Transition to attack – Practice


This practice works on keeping possession, but also finding the key player who is going to switch the point of attack, in this case, switch the ball from one grid to the other.


Mark out two 10×10 yard grids, sharing a sideline. Place two small goals on opposite ends of the area.


Divide players into two teams of 6-7, with two neutral players (ideally central midfielders). Each team sends two defenders to the opposite grid.

Phase 1: The team with numbers up keeps possession, seven passes equals a goal. If the defenders win the ball they can score in the small goals for a point for their team. The neutral players can switch from grid to grid when they are needed, but cannot yet switch the ball from one grid to the other.

Phase 2: All previous rules remain the same but now the neutral players can now switch the ball from one grid to the other.

There may be times when there are two balls in a grid, and players have to communicate and be aware that they have to find the neutrals to switch a ball into the other grid.

Neutrals have to be available for this and moving at the right time, checking their shoulder, receiving the ball with an open body shape so they can successfully switch the point of attack.



Neutrals: Check shoulder, receive with open body shape, awareness of own team, defenders and other ball.

Players in possession: Playing to the correct foot of their teammates/ neutrals so they can have the best chance at receiving the ball with an open body.



Coaches can add more neutrals or remove some. If two balls proves too challenging, go down to one ball. Coaches can also add more defenders to increase the challenge.

1. Split the area into two grids, with in-possession players (blues) and out-of-possession players (reds) in each half. Both groups play independently.

2. Neutral players work on the centre-line across both games, supporting the in-possession team (blues).

3. Both blue teams aim to keep possession in their respective half of the area, using the neutral yellows. If reds win possession, they can score in the mini-goal in their half.

4. The practice can be progressed to allow the neutral (yellow) players to switch the balls between the two grids. There may be times when there are two balls in one grid.

Share this
Follow us