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Here is an excellent large group training game recently choreographed by John van’t Schip at the inaugural TOVO coaching course last March in Sitges, Spain. Following an 8v8+2 position specific rondo and prior to an unrestricted 11v11, this 10v9+ Target game is perfect for training against a very compact opponent. The main objective is to create an overload by drawing the opponent over and out and then switching the point of attack quickly creating a clear path to goal on the other side of the pitch.

John van’t Schip was a legendary player for Ajax, Genoa, and earned 41 caps for the Dutch National Team. He helped Ajax win the 1987 European Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1992 UEFA Cup. He represented the National team in the Euro 1988, 1990 FIFA World Cup and Euro 1992 tournaments. Prior coaching posts include Melbourne City, Chivas Guadalajara, Melbourne Heart, Ajax, Netherlands (assistant), Jong Ajax and Twente.

Setup:

10V9+ Target. Red 4-3-3 vs. Yellow 4-3-1. Two counter gates for yellow to penetrate are set on either side of the center circle. The white target for the yellow team to find is confined to a 20X20 box. Coach should be located near the box and behind the red back four so he can dictate the entry of the buildup.

Instructions:

The red team, playing within a 4-3-3 system, must circulate and possess the ball in order to draw the opponent over to one side of the field and/or out from their own goal. The yellow team is trying to stay compact and make it difficult for the red team to penetrate and find combination play to goal. If the yellow team wins possession they can score by penetrating either of the two gates at half field with a dribble or a pass. If the red team loses possession they must try and win the ball back immediately within the next five seconds. If the red team does not apply immediate pressure, the yellow team can also score by driving a ball in the air to their target in white.

Coaching Points:

Create overloads by drawing the opponent over and switching the point of attack quickly. Encourage patience in the buildup and how to recognize the moment to switch the point of attack. As shown, yellow’s right back has pinched centrally and with no pressure on the ball, red’s #2 can switch the point of attack to their #11 winger creating a clear path to goal. Variation- yellow team can play a ball on the ground or in the air to their target player in white.