Grassroots Coaching

Coach players to play between the lines

Manchester City’s David Silva is one of the best exponents of creating and exploiting space in that dangerous “Hole, that is between the lines” area, between the defence and midfield.

Does this skill just come naturally to great players? Or do they work on developing their spatial awareness and turning skills in training? Possibly a bit of both. But no doubt, the more players have the opportunity to work in game related practices on developing these skills, the better they will become.

To assist you with developing the next David Silva, we have designed an “Attack v Defence” coaching session, which will help you structure a game related practice and assist with your understanding and ability to coach your players to develop and improve this key attacking skill.


  1. In possession, team create space – make the pitch big and stretch the defence
  2. Player on the ball to be positive and look forward – timed, accurate and weighted pass
  3. Strikers – one goes long to push the defenders back and create space
  4. Strikers – one times their movement to drop into the hole between the lines
  5. Hole player to try and receive the pass with an open body position and have good spatial awareness of what is around them
  6. Decision on receiving the ball – can the striker turn or do they need to protect the ball and set the ball back to support players?
  7. Can they be positive and turn to create and take an individual shooting opportunity through shifting / dribbling and manipulating the ball
  8. Turn and look to pass forward to fellow striker – a through ball: or quick combination play between the two
  9. Turn and pass wide to create possible crossing situation
  10. Positive end result to the attack if possible


Posted in
Attacking Sessions Tactics UEFA B