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Working the Ball into Wide Areas

By Sean Reed –


This session will develop from the previous session.

Set Up โ€“ 1st Phase

Diagram 1

Set Up

  • Working within 2 penalty areas plus 5yds in length and 5yds wide either side
  • 2x teams with 2x goalkeepers
  • When the team is in possession a player from that team can go into the wide channel (unopposed) during the build up play. They can only go into the middle area of the channel.
  • They are restricted to 2 touches. They can only receive the ball in the middle of the channels and use 1 touch to take it into the end zone. Otherwise they keep possession by playing back into the team in possession
  • Only one player from each team can go into the channel. Both channels cannot be occupied when the team is in possession.
  • If a goal is scored from a cross then the team are awarded 2 goals, whereas a goal scored from within the pitch area a team is awarded 1 goal (this can be changed depending on what the coach wants to implement)
  • Restriction of touches can also be placed on the 2 teams

Coaching Points

  • Tempo of play
  • Angle of support
  • Timing of movement
  • 1st touch
  • Cross from wide areas
  • Timing of movement to attack the ball

Set Up โ€“ 2nd Phase

Diagram 2

Set Up

  • As with the previous session
  • Within this session if an attacking player goes into the wide channel a player from the opposing team can go out to create a 1v1.
  • The attacking players is on unlimited touches
  • Once the ball is lost or out of play both players return to the central area

Coaching Point

  • As with previous session
  • Nearest defender getting out to the ball
  • Getting up to the ball to stop the cross
  • In possession be positive and use the space (when available) behind the defender

Set Up โ€“ 3rd Phase

Diagram 3

Set Up

  • As with the previous sessions
  • An additional line has been added down the centre of the pitch
  • Within this session all the channel lines are removed and the players are provided with a free rain to manage the area how they want
  • It is an opportunity to see whether players carry on with what they have learnt from the previous session with the constraints

Coaching Points

  • As with previous sessions
  • Identifying opportunities to switch the play
  • Range of pass
  • Pressure on the ball and tracking runner
  • 1st contact on the ball

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship side Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web – www.seanjreed.com
Twitter – @SeanJReed