“It's just as simple as the stuff in the FA Level 1 handbook
but more interesting and easier to understand too!”

Defence leaking goals like a sieve? Start plugging the holes today with these 67 easy-to coach defending drills and games

A letter from Michael Beale, former Liverpool U23s coach and current Assistant Manager of Sao Paulo FC

If you've got defending problems, I may have an answer.

Coaching defending to young players is difficult – kids are brought up to think that scoring is everything.

That's why I have launched this coaching manual containing a series of fun drills that focus entirely on defending. It's become a best seller.

Never again will your back-four spend more time retrieving the ball from the back of the net than stopping opposition attacks in their tracks.

Coach an unbreakable defence with 67 defensive drills and sessions

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Perfect Defending is the ultimate resource for coaches who want to introduce and develop defensive skills and techniques in their training sessions without losing their players' interest.

Practice a vast array of skills

The 67 drills and games in Perfect Defending cover the complete range of defending skills and techniques to help your defenders improve in every department:

  • Marking
  • Tackling
  • Blocking
  • Jockeying
  • Positioning
  • Forcing the direction of play
  • Clearances
  • Recovery runs

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The drills are divided into 5 categories:

Individual Defending gives players a chance to practice the core defending skills. This forms an obvious starting point for young or inexperienced players but is also extremely valuable for older players who tend to lose focus on these vital skills over time.

Defending in Twos, Defending in Small Groups and Team Defending provide different challenges as your players learn to take the core skills into more competitive and match-like scenarios.

Fun Defending Games gives a few ideas for ways to challenge your players with a light-hearted edge. These games are perfect to introduce in your training session when your players show signs of fatigue or a loss of concentration.

Building from individual defending to team defending in this way, players are able to constantly refine their understanding of the roles and responsibilities in defensive positions.

About Me:

Michael Beale

Chelsea Academy Coach Michael Beale

So who am I, and why am I qualified to give you advice?

As a Premier League academy coach I worked closely with children and young adults, developing talented players into the stars of the future.

My professional qualifications include:

- UEFA A licence

- UEFA B licence

- FA Level 2

- Sports Psychology diploma

- Sports Nutrition diploma

- Futebol de Salao coaching qualification

- Community Sports Leader Award

- FA Youth Coaching qualification

- FA Child Protection qualification

My coaching career has so far included spells at Chelsea FC Ladies, Crystal Palace FC Ladies, AFC Wimbledon U19s and Liverpool U23s coach. I am now Assistant Manager at Sao Paulo FC.

I have a deep love and enthusiasm for the game, and I'm keen to share my knowledge and experience with coaches around the world.

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Slide Tackle & Block Tackle Technique

The manual also includes a step-by-step guide to executing two of the defender's most valuable moves, the block tackle and the slide tackle to print and distribute to your players.

Here's a sample page:

Simple to understand, easy to use

Clever Design

I designed Perfect Defending with you, the coach, in mind.

Each page follows the same simple format:

Introduction – An explanation of the drill and the skills and techniques it focuses on.

The set up – Shows everything you'll need to run the drill from the size of the area to the number of balls and cones.

The steps – All of the movements and components of the drill, explained in plain English. Large text makes everything easy to read, even in driving rain and wind.

What to call out – Three handy phrases per drill, never be short of something to say to encourage and educate your players.

Key – Makes sure you can differentiate between runs, dribbles and passes in the illustrations.

Category – Five groups: Individual defending, defending in twos, defending in groups, team defending, and fun defending games.

Illustrations – One for each of the steps means that you can easily visualise the sequence of movements that are involved in each drill.

Captions – Underline what's happening in each illustration.


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Just a few of the drills included:

  • "None Shall Pass"

  • "2v1 Recovery Run"

  • "Defend the Dribble"

  • "Defend the Cross"

  • "Penalty Area Battle"
  • "Sweeper Game"

  • "Multi-Ball"

  • "King of the Ring"

  • "Rugby Football"

  • "Coconut Shy"

...and 58 more!

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You can buy Perfect Defending in two formats:

An A4 PDF document to store on your computer. You can help the environment by saving trees and using less chemical-based ink by only printing out the games you need for the day.

An A4 spiral bound printed report with waterproof covers for your bookshelf, desk or kitbag. Spiral bound means you can use it without having to hold the page open as with most bound books. You can copy or print as many copies as you like for distribution to your players and colleagues in your club.

Or, get both formats - get the best of both and SAVE money! Combine the benefits of immediate PDF delivery and the ease of printing individual drills with the practicality and durability of the colour printed version.

