Mini goal game with neutrals is a classic small sided game variation which gives the offensive team the advantage for lots of back and forth action.

Set Up

Build a field with a mini goal on each end. Assign players to two teams. 4v4 is an ideal match size however, this exercise can be played with varying team sizes. Be sure to adjust the size of the field accordingly. In addition, assign some players to be neutral or ‘all time offense players’. This works well with one neutral player on either sideline and one in the field of play.

How It Works

Overall this is a relatively simple drill. The two teams play a normal small sided game with each team trying to score on the other’s mini goal. The only twist is that the team in possession can also pass to the neutral players so that they have a numerical advantage while attacking. The neutral players can’t defend and always support the team in possession.

Coaching Points

Depending on a coach’s focus there are a lot of different coaching points that can be made. In general, small sided games offer a great chance for players to work on basic shape and positioning as well as teamwork and cooperation. They also provide an environment where players can get more touches on the ball as opposed to a full sided 11v11. 

Different variations of this game could include using a touch restrction such as allowing players no more than two touches or using a minimum pass requirement before scoring. An example of a minimum pass requirement would be that a team must complete 6 consecutive passes before going for goal.

Line Shooting

Line shooting is a simple finishing exercise for players to work on scoring against a goal keeper or hitting towards certain areas of the goal.

Four Square Technical Challenge

The four square technical challenge is a circuit where players work on different technical skills in each square.

Control The Ball Quickly

Control the ball quickly is a simple exercise for individuals to work on bringing the ball down and under control as quickly as possible.

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