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Last Updated: Monday, 6 August 2007, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Planning your pre-season
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A good pre-season is a must for all professional players in the Premier League and Football League - but is also hugely valuable for all amateur and junior players.

Here Reading FC Academy manager Eamonn Dolan continues a five-session guide of how he would prepare a team for the new season.

This week Dolan builds in more passing and possession as part of the practice.

Eamonn Dolan
Eamonn Dolan
Reading FC Academy manager

WEEK TWO - DEVELOPING SKILLS

As always, I would start with a decent warm-up and then work on passing technique - which is very important.

I would suggest breaking down the players into pairs. Get them to pull the ball across their body with their first touch and then pass to their mate.

GUIDE TO PASSING DRILLS
They should use the side of the foot for accuracy and the instep for power, then bend the ball with the inside and outside of the foot.

Dependent on how well this session is going, incorporate an element of pass and move. This is excellent for conditioning without players actually realising how hard they are working.

I would also think about introducing an element of possession, which is a massive physiological conditioning tool and great for technique.

Use one ball and if, for example, you had 11 players, you could break down the session into seven versus four. Play for two minutes, challenging the four players to dispossess the seven.

Pre-season practise

The bigger the area, the more difficult it becomes for the four players trying to win the ball. If the four players are winning the ball easily, make it harder by setting two against nine.

Before warming down finish with a game.

If you have 16 players you might consider two four-a-side matches rather than one bigger game with eight players on each team.

The smaller game will give players more touches of the ball and therefore improve their conditioning and be more football specific.

As with many of these drills, you can shape the game to whatever you want. If you think your players are performing well you could even try two against two.

  • Eamonn Dolan was talking to Paul Fletcher.


  • SEE ALSO
    Football drills: Control
    02 Jun 06 |  Academy
    Football drills: Turning
    05 Jun 06 |  Academy
    Football drills: Passing
    31 May 06 |  Academy


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