Playing Formations

The formation of a team refers to the position players take in relation to each other on field.

Football is a fluid and fast-moving game. A player’s position (except for the goalkeeper) in a formation does not define their role as tightly as may be the case in other sports, nor are there breaks in play where the players must line up in formation.

A player’s position in a formation typically defines whether a player has a mostly defensive or attacking role, and whether they tend to play centrally or towards one side of the field.

Formations are described by three or more numbers in order to denote how many players are in each row of the formation, from the most defensive to the most advanced. For example, the “4–5–1” formation has four defenders, five midfielders, and a single forward.The choice of formation is normally made by a team’s manager or head coach.

Different formations can be used depending on whether a team wishes to play more attacking or defensive football, and a team may switch formations between or during games for tactical reasons.

Teams may also use different formations for attacking and defending phases of play in the same game.

Following are examples of formations for different stages of football development:

Training Session Plans

The FSG Technical Director, Brian Dene has prepared specially designed training sessions targeted at the Under 6, Under 8, Under 10 and Under 12 age groups using Sport Session Planner.

The training plans link to a short video (approx. 1 minute) through the Mojo App to assist coaches visualise what the training sessions look like.

Coaches can select from the plans, each lasting 15 minutes, to use as part 1 and part 2 of a training session, followed by a game to finish the training session.

Remember not too much coaching at the end while the game is going on, “the game is the teacher”.

U6 – U7U8 – U9U10 – U11U12
Around The WorldMoving GoalCapture the BallsRondo- 5v2
Dancing BallHospital TagTeam Ball TagHawaii
Body Part Dribbling101 DalmationsClean your backyardBarcelona
Duck TailsShadow DribblingRondo 5v2Shrinking Field
Freeze TagDinosaur TagMoving GoalCatch me if you can
Hospital TagRacecars2V2 to endlinesCrossing Guards
Island HoppingCapture the BallsFlying NumbersGoalie Moley
MinionsGates Passing2v2 to Endlines- Defending2v2 to Cross Goals
Red Light, Green LightShield StealShield StealHot Box
Space WarsTeam Ball Tag3v2 to GoalIn the Zone
Sharks and MinnowsTagTriangle Goal GameClean Your Backyard
Dinosaur TagTeam Knockout2v2 to Small Goals (Attacking)Flying Numbers
Shadow DribblingKnockout1v1 to Small Goals2v2 to Small Goals (Attacking)
Race CarsGates Dribbling1v1 to Endlines1v1 to Endlines
Wizard Duel2v2 to Endlines (Defending)Gates Passing1v1 to Small Goals
Moving GoalWizard DueTeam HandballGates Passing
The OctopusTriangle Goal GameShrinking FieldTeam Ball Tag
SnakeTeam Handball2v1 to GoalTeam Handball
Pattern Dribbling2v1 to Goal2v2 to 4 Goals (Defending)2v1 to Goal
Skiparoo1v1 to Small Goals4v4 to Endlines (Attacking)2v3 to Goal (Defending)
Kangaroo Jack2v2 to Small Goals (Attacking)Numbers Passing3v2 to Goal (Attacking)
Tag1v1 to Endlines2v2 to 4 Goals (Attacking)4v4 to 4 Goals (Defending)
MosquitoesCapture the Balls2v2 to Endlines (Attacking)Half Court Soccer
Bunny Trail4v2 Keep AwayLiverpool
Wreck It Ralph3v1 Shooting
101 DalmatiansThe Final Boss
Shake it Off
You Shall Not Pass

Football Australia Perform Plus

The Football Australia Perform+ was developed in 2020 as the primary injury prevention program for football in Australia.

The Football Australia Perform+ is an updated version of the 11+ program with more flexibility for coaches and new content targeting hip and groin injury prevention.

Importantly, the content in the Football Australia Perform+ is underpinned by extensive research showing that the program is effective in reducing injury incidence by ~ 40%, is an effective warmup, and improves physical performance.

Visit the Football Australia website for more information.

Football Australia Coach Resources

Football Australia provides resources for coaches at its website.

Click here for more information.