Dick Bate – Train the Zonal Back 4 (GK+7v7+GK with 2 Offensive Jokers)

Dick Bate is one of the most knowledgeable coaches in football world.

FIFA Technical advisor is actually the Head of Academy of Cardiff City FC.

In this article we show one of his favorite practice present in UEFA Magazine – The Technician.

Videos and images created by sports software TacticalPad.

TRAIN THE ZONAL BACK 4 (GK+7v7+GK with 2 Offensive Jokers):


To train the zonal back 4.


Train Zonal Back 4 - Dick Bate


Two teams (Goalkeeper / back 4 / 3 attackers) + 2 neutral midfield players (who play for the team in possession).


Full pitch.

The Start:

– The coach feeds the ball to either goalkeeper.

– The back 4 of the team in possession spread out and try to take possession from the GK (the opposition front 3 press).

– The back players try to deliver to the midfield.

– Once in possession and without pressure, the midfielders combine (1/2, overlap, etc.) before feeding the attackers.

– The midfielders then support the attackers from behind.

The Defending Back 4 work on:

– Distance from halfway line when opposition GK has the ball.

– Distance from each other when midfield has the ball.

– Distance between GK and back 4.

– Flowing as a unit across the field in response to the movement of the ball.

– Distance and shape of back line as attack is built (middle and wide).

– Defending in the last third against central and wide attacks.


– Midfielders can run at the back 4 with the ball.

– Defenders and midfielders can combine and change roles.

– Full-backs can overlap and support the attack.

– An extra forward can be added to each team.



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By Pedro Mendonça

About Pedro Mendonça: Real Madrid Foundation - Football Coach/Professor. UEFA B Football Coach. Physical Education Teacher. Author of: "Tactical Periodization: A Practical Application for the Game Model of FC Bayern Munich"

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