Soccer Counter Attack # 1 Training Drill

Counter Attack # 1

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Basic Information

Age Group: (8-11yrs) (12-15yrs) (16-Adult)
Number of Players: 10+
Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Time: 20-30 min.
Emphasis: Attacking, Defending, Finishing, Passing

Field Preparation:

  • 2 teams
  • cones to mark off area
  • 2 centre squares 5yds x 5yds
  • 2 goals with goalkeepers
  • pinnies


  • each team defends and attacks one goal
  • teams play 2v2 in one half and 4v4 in the other half
  • one neutral player in each centre square
  • players must stay in their designated zone
  • a defending player must try to pass to a neutral player inside the middle square
  • the neutral player then passes to a player from the team in possession into the attacking half
  • the neutral player may advance into the attacking half to support the attacking players
  • one neutral player always must be in the neutral zone as a supporting player
  • neutral players return to their square as soon as the attacking team loses the ball
  • switch roles after appr. 10 minutes


  • allow only the team with four defenders in one half to pass directly to their two attackers (without support by the neutral players)
  • allow only the team with two defenders in one half to pass directly to their four attackers (without support by the neutral players)
  • limit number of touches
  • adjust spacing depending on the age and ability of the group

Coaching Points:


  • angle, distance and timing of support
  • body position – open to field
  • decision making
  • verbal and visual communication
  • quick finish
  • quick transitions
  • support position lateral to ball


  • angle and distance of cover
  • changing role of pressure and cover
  • visual and verbal communication
  • positioning to provide cover and balance
  • intercepting pass
  • defending vital space (squeeze toward center)
  • defending space behind
  • tracking players
  • quick transitions

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