The Future Game

The Football Association has published two youth development guides for English football

The FA Technical Guide for Young Player Development, known simply as The Future Game, outlines a philosophy and vision for the future of youth development in English football.

Two guides have been published, one for the grassroots and one for the elite game, and over the coming months we’ll share different coaching drills that form part of the Future
Game guides. Here we look at a drill involving possession, passing and movement…

More after the break

• Area 40x40yds, with 3x2yd diameter target areas.

• 17 players organised into two teams of seven, plus two target players (T) and GK (if available). One ball.

• GK is able to move anywhere around the outside of the practice area.

• Practice starts with the ball rolled into play by GK and teams play using Ts and GK to help them keep possession.

• Teams score by passing to a T in a target area. Don’t forget that Ts can move to an empty area to make it easier for them to receive a pass.

• Ts are able to make longer passes to GK to retain possession.

• Size of practice area and internal target areas can be adjusted to suit the ages and abilities of players.

• Teams in possession can score by dribbling ball into an empty area. (T might move to ‘vacate’ an area in order to help the dribbler).

• Teams can build up points (e.g. first to ten points equals a goal).

• Simple progressions for this practice are:
– Develop the role of GK if included.
– One touch into targets to score.
– One touch only into GK.
– Passes into GK into hands only (off the ground).
– Reduce size of area and/or add a goal set back from playing area, so that once players have built up a score one can attack GK 1v1.


• Early assessment of opportunities to dribble, run or pass.

• Look for space(s), time and Ts.

• Recognition of movement of Ts & identification of changing empty target areas.

• Reinforcement of need for inventive and quick play if it can be effected.

• Remind players of need to slow down before going quickly (changes of pace and direction).

The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club will soon launch The Future Game DVD, which
includes coaching practice footage from St. George’s Park. Find out more information via

Find out how to get hold of your copy of The Future Game guides at

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