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This game is about helping teams spread the game and expand the playing area, when in possession of the ball. By spreading the field, the defending side faces a dilemma – cover the wide runs and risk exposing gaps through them, or stay tight and close and risk letting the opposition through from the opposite flanks. If you never thought football was like a game of chess, then this game will change your mind. Let your players make decisions on which direction and path to choose, to attack the goal, and this game should become extremely enjoyable to play or observe.

Age Group: 12- to 16-years

7v7playingthroughgates

SETUP

- The playing area is about 70 x 40 yards
- 2 teams of 7-players each, including goalkeepers
- Cones to create gates (a pair of cones for each gate)
- 1 ball
- 2 goals

RULES

- The cones are placed along the flanks as shown in the image
- The main objective of the game is for teams to find a way to attack the opposition team by maintaining possession
- If the attacking side manages to pass or dribble the ball through the cones, then they receive a point
- If the attacking side manages to score a goal on the same move as the one in which they passed or dribbled the ball through the cone, they receive 2-points
- If possession changes hands, then the same rules apply to the other team

Play out for 10- to 15-minutes before smoothly transitioning into the "free-play" segment of the game.

PROGRESSIONS

- Place markers in a circle, in the centre of the defensive-third of each team. If a member of the attacking team receives a pass inside this marker and switches the direction of play with a pass (short or long), then the attacking team gets a point for a successful pass made from the "ball-distribution circle"

COACHING POINTS

- Attacking sides need to play high up the pitch and widen the playing area, spreading the game
- All players, when in possession, need to be positive and move up in support of their team-mate
- Teams need to decide, on their own, whether they need to/can penetrate the opposition or maintain possession
- The defending team need to stay compact and resist the temptation to chase unnecessary runs
- Defenders need to support each other and move as a unit
- Players need to react to transition of possession

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