Overloads in wide areas – Small-Sided Game


This phase-of-play small-sided game allows players to put the movement and passing patterns worked on in the previous practice into a more game-realistic environment.


Use just over half a pitch. Place a full-sized goal on the goal-line and two mini-goals just over the halfway line, facing the rest of the playing area.

The ‘no-play zone’ should remain in place from the previous practice. Three goalkeepers can play in this game, while outfield players should be split into 10-v-8 in favour of the attacking team.


The game is now played with one ball and opens up into a phase of play. Teams cannot attack through the ‘no-play zone’.

The attacking team has a number 9 who is allowed in the penalty box as a target player, but other attackers cannot progress beyond the offside line until the ball does. The defending team looks to attack the two mini-goals when they win possession.

1. The previous practice area can be used, but with teams now combined to play across the whole area.

2. T he at tacking team now looks to score in a full-sized goal.

3. Only the attacking team’s number 9 is allowed in the penalty box before the ball enters. Other players can join as the ball enters the area.


Players should look to create space (width and depth), work on their movement off the ball to exploit space and overload opportunities, and be encouraged to identify and execute openings to penetrate the defence.


The coach can remove the ‘no-play zone’ and add centre-backs for the defending team, so the game becomes 10-v-10.

The offside line can also be moved to increase or decrease the challenge for the attacking team and ensure the defending team are not killing space unrealistically.

Share this
Follow us