One up front

If you’re defending a lead and don’t want to commit to attack, or if you’re facing a strong team and want to counterattack, this teaches the importance of winning the ball by flooding the defence and having a lone target man up front.

Set up

Set up a playing area of 30×20 yards split into a 10-yard shooting zone and a 20-yard playing area. Create three small gates between zones. Place a full-size goal with a keeper at the end of the shooting zone and a small target goal with no keeper at the other end. We’re using eight players including a keeper.

How to play it

The red team has three players who must stay in the large zone and an attacker in the shooting zone. The other team has a keeper who must stay in his six-yard box and three players who must stay in the main zone. To get the ball to the lone attacker, it must go through one of the three gates. The other team attacks the small goal.


This is great to get young players to learn about through balls to a lone attacker. The three gates represent the gaps players play through in a match to set an attacker free.

1. Start by the small goal