‘A Night in Istanbul’

Session in the Spotlight


This is a session that will challenge players to deal with different scenarios they will encounter during their season. It’s the 2005 Champions League Final in Istanbul. The game starts at half time with Liverpool losing 3 nil. 
  • Can the team taking the role of Liverpool set themselves up to get 3 goals back and go to penalties?
  • Can AC Milan set themselves up to keep a clean sheet and/or win the game from a comfortable position?
  • Guide them to think about managing games and find confidence whether they are winning or losing.
  • Finish with a cup final where players have to manage themselves and reflect on what they have learnt.

Session Details

Coach Name: Josh Spavins
Age Phase: All
Current Club/Team Coaching: Bedfordshire FA

3 Key Coaching Values



- Finishing
- Passing
- Defending


- Strength
- Agility
- Stamina


- Composure
- Decision Making
- Confidence


- Teamwork
- Leadership
- Communication

Coaching DNA
Set the scene to the players. Ensure there is an emotionally edge to the games. Utilise a discovery style so players can think for themselves.
Game realism – perhaps making the games relevant to your season would prove most beneficial - A cup game coming up.
Prompt engagement during reflection, so players understand why/how they won/lost. Take away luck from results so players are always learning.
Players learn to ‘manage game’. Some may take more from working as a team. Others may step up to realise their leadership skills. Ensure everyone knows the importance of both.
Session Content
Split group into 2 equal teams.
One team take the role of Liverpool.
One team take the role of AC Milan.
2 minutes to discuss tactics and strategy.
10 minute game. 
2 minutes to debrief and share with group.
Swap roles, practice the reverse scenario.
2 minutes to discuss new tactics and strategy.
10 minute game. 
2 minutes to debrief and share with group.
Set up a new Champions League Final – teams pick their own elite teams to emulate.
2 minute to discuss how they will setup from 0-0.
7 minute first half.
2 minute debrief to reorganise.
7 minute half.
Session debrief, reflect on how this can be applied to their own games.
Add other dimensions to the session, such as;
- Referee bias towards Liverpool so AC Milan has to defend constantly and not react negatively.
- Remove/Add a player to either team to help reinforce learning. (If Liverpool can’t score, add an overload)
- Challenge individuals, such as AC Milan attacker to hold ball up or AC Milan defence to stay compact.
Session in the spotlight

'A night in istanbul'

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