Mixed bag

Mixed bag


To place field players and goalkeepers in decision-making situations with attacks developed from the flanks.


  • Use half of a full-sized field. Mark out a 6-yard channel each side of field.
  • Use cones/flags at the half if you don’t have a portable goal.
  • Mark in a centre line.
  • The one or two players in each “flank channel” have no allegiance – they play for both teams.
  • 3 vs. 2, plus a goalkeeper, in each half.
  • When the goalkeeper has the football, the practice is always re-started by goalkeeper throwing to flank players.
  • Flank players can pass to one another, overlap, cross the ball or pass the ball into the 3 attackers.
  • If on their own, take it and cross it.
  • Change the players’ positions periodically to give everyone experience in different roles (except goalkeepers).
  • Offside rule in each zone should be applied by coach.

Coaching Points

  • Goalkeepers must work on good quality throws to wide players, and be encouraged to “switch” play.
  • Goalkeepers must communicate their requirements, organize the defence and adjust to changing situations.
  • Quality of cross from wing players critical for successful attacking play.
  • Three attackers in each half need to communicate and work “off” one another, with particular attention to “near-post” and “far-post” runs.
  • The two defenders in each half have to work skilfully because they are outnumbered.


For the “wingers” to deliver quality crosses; for the rest to outmanoeuvre the opposition.