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.

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This Croatian finishing progression is a great way to work on attacking play in front of goal with forwards and midfielders.

Ajax Passing Square

The Ajax passing square is a simple and effective passing warm-up to work on different passing combinations and sharpen technical skills.

Keep Away To Attack

Keep away to attack is a small sided game where two teams must complete a given number of passes before trying to score on goal.

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