Direct Counter From Deep | Tech / Directional / Opposed (08-S2)

Phase 2: Possession Questions

Age Group 11+

Duration 90 minutes

Players 15+

This 90 minute session of Theme 08 is suitable for players aged 11 and above and combines a technical, directional and opposed practice.



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Direct Counter From Deep | Technical Practice (08-P1)

Set Up
Area is set up with a 40 yard width and 36 yard length, which can vary depending on age and number of players (e.g. 15 players requires 5 x 10 yard areas, so 50 yds).

08 P1a

Central player will run with the ball to end player, lay off, run around player and receive the other side, before performing a dribble and repeating the action; 1 - 2 minutes rotate.

08 P1b

Key Coaching Points
  • Players to perform dribble after few touches with tight control and then explode to get out of their feet when RWTB. (on 3 minutes)
  • How can you ensure you get your head up on each touch? Important during practice. (on 6 minutes)
Progression 1 | 1-2 Combinations
Play a 1-2 with player at end of dribble before player to receive and repeat opposite end. Developing communication and awareness of pass and touch required.

08 P1c

Key Coaching Points
  • How does this influence your thinking as you approach the end player? (on 9 minutes)
  • How can end players help and ensure your movement around them isn't hindered? (on 12 minutes)
Progression 2 | Takeover
All players now involved in dribbling, RWTB with takeover after each run, adding competition.

08 P1d

Key Coaching Points
  • What type of communication (verbal/non-verbal) is useful here? (on 15 minutes)
  • Which side does your teammate want the ball, can you work his weaker side alternatively? (on 18 minutes)
Player Focus
Speed / Acceleration | Control and Touches | RWTB | Endurance
Progression 3 | Switch After Dribble
End players now switch with each other in next row, encouraging awareness off the ball. Blue 3 moves to outside after passing to Red 7, sets Blue 2 to lay for Blue to restart.
Key Coaching Points
  • This develops endurance, whilst also allowing players to improve RWTB and experiment dribbling skills. Coach must be focused on the capacity of players and alter time that players are working.
On reflection..
How could you improve your Running with the ball individually? Is this a strength or weakness and how are you going to measure improvements during the season?

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Direct Counter From Deep | Directional Practice (08-P2)

Organisation / Set Up
This directional practice is the second of Theme 8: Direct Counter From Deep. With a focus on our midfield player receiving on the back foot to break defensive lines, we develop the timing of forward runs from 3 attackers against 2 central defenders to finish. Our midfielders first touch will dictate the type of pass played, encouraging the use of both feet. Progress by repositioning mannequins, changing passing angles as a result.

Football Practice 08 P2a

Key Coaching Points
  • Technical | First touch to set for well weighed pass
  • Tactical | See movement in front influencing passing decision
  • Psych | Recognise success and learn strengths of teammates and opposition

Football Practice 08 P2b


Progressions & Constraints 1
Vary player’s touch to influence pass decision


Football Practice 08 P2c

Progressions & Constraints 2
Move mannequins/cones so different passes and runs encouraged.
Key Questions
  • How can I best achieve success with my forward pass?
  • What runs do I need to make?
  • What are my teammates capable of (pass/runs/combinations)?





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Opposed Skill


Direct Counter Attack | Opposed Skill (08-P3)

Organisation / Set Up
This counter attacking practice begins with a 4 v 3 in a 20 x 40 yard central area, with an attacking midfield box 4 against a midfield 3 playing point up. After making 5 passes attacking midfielders can finish against the Goalkeeper, if Reds gain possession they can initiate the counter attack. With an awaiting front 3 against 3 defenders, a forward pass can be played and one support player can join in the counter, creating a 4 v 3 overload.

Football Practice 08 P3a

Key Coaching Points
  • (Tact) Recognition of space created by attackers to penetrate
  • (Tech) Execution of final pass and finish
  • (Phys) Speed of attacking runs on the counter

Football Practice 08 P3c


Progressions & Constraints
An additional Blue defender can support midfield players from deep encouraging a 3 v 2 counter attack when reds win possession..


Key Questions
  • How quickly can we support forward players?
  • When is it best to drive individually or pass quickly into forwards?
  • Where are spaces appearing on the counter attacking and how can you penetrate?