Training Two Central Players

By Renato Lopez Moreira - 

This is a progression of last week's possession game. You can also think of it as a 4 + 2 v 2 since two of the attackers are playing in a central role in the middle of other four attackers.

The game works on a number of important aspects of the game:

  • Minimum of touches on the ball
  • Keeping the ball always on the ground
  • Pass and move
  • Find the 3rd man
  • Try to pass the ball inside the center of the marking line


The basic movements for the outside players without the ball are the same as last week's exercise. The movements of the central players who are responsible to create triangulation and opening the defenders to make more options available.


In this case, players nº 5  and nº 6 will always have to move to empty spaces, creating two secure passing options for the player who has the ball or opening spaces for other passing options. They hope to attract one or both defender with their movements.


Players nº 5 and nº 6 have to read the game quickly. They need to see where there teammates are going and try to search for a new space inside the area, giving the best option for a pass or creating empty space that can be used for a pass that maintains possession.

If Player nº 5 and nº 6 movement is poor it can be harmful to the rest of the team because it can help the defenders recover or intercept the ball.


The Attackers  exchange passes between them trying to maintain possession. They are not allowed to enter the game space.

The Defenders try to intercept a pass and maintaining possession in order to exchange places with the attacker who lost the ball.

Only the defender who stole the ball changes places with the attacker who lost the ball.

The game area is 12 x 12 yards and the game time is 8 minutes.

This exercise can be used as warm up or during the main part of the training session.


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You can free the movement of the attackers, without central players, allowing them to enter at the game space and move around it.


More Variations

  • You can limit the number of ball touches per player, accelerating or slowing the pace of game
  • You can vary the initial number of attackers increasing or decreasing it
  • You can vary the initial number of defenders increasing or decreasing it
  • You can vary the size of game area, increasing or decreasing it

By Renato Lopez Moreira - Author of Training Sessions for the 4-3-3


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