CLICK TO CALL 07581 132 887

With several iFDA players recently gaining professional football trials and many players showing rapid development within our U8-U11 group, we wanted to share one of our recent blocks of work and the philosophy on which our football academy in england is based on.

Our recent module, playing out from the back, is based around 6 main principles of the game:

  • Width
  • Depth
  • Height
  • Progression of play (moving the ball from unit to unit towards goal without penetrating any opposing line)
  • Penetrative play (forward passes and moves which break opposition lines)
  • Ball retention (backwards or sideways passes that circulate the ball within its current zone or a zone deeper)

Without width, depth and height insufficient space will be created in deeper areas and so any short combinations to play out from the back, which will give rise to progression and penetration, will be prohibited

football trials england

Red team displaying no dispersal – minimal width, depth and height. This leads to high pressing in own third – playing out from back unrealistic due to no numerical advantage


In order to create space to play out from defence into midfield (to retain possession in build up phase), full expansion in possession is required in small sided soccer.

football trials england

7 and 11 giving full width ahead of the ball, 9 giving full height and 5 in deep position. Creates pockets of space either side of 5 for movement. 4’s start position allows playing through the thirds and central progression/penetration.

Once these pockets have been created, opposition are likely to send one CF to close down the number 5 in possession.

football trials england

one CF pressing number 5, 1v1 in defensive third – high risk situation


In this situation, the pockets of space can be occupied by our CMF who drops to create a 2v1 scenario, overloading the 1 defender to allow playing out into midfield.

football trials england

CMF dropping to create 2v1 overload. Timing of movement, shape of movement and receiving techniques all essential


This 2v1 pattern gives all players the opportunity to practice fully opposed passing and receiving techniques multiple times. With this module in our training syllabus, we can ensure all players appreciate playing in overload situations (2v1) which translates to bigger numbers as age groups progress (3v2, 4v2, 4v3). The fundamental principle of overloading to progress or penetrate and high technical competency underpins our playing philosophy.

High technical emphasis is placed on each player at our weekly development centre with 30 minutes passing and receiving work at the start of each session to allow a seamless progression into our opposed work. In this way each player receives over 1000 touches of the ball and so accelerated technical competency is acquired. This has seen over 50 players obtain professional football trials in England.

This style of work is a key feature of the iFDA residential programme, which provides over 22hrs coaching contact on technical, tactical, physical, psychological and social development