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Four Corner Neutral Rondo

Coaching Principles

Using neutral corner players in the drill teaches the team in possession to exploit additional options for maintaining ball control. It instills a habit of utilizing the full pitch and improves players’ ability to retain possession by spreading the defense and seeking support from accessible neutral players, enhancing their ability to play under pressure.

The activity promotes constant player movement and the strategic shifting of the ball across the field. By encouraging players to stay mobile and to transfer the ball to various neutral players, it teaches the team how to open up the opposition’s defence and capitalize on the space created, making the play more dynamic.

Activity & Set Up

The training activity begins with two teams, one in blue and the other in green, positioned on the field. Four neutral players, marked in red, are stationed at each corner of the playing area. The team in possession, either blue or green, aims to maintain control of the ball while making successful passes to the neutral players in the corners. The objective for the team with the ball is to pass to all four neutrals without the opposition intercepting. If the ball is lost, the team that gains possession then becomes the attacking side, seeking to pass to the neutral players themselves. This rotation of possession challenges teams to think quickly, maintain ball control, and use the neutrals effectively to support play and switch the field.

Variations & Progressions

To make the activity more challenging require the corner neutrals to have to make a one touch pass back to the team in possession every time the ball is passed to them. This will force them to have to be more aware of where the players are and also force the team in possession to support the pass better.


Change the activity to an 8v4 game with the 8 players in possession and the 4 defending. When a player makes a pass to one of the corner neutrals they follow their pass and replace the neutral, the neutral dribble the ball into the playing grid and replaces the player that made the pass to them. Switch the 4 defending players after a set amount of time

Coaching Points

Players should constantly scan the field and be aware of their surroundings, including the position of teammates, neutral players, and opponents. This will allow them to make better decisions on when and where to pass.

Speed of play is crucial. Quick, accurate passes are necessary to prevent the opposition from intercepting the ball. Players should focus on keeping the ball moving with one or two touches where possible.

Players need to be dynamic, constantly moving to create passing lanes and options for the player with the ball. This off-the-ball movement can draw defenders away, creating space to play the ball to the neutral players.

Encourage the team to actively use the neutral players to maintain possession. The neutrals should be seen as safety valves for when pressure is high, and as a means to change the point of attack when avenues in the central areas are blocked.