Sweeper/Keeper Position

UpdatedMonday August 21, 2017 byPOB Soccer.

What is the position/role of a Sweeper/Keeper?

In short the position enables one (1) player on each team to play the field as both a field player and goalie during their time on the field of play.

While playing this position it will promote the following;

Better foot skills

Increases field awareness

Increased team game

The role of a sweeper-keeper is to be as much a part of the offense as the defense.

The sweeper-keeper should not be “camping-out” in front of the goal. They need to be encouraged to move in and out of the box depending upon placement of the ball. If the opponents have possession of the ball, the sweeper-keeper should start moving backwards to cover the goal, and then when possession changes they should move out and be a vital part of the offense. 

The sweeper-keeper may use his/her hands within the confines of the “goalie box” area.  Again when his/her team is in possession and they leave the “goalie box’ area to enter the field they no longer can use his hands.

Sweeper-keeper drills, or any drills which involve the goalkeeper as an integral part of the team rather than an isolated element, can do wonders for the team as a whole.

At young ages and low numbers (4 v 4) i.e., it teaches the children that the goalkeeper is an important member of the team.  In small-sided soccer philosophy (such as we play in POB), the keeper has a greater chance of becoming involved in the action than he would in a more traditional 11v11 setup. This approach develops keepers who are more confident and aggressive than they would be otherwise while exposing them to all aspects of the game.

In a more traditional intramural style, the goalie would not be receiving the opportunity to truly understand the sense of field play, as they become a fixture in the “goal mouth”. Within the accepted style of a true “sweeper-keeper’ brand of soccer, the individual now must learn to use feet to play the ball, but also the skills of receiving & passing in game play.


·         This position should be rotated throughout the game.

·         The position needs to be easily identified on the field of play by placing a colored pinnie on the child.

·         The sweeper-keeper can use their hands in the goal box but no where else on the field.

·         The sweeper-keeper can go anywhere on the field, but cannot shoot on goal. The object is for this player to “quarterback” the flow of play. The sweeper-keeper can take/make throw ins.

·         The sweeper-keeper can catch the ball in the box and have the option to throw i, or dribble it it up the field.