Small-Sided Game For Goalkeeping

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity is a small sided game that will help with short penetrating passes from the keeper.

This game is on a 40 x 30 grid with full sized goals and a keeper in each goal. There are two field players on each team and one neutral player who is always on the attacking team.


One keeper starts with the ball. One of the easiest thing to do is for the keeper to roll the ball out wide to an open player to begin play.


While this is a safe play the pass doesn’t beat anyone so it kept the game at 3 v 2. In this game we want to spread the field with both width and depth to try to find a penetrating pass.


With this one pass the keeper beat two defenders and put his teammate in a position to get to goal. There is no offside rule in this game because we are trying to recreate situations in the teams back half of the field in a real game so it wouldn’t apply.

Another example is where the defenders take away the neutral player in the middle and the keeper plays the ball out wide and into space for his teammate to run onto.


The keeper can also take a couple of touches toward a defender to draw him and create space to play a penetrating pass into


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When the other team has the ball the neutral player joins them and they try to do the same thing.

The key to this game is for the keeper to look to play a penetrating pass (one that beats at least one defender) whenever possible. Please note this doesn’t mean he has to try a penetrating pass every time, just look to see if it’s available.

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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