Playing through the Thirds: 7v7 + 2 neutral Players

  • Organisation

    • 4 cones (to mark the middle zone of the field)

    • 2 goals (with goalkeepers)

  • Process

    The two teams play against each other in a 7v7.

    Thereby, the players have to stay in their given zones.

    Three players will operate in the middle zone, while two players remain in the attacking and defending zone.

    The two neutral players (yellow) can move in and around all three zones and always play with the team in possession.

  • Tip

    Coaching Points:

    • With the two neutral players, the team in possession can always build passing triangles and should therefore play through zones (into the final third) quickly

    • The defending team has to close gaps in between the zones and block passes into the final third

    • After having won the ball, either team can use the two neutral players to counter fast

  • Field size


Training Set

Main point


30 min




Man-marking towards the ball, One On One, Pushing, Quick transitioning (defense to offense), Quick transitioning (offense to defense), Counter-attacks, Improving the ability to read the game, Man down/Man up, Tactics, Transitional play (shifting the game)

General Training Goals


Tactical drills, Training examples

Training Organization

Number of Players

13 or more playersr

Form of Training

Group training

Participating Players

Whole team


2 goalies


Cooperation within the team, Defensive behaviors, Offensive behaviors, Part of a team

Spatial Behavior

Free space

Training Location

Grass field, Turf field

Author: Tom Pilarski

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