Play the Spare Player

By Sean Reed - 

Next few sessions will focus using the spare player to maintain possession in order to build the play.

Objective: Session 1

Looking to link the play using the spare player. Working on the spare player creating passing options to maintain possession.
ReedArticle 6-1

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Set Up

  • Depending on the number of players – if you have an odd number. Create 2x Teams and have 1 player as the spare players see Diagram 1. If you have an even number of players then you can have 2 spare players see Diagram 2.
  • Area is 30yd x 30yd but can be changed depending on the group and on challenging the players. Once the players get used to the area, it is important to change it and even change the shape.
  • The 2x teams are on restricted touches (3 touches)
  • The spare player is on 1 touch
  • To score, a player must play to the spare player and they play (with 1 touch) to another player on that team see Diagram 1 and 2.
  • If the spare player plays the ball back (1 touch) to the same player that is no goal, but that team keeps possession
  • If the ball goes out of play, or a player takes more than 3 touches or the spare player takes 2 touches then possession is given to the other team

Coaching Points

  • Awareness of areas to receive the ball
  • Tempo
  • Patience (Decision-Making)
  • Body shape
  • Playing the pass safe side
  • Movement of spare player to receive the pass
  • Spare player awareness of space to avoid using only touch
  • Awareness of next pass
  • Playing on angles
  • Increase the size of area when in possession of the ball
  • Mindset to switch from attacking to defending when a transition occurs

Objective: Session 2

Developing from the previous session we are looking for the spare players to link up

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Set Up

  • The set is as within session 1
  • If you have a odd number then you can use 3 spare players see Diagram 3
  • If you have an even number then you can use 2 spare players see Diagram 2
  • To score the team in possession has to play into a spare player who then plays to another spare player (1 touch) before playing either back to the original player or a new player to keep possession. 2 spare players must play the ball within a sequence to score

Coaching Points

  • As above within the previous session
    The spare players
  • Need to work together
  • Maintain good distances
  • Timing of movements to create and use space for each other
  • Good supporting angles
  • Awareness of next pass
[wpsharely id="1204"][/wpsharely]

Objective: Session 3

The next progression is make the game directional using the spare players

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Set Up

  • Continuing from the previous session. The coach may wish to reduce the size of the area
  • 2 of spare players are placed on the outside with 1 spare player in the middle
  • The same restrictions are placed on the players with regards to their touches
  • In order for a team to score they need to work the ball from one end to the other, but the spare player in the middle must play a pass in the build up
  • Depending on the level of players and number of players the outside player can be placed on 2 touches, but can not allow the ball to stop

Coaching Points

  • As with the previous sessions
  • Spare players on the outside providing angles to support

By Sean Reed

Former First Team Coach of Championship side 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.

Linkedin -
Twitter - @SeanJReed

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