Darrell Clarke arrived at Port Vale in February 2021, having previously been manager at non-league club Salisbury City, Bristol Rovers – where he engineered consecutive promotions from the Conference Premier into League One – and Walsall.
In this first-team training session filmed exclusively for CV Academy, Clarke delivers a series of four practices designed to prepare his squad for an upcoming away fixture at Crawley Town. The session begins with a passing practice, then moves on to a 7v2 possession-transfer game and a series of small-sided games aimed at maintaining intensity and a competitive feel ahead of an important match just two days later. The fourth practice is a phase of play in which the midfield and defensive units in Clarke’s planned 1-5-3-2 formation work against an opposition set up to mimic Crawley’s 1-4-4-2 shape and likely focus on attacking through overloads in wide areas.
It’s a great insight into how a professional team works in the build-up to matchday. Please click on the Resources tab to access the accompanying session plan in PDF form.