Coaches Corner

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Aims and Ethos

  • The Aims and Ethos of SCJFC is to prepare players for their grassroots football journey, through a sound implementation of a well-defined, age-specific coaching programme.
  • Clearly defined football targets for Age Groups.
  • Clearly defined pathway for players to progress.
  • Team formations/ Structures/ Defending Third/ Midfield Third/ Attacking Third.
  • Develop Attacking/ Defending/ Transition Strategy throughout the Club.

Technical & Tactical

In Possession

  • Value the ball.
  • Share & combine effectively & creatively.
  • Attacking principles as an individual, unit & team.
  • Creating & scoring.
  • Counter attacking

Out of Possession

  • Recover the ball quickly
  • Experience a variety of roles & responsibilities
  • Delay, deny & dictate
  • Defending outnumbered & Goal Protection


  • Quick & effective decision-making
  • positive & awareness in the attacking & defensive transition

Principles of Play

Positive Play – Can I play forward quickly and as early as possible? I might have to run/ dribble with the ball to do this.

Delay – If I’m the closest player to the ball (on our team), can I stop the other team playing forward to a help a mate recover back into defensive shape and help our team defend?

In possession make the pitch as big as possible – Can I give my team options by making the pitch (BIG) as wide and as long as possible? Can i do this quickly when we have possession.

Deny Space – Is the space between myself, my teammates on either side of me, in front of me, and behind be close enough so we can intercept passes and players entering that space?

Lose opposition / Create space – Can I rotate positions with a teammate in the middle & final third.

Where & Where to Press – Long pass – Man receives back to goal – Poor touch – Lose the ball

Out of Possession – Stay compact – Can I position myself close to a teammate, never square and always in relation to the ball. This may be in front, to the side, behind or diagonal to my mate or the ball.

Be Clever & Inventive – In the right areas can I try something new when I have the ball to beat a defender, or go forward quickly?

Player Behaviours


Can I play forwards as quickly as possible, or help my teammates play forwards


I don’t give up, and I recover from the hard situations I find myself in (injuries, losing the ball, etc.)


My mate’s in a better position. I’m happy to share the ball with him.


I try and think of new skills, and I am happy to try something new, even if I make mistakes at the start.


If I need help from a teammate or coach, I will ask and not give up.



  • A belief in your own ability.
  • Not afraid to take risks and try new things.
  • Plays with freedom, and don’t let mistakes affect performance.


  • Displays emotional control in a variety of different situations.
  • Regulates thoughts and emotions to support performance.
  • Reacts positively to various situations.


  • Loves the game and enjoys giving 100% in training and games.
  • Displays a motivation and desire to learn and achieve.
  • Embraces setbacks and difficult challenges.


  • Conveys information positively to teammates, staff, and officials (verbal and non-verbal).
  • Is inquisitive and asks relevant questions to support learning.
  • Displays respect and listening skills to all within the group.


  • Remains focused throughout practice and games.
  • Prioritises the right things at the right time to aid learning and development.
  • Regulates attention to maximise performance.


Team Player

  • Recognises the importance of being part of a team.
  • Understands their role within the team.
  • Prepared to lead and also follow others.

Role Model

  • Displays excellent behaviours and represents the football club both on and off the pitch.
  • Adheres to the Club’s expectations and associated codes of conduct.

Hard Worker

  • Gives 100% effort in both practices and games.
  • Attends all practice sessions and games.
  • Develops themselves throughout the 4 corners away from the academy.

Lifelong Learner

  • Recognises the importance of learning.
  • Takes information on board and uses this to make informed, independent decisions.
  • Smart Leaner – uses goal setting and understands the process ultimately benefits the outcome.

“Can Do” Attitude

  • Willing to try new things in order to learn and develop.
  • Displays positive behaviours and supports others with their learning.
  • Understands the pathway to success is not a smooth ride.

Key Principles

With The Ball

Retain the ball & make good decisions.

Dominate the opposition & be positive to play forwards quickly.

Be clever, create and score.

Without The Ball

Stay compact, recover the ball quickly.