What coaches are saying about Perfect Defending:

Keith Boanas“This manual is superbly designed and illustrated with easy to understand instructions and diagrams to match. I am sure that it will help to create fun and educational sessions that will feed your players' enthusiasm for the game.”

- Keith Boanas,
Surrey County FA Head Coach

Andy (front, centre) on a coaching day with Wisla Krakow U12s in Poland

"Michael Beale has created a superb resource. The manual is full of superb illustrations which make defending simple to understand and progress sessions to match the ability of the players.

Whether your players are playing in advanced academies or junior football this resource will help develop both individual and team play.”

- Andy Sasimowicz,
Blackburn Rovers Premiership Academy, UK

Des Clark

“It's just as simple as the stuff in the FA Level 1 handbook but more interesting and easier to understand too.”

- Des Clark,
First Team Manager, Knaphill Athletic FC, UK


“I bought Perfect Defending to add to the "64 Small-Sided Football Games" and "Football Attack!" books I've already bought from your company and extensively used.

The players enjoy the exercises and have improved greatly. The young players learn from the games themselves with little input from me whilst I can go into much more depth with the older players with the same exercise.

The diagrams are simple to understand and progress nicely. Your coaching manuals have definitely changed my coaching for the better.”

- Daniel Dawson,
Manchester, UK

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“I love how the drills move from small games, 1v1, 2v2 up to full squad drills. The diagrams are easy to follow and understand as you have small notes to explain each step as well. All in all a must for all coaches along with Football Attack!

The kids look forward to training as the sessions are fun interesting and above all teaching them the skills to play better football.”

- Brynn Partington,
Director of Coaching, Grange Thistle FC, UK
(650 players between 6 and 16, with 60 coaches)

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“Perfect Defending has become an asset in my coaching arsenal. Exercises are clear, easily understood by both experienced high level coaches, and those parents who are volunteers beginning with players who are under 10 years old. The layout of the material and the various progressions are easy to follow and more then anything else make sense. The presentation is understandable and the images are clear and well defined.

Over this past season I have coaches boys and girls from U-8 to U-19, from recreational to candidates for the Olympic Development Program. No matter which exercise I might choose, whether it be on 1v1 defending or team defending my first resource is your book.”

- Jonathan Kessler,
New England Revolution Developmental Soccer Academy, USA

“Over the years I have purchased many books and DVDs on teaching and coaching soccer to both my players and assistant coaches. A few books have offered some good advice but Perfect Defending has placed the others back on the shelf. I carry Perfect Defending and Soccer Attack in my bag.

They are both easy to follow and have so many options for drills that we use on the pitch on Sundays. I can go an entire season without once repeating a drill if I choose or replay drills that work well.

The diagrams save me a lot of board time as I show my players and they find them easy to follow

- Rich Brooks,
West Milford Soccer Club, New Jersey, USA

“I coach an under 11s team and they really love practising the exercises that Perfect Defending suggests.

Before getting the book the defensive part of our game was quite weak.

These drills have improved this greatly and I'm sure we'll go from strength to strength. They allow me to teach the children the defensive elements of the game in a fun and interesting way

- Dave Jones,
Jags White U11, Southport, UK

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“I've found the Perfect Defending manual loaded with great games that are not only fun, but incredibly relevant from the U10 to the U19 players.

The diagrams are easy to follow and the coaching points are simple.

These games provide the impetus to create very dynamic sessions that use the game as the teacher and provide the game situations that the players encounter that they will need to solve come Saturday or Sunday.

The kids have now looked at defending in a manner that is something to look forward to and take pride in.”

- Keith Whitmer,
South Bay Force, California, USA

“Since purchasing Perfect Defending it has helped me enormously as a coach and given me a greater understanding of the technical aspects of the discipline.

The drills are well laid out and easy to understand and implement.
Our defence now works a lot better as a unit.

As far as customer service is concerned I have always received a first class response to any requests for publications and have not had to wait too long for delivery.”

- Paddy Hill,
Norton & Stockton U15 JFC, Middlesborough, UK

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Get all the inspiration you need

Perfect Defending is an instant reference and the only source of inspiration you'll need for introducing defending as a regular feature of your training sessions.

It will take the chore out of struggling for new ideas, perfect for coaches who are running weekly sessions and struggling to balance the time needed to prepare for training with the constant demands of modern life.

What's more, if you can't make a session you can give the book to a parent or assistant safe in the knowledge that even novice and beginner coaches will be able to run the drills.


Michael Beale

Mike Beale

P.S. Getting your team to practice just two or three of these drills could change the way they defend and make a big difference to your season.

P.P.S. Don't forget shipping is free!


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