Keep away to wide players is a fun keep away style game where once a team completes a given number of passes they can play it out wide and attack the cross to try to score.

Set Up

Create a keep away area about 25-35m away from a large goal as shown in the diagram above. Divide players into two equal teams to play keep away from one another. Ideally this works with teams of two to six players per side. In addition, position two wide neutral players on the outside of the grid and a goal keeper in the large goal.

How It Works

The teams in the middle play keep away from one another trying to complete a minimum number of consecutive passes in a row. The coach can set the minimum pass requirement based on the skill level of the players, however, six passes tends to work well. 

While playing keep away the players can pass to the wide neutral players which gives their team a numerical advantage when they have the ball. If a coach wants to make the keep away portion of this drill even easier, neutral players can be added into the middle as well.

Once a team completes the minimum numer of passes in a row they can play it out wide and run towards goal to try to finish from a cross. The number of attackers or defenders allowed into the box to attack the cross can vary depending on what the coach wants. 

Coaching Points

This drill is a great way to work on multiple aspects of attacking football. From keeping possession and moving the ball, to playing it out wide and finishing, there a lot of different things a coach can emphasize. 

During the keep away portion, encourage attacking players to move off the ball, find the spaces, and think one step ahead. Communication is also important.

When attacking crosses be sure that players time their runs correctly and work on improving their finishing.

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