Transition to attack – Small-Sided Game


This small-sided game is more game-realistic, with added defenders encouraging the in-possession team to switch the point of attack.

Here, we will talk about transitioning to attack and finding the open centre-midfielder to connect with and switch the point.



Set up a pitch the full width of the field (70 yards), 35-40 yards long. Place three small to medium sized goals along each width of the field. Divide players into teams of 8v8 +1.



The shape of the team depends on how you would like to play. Each team has three goals to score in.

Each goal counts for one, but if a team switches the ball from one wing to the other – without losing possession – to score, it is worth two points.



Build on the technique from previous exercises. Specifically, encourage players in the centre of the field to not force the ball forward or to one side, instead working on switching the point of attack.

Also emphasise the speed of transition to attack, finding the free midfielder (neutral player added to help) and connecting with them to see if they can play out the other way.

Work on players connecting the next pass, having an open body shape when receiving the ball and not forcing the play to one side of the field.



Coaches can add more neutrals if the success is low or more players to complete a back and midfield line for added realism. Coaches can also change the size of the pitch to be more or less wide or long, to change the difficulty of keeping possession.

1. Split players into two teams, with one neutral player, and set up a short but wide playing area, with three mini goals at each end.

2. Teams work on keeping possession and switching the point of attack through the centre-midfielder.

3. Teams can score in any of the three goals they are attacking, but a goal counts double if they have switched the point of attack from one wing to the other during the build-up play.

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