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The lone striker

A lot of teams now play with a lone striker supported by players from midfield. The modern striker must have a number of attributes. These include running deep to receive the ball, holding the ball up, dribbling at speed and shooting with either foot. This session aims to improve these skills in a number of 1v1 exercises.

What this session is about

  1.  Developing the skills to play as a lone striker.
  2.  Movement off the ball to lose your marker.
  3.  Dribbling to beat defenders
  4.  Receiving the ball with your back to goal.

What to think about

  • The lone striker needs to be an all round player who can score goals in a variety of ways.
  • The striker should have good movement and be willing to receive a pass into space, to feet or with their back to goal.
  • Once the striker is in possession, midfielders get forward quickly by making supporting runs off the ball.

Set-up

Create a 50 yards by 30 yards playing area with a goal and goalkeeper at one end.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

The striker pulls away from the defender to an angle in order to receive a pass to feet. He controls the ball, turns and then quickly dribbles at the defender to go past him and inside the penalty area to shoot. The striker becomes the new defender for the next attack.

The striker pulls away from the defender and receives a pass to his feet.

The striker pulls away from the defender and receives a pass to his feet.


Development

Now the defender stays tight to the striker, who has to receive the ball with their back to goal. The striker now shows a disguise to turn the defender and shoot at goal.

The striker then turns to dribble past the defender before shooting.

The striker then turns to dribble past the defender before shooting.


Game situation

Progress to a small-sided game. Select the teams so you have just one striker in each. The strikers must now use the skills learnt in the previous practices. For a 30 minute game, rotate the strikers regularly so every player has a turn. Remember to also encourage midfielders to help the striker by making runs off the ball to support the play or pull defenders away.

The striker receives a pass facing away from the goal and turns past the defender to score.

The striker receives a pass facing away from the goal and turns past the defender to score.


What to call out

  • “Move to receive a pass.”
  • “Attack the defender and be clever in your play.”
  • “Shoot at every opportunity.”
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