I am currently working with a u14 team that can be physically out-matched on game day. Rather than hit the gym just yet what we have decided to do is work on quick ball circulation and try and get the timing of their movement down so that they receive in between defensive lines. This is session number 1 in a 3 session block. Targets at the bottom of the page are low due to wanting to build confidence and get the players to set their own targets for session 2.

Warm Up

Time: 8-10% of session

Half Pitch unopposed into goal left side V right side. Players stretch when opposing side are playing into goal. Coach plays a pass to the starting player as that ball is arriving the central midfielder times his run late off the mannequin and checks to receive side on. The forward does the exact same and then plays to the winger who times his run to stay onside and crosses for the striker to finish. Blindside run on striker before making a front post run. Match pace passing. Make it a competition.



Time: 15-20% of session

The grid on left four 12x12s, this is all about quick passing and quick reactions. the reds play 3v1 and after 3 passes or more switch to any yellow the yellows now quickly transition into 1 grid while the reds give width and depth in remaining three grids. Blues in the middle rotate being the defender. A transfer is a goal as is the defender winning it back and transferring. The first team to 5 wins switch middle team.


The grid on the right is a 3v2 with targets reds score by getting everyone on the ball and switching into the yellow target. The yellows score by winning the ball back and finding the red target. the yellow target can go straight to the red target as they are a man down. This function is all about the 2 marked reds timing their runs late to check in to receive side on. Movement is either show to go or go to show! i.e. comes short early to run in behind or stretches opponent to pop up short.


Small Sided Game 

Time: 20-25% of session

Conditioned game: Restarts are with the keepers. Players start off in their units when the keepers restart as soon as the ball is touched by the keeper only the circled wingers are restricted to their unit. Reds must play out well enough to dribble into the middle area now the red spare man is free to roam. This should promote overlaps/wall-passes etc. The yellows cannot release the free player until one of the 2 centre mids receives on the half turn, this will require the movement worked on earlier. When the ball goes out repeat process. 

Game 8v8

Time: 45%-50% of session

1-3-3-1 v 1-3-2-2

Reds work on attacking centrally and on the timed runs practised earlier. Yellows work and combining through wall-pass or overlap.

Last 15 minutes free play.


Individual Targets


Keeper play into space for full back to run onto once

Centre back pop up to receive off CM when under pressure once.

Full Backs one cross in the box from high up the pitch each.

Centre Mids either play a 1-2 with a centre-forward or play one successful through pass.

Centre forwards receive side on to take on defender or time a run to stay on side for a through ball



Keeper switch point of attack once

Centre Back find a wide player in space.

Full backs get in an overlap each.

Wide players take on a full back each.

Centre midfielder combines with the striker once.

Striker gets on the end of one cross