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Cunning corners

In professional soccer almost 50% of goals are scored from set pieces (corners and free kicks). So organisation and efficiency in set-piece attacking and defending is crucial to the success of your team. This session focuses on corners.

What this session is about

  1. Attacking corners in order to score goals
  2. Learning how to read hand signals
  3. Adopting different routines for near post, far post and short corners.

What to think about

  • Heading technique needs improvement and identifying the best headers of the ball within your team is crucial.
  • In the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga the average number of corners per games is six.
  • 1) The simpler the routine the better, the penalty box has three main areas to areas to attack which are the near post, centre of goal and far post. Nominating a player to run into each area is essential.
  • 2) A player inside the six-yard box will pick up any deflections in order to score.
  • 3) A player or two on the edge of the 18-yard box will give shooting opportunities from knockdowns or weak clearances..

Set-up

Use half a pitch for the session and development, and add at goal at each end for the game.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Near post – the corner taker raises one arm to signal the delivery will be aimed to the near post. One attacker is placed on the corner of the six-yard box, one in front of the keeper, three on the edge of the box who will run to the near post, centre and far post, and there are two players outside the box waiting for knock downs.

The player on the edge of the six-yard box runs towards the corner taker to create space. The taker curls the ball into this space and attackers run into their zones to head the ball to score.

Far post – the corner taker raises both arms to signify a far post corner. This time the player on the six-yard box joins the attackers on the edge of the box. The attackers all run to the near post and allow one of the players outside the box to run from deep and to the far post.

Progress by introducing a goalkeeper and defenders.

The forward runs out to create the space at the near post area which is the cue for the corner to be taken.

The forward runs out to create the space at the near post area which is the cue for the corner to be taken.


Development

This is how to develop a short corner routine. A player on the six-yard box turns and runs into the area in front of the goalkeeper. A striker in this area runs towards the taker and receives a pass. The striker can pass back for a cross or he can turn and cross the ball. Three attackers on the edge of the 18-yard box head for the near post, centre and far post. Progress by adding a goalkeeper and defenders.

Attackers run to the near post as a disguise to allow another player to target the far post. He is likely to be against a lone defender this way.

Attackers run to the near post as a disguise to allow another player to target the far post. He is likely to be against a lone defender this way.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game but place two balls in each corner of the pitch. Corners are earned during the game in the normal way but, in addition, you can randomly award a corner. This gives teams experience of trying corner routines and are awarded two goals if one is scored from a corner.

No hand signals – a short corner routine is used where the forward runs to receive and play a one-two.

No hand signals – a short corner routine is used where the forward runs to receive and play a one-two.


What to call out

  • “React to the hand signal”
  • “Deliver the ball with quality”
  • “Attack the ball”
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