EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Score more with wingers

Most successful wingers are usually quick but pace alone is not enough, close ball control, the ability to play head up and to pass and cross on the run are all crucial to creating scoring chances rather than firing aimless or mishit balls. Indeed, it’s not always necessary to take on the man – and risk losing the ball – when a winger can play a quick one-two with a team-mate and overlap towards the touchline.

Here are my four favourite winger sessions:

Wing play isn’t just about going in one direction at one speed, players need to turn and accelerate, knock the ball into space and follow it, and pass on the run. The running man is a great game to get players competing against each other – the skill repetition in this is second to none and gives players a fun work out.

You can also get your wide players using combination skills to create space on the wings and cross the ball into the box. Double attacker is one of my favourite games for getting wingers to combine and send balls across the face of goal to create fantastic opportunities for switched on strikers.

Giving one team wingers and one team without shows young players why wing play is so important for the team. The Wingers game is played for two halves with each team being given the wingers for one half and benefiting from being able to pass wide and get crosses into the opponent’s box

One of the best ways to link up on the wings is to get wingbacks supporting wingers and overlapping to create space on the wing. The Overlap game is a great way to develop this relationship.

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