Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on LinkedIn Connect on YouTube

Circle Keepaway



Group of attacking players attempt to keep possession against one or two defenders inside a circular area.

Game specific benefit

Improve players’ ability to keep the ball under pressure in every area of the field.

Setup & Main Points 

  • Mark out a circle using cones
  • All players inside circle – attacking players spread out, defender(s) in the middle
  • Attacking players attempt to keep ball away from defending player(s)
  • Defender(s) hold onto pennies to enable quick switching
  • When defender(s) intercept pass (or ball goes out), player who played the ball last becomes defender

Size of circle

Depends on numbers playing – make circle small enough that players are always under pressure to pass quickly.


Beginner level – 1 defender – 4v1, 5v1 or 6v1 (split team into two groups if necessary)

Advanced level – 2 defenders – 6v2, 7v2 or 8v2

Touch limitation

2 touches maximum (implement this even for beginners who must get used to controlling the ball and passing it quickly)

For advanced players, you can experiment with 1-touch although it is challenging. 2-touch is more realistic and allows players to focus on a good first touch and quick pass.

Coaching points

  • First touch – close control, setup to pass
  • Communication – both from passer and open players looking to receive
  • Speed of passing – quicker movement of the ball makes it difficult for defenders
  • Movement – players must move to enable good passing angles
  • Ball control – use different areas of both feet to control the ball (inside, outside, sole)
  • Passing – Use inside and outside of both feet to pass the ball
  • Relax – do not rush or panic under pressure



Comments are closed.