Defending an Overload

By Sean Reed -

For this session we are focusing on defending and specifically when out- numbered.

Set Up

First Part
• The area is 4 grids x 3 grids (5x5yds)
• 3 Teams
• 2 Teams of 4 players at either end and each player must remain in a grid
• 1 Team of 3 in the middle and the can travel in any of the grids in their row, not the grids in front of them
• The 2 teams at end of the area are in possession of the ball and are looking to work the ball from one end to the another
• The teams in possession are on 2 touch and the ball must remain on the ground
• A goal is scored for the defending team if they force a mistake and get contact on the ball
• The ball always starts with either of the teams at each end (team of 4 players)
• The team defending (3 players) remain in the middle for 60secs or the length of time the coach stipulates

See Diagram 1

Second Part
• Session is set up in one half of the pitch
• Pitch – (W) 30-40 yrds x (L) 30-40yds
• 4v3 (attacker v defender)
• Defending players defend 4 goals
• The ball always starts with the attacking team
• If the defending team win possession they play into the coach
• There is an offside line

• If the defending team win possession they have the chance to score
• Limit attacking team to restricted touches
• Give the attackers a restriction on the numbers of passes they have in order to score
• Restriction of where the opposition can score from (attacking / defending half)

Some Coaching Points
• Traveling with the ball
• Pressure on the ball (nearest player)
• Balance, cover and screen forward pass
• Maintain distances between players
• Ball side priority
• Managing the line when defending
• Communication / organization between defenders
• Furthest player away to manage the line

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship team Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web -
Twitter - @SeanJReed

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