GK

- Play to either Red CB. Work their way to score.

- Blue team defend and negate that.

- If Blue gain possession, score. (8 seconds)

- Blue 9 and 10 back to retreat line (remove as a progression – responsibility to set themselves)

Coaching Points

CB in Possession

-Same for 9, 10 and two CM as functional

-LM will tuck in to consolidate and offer defensive balance. In a position to press ball the other way if switch occurs.

-RM will be naturally narrow to start. Anticipate ball being played in opposition LB. Look for triggers.

-CB to push up centrally. Inside shoulder of opposition 9 and to offer central defensive anchor.

-GK communicate and play sweeper role.

Same technical coaching points for unit as functional.

FB in Possession

-9 in close proximity of opposition CB, negate that as an option

-10 fill central gap to negate inside pass to opposition CM

-RM to press* opposition LB

-RCM press outside shoulder of opposition CM

-LCM provide cover for RCM but prepared to press opposition CM

-LM narrow, providing balance and in position to press opposition RB if switched. Provides cover on diagonal.

-CB inside of opposition 9. Cover and central.

-*If 10 has filled central role and negated inside pass to opposition CM, can RM force play inside as 10 provides a midfield defensive overload (chance to re-possess). If 10 hasn’t (due to transition, workload etc.), force outside to limit inside option and negate the switch.

-CM don’t follow deep run from opposition CM (pass on to 10 in central areas).


- What if?

- Why?

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