Stop opposition dominating possession, & deny opposition goal-scoring opportunities,

Protecting the goal.

Early Foundation – Phase1 (Ages U4/5)

  • At this age group, we are looking to develop having the ball with the player.
  • Emphasis is on enjoyment.
  • Encourage players to have fun with the football.
  • Be creative.
  • Have small 1v1 games, so players are constantly touching the football.

Foundation Development – Phase2 (Ages U6/7/8)

  • The aim is to support the holistic development of players through the four corners of a player’s development, whilst aiming to develop the knowledge of the game.
  • Develop platers in (1v1) situations both with and without the football, ball mastery.
  • Coaching the importance of team structure and play. Coach real match scenarios.
  • Start to introduce fitness conditioning into training, keep it fun.
  • Start to prepare players on the pathway to the next Phase Development.

Foundation Development – Phase3 (Ages U9/10/11)

  • At this age group, we are looking to develop their technical skills, especially the ability to master the ball with and without pressure (1v1), etc.
  • Indoor games 6v6 using different footballs i.e. futsal to encourage ball manipulation.
  • Outdoor games 7v7 emphasis placed on players to be brave, and express themselves.
  • Game Structure, understanding of the pitch thirds.
  • Play 1v1s, 2v1s, 2v2s understand when to pass, or when to dribble.
  • Encourage invasion games, alongside speed and agility practices.

Youth Development – Phase 4 (Ages U12/16)

  • During this phase, players will experience 9v9 and 11v11 game formats, transferring their technical skills developed in the foundation phases into the bigger game. Fewer touches on the ball, emphasis will be around what players do away from the ball to affect the game.
  • Defense. Attack, Transition, decision-making will become more complex.
  • Players should now start to specialise in a specific role in the team structure.
  • Encourage players to express themselves without fear of failure.
  • Develop Devensice, Transition, Attacking training plans.

Training Session 1 – Counter Attacking

Key Coaching Points

  1. Pressing and Staying Compact
  2. Counter Attack
  3. Support Play


Pressing and Staying Compact

When defending, the team must stay compact and look to press at the right moment. Support behind the first player when pressing the ball.

Counter Attack

After winning the ball, players need to think, look, and play forward as quick as possible. Try and pass to the furthest player forward if possible. If not, pass forward, but speed and support is important.


When counter attacking, players need to support behind to the side and ahead of the ball. This helps maintain the attack with speed and purpose. Similar to a game situation

Set up the area as shown in the diagram.

  • Attacking (Blues) must only play in 2 thirds of the field
  • To score a goal, the team in possession must complete 10 passes
  • Defensive team (Reds) must have at least one player in the third on the right
  • Creating an 8v7 in favour of the team in possession
  • Upon Reds winning the ball, pass as quick as possible to a lone Red player.
  • Repeat so both teams practice Counter Attacking situations.
  • Duration: 4 minutes with a 2 minute rest. Repeat 3 times.
  • Outcomes: Movement, pressing, support and speed.

Training Session 2 – Recovery and Delay

Key Coaching Points

  1. Get into the line of the ball
  2. Reading the play
  3. Footwork Patterns
  4. Teach your players how to recover effectively


Get into line of the ball

Encourage players to get into the line of the ball to restrict passes through to the target players.

Reading the play

The player should try to read cues of the opposition to try and predict where the ball is going to be passed and what try of pass they will execute.

Footwork Patterns

Players should adapt their position to be in line with the ball to cut out any passes by being light on their toes and executing sliding footwork patterns.

Set up the area as shown in the diagram.

  • 9 Players as diagram shows – 6 Green and 3 Blue
  • 3 Teams: 2 Green players v 1 Blue player (each team has 1 ball)
  • 2 Green players to pass past the Blue player.
  • Blue player to try and stop the pass by reading the pass and keeping light footwork patterns
  • Progression: 6 Green v 3 Blue. 1 ball. Green players to pass to opposite Greens as above
  • Blue players require teamwork and communication to be effective in drill working
  • Duration: 3 minutes with a 1 minute rest. Repeat 3 times.
  • Outcomes: Movement, pressing, reading the play and speed.