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U15 - U18

Third man running

Area: 20 x 40  Exercise shows 10 players with one soccer ball. (Can be done with more players or run two stations) Two players are placed in the central area.

1. Player A passes the ball to the first central player and continues his / her run.

2. Player B moves forward and receives the pass from the middle player. He / she then passes the ball to the next middle player who passes to the running Player A. Player B joins the opposite group.

3. Player A now passes to the end player. The exercise now goes the other way in the same passing sequence.


Change the middle players.

Add two balls. One at each end. The quality has to be good for this to work. The middle players have to be alert.

Get Players A & B to make diagonal runs instead of straight ones. One ball is used.

Coaching points:

Timing of runs and quality of passing.

Middle players checking to the ball.

Area: 60 x 45 with the field having three 15 yard playing zones. The game is shown as 7 v 7 using two midfielders from each team in the middle playing area. Other players can move through this zone but they cannot stop in it. The outer zones are 3v3 and all zones have limited touches. Middle zone 2 touch and outer 3 touch.

1. The two midfielders from each team stay in the middle zone.

2. Teams keep possession and the ball can either be dribbled across or a run be made by an attacking defender.

3. The two midfielders are always offering support.

4. More than one defender can move into the attacking third. Be careful of the counter attack from the opposition.

Coaching points:

Link up play

Movement to create angles

The player passing the ball can continue the run and may get the ball after one or two passes.

Quality passing. To space or to feet.

Area – 60 x 60. 7 v 7 including goalkeepers. There are 3 playing zones all 60 x 20.

A defender and an attacker from each team are in the outer area and a 4 v 4 is played in the central area.

1. If a defender or goalkeeper has the ball they are supported by one of the central players. A 2 v 1 is played. One of these players can either pass or dribble into the central area, 4 v 4.

2. If the ball is played to an attacker, they can be supported by a central player, 2 v 1 to goal.

3. If a goal is scored from a third man run it counts as double.


You can add 1 or 2 floating players in the central area. They play with the team in possession.

Coaching points:

Movement to support each other

Body shape

First touch



Finish the session playing a scrimmage. Look for the team that can play the ball forward.

Download the practice card

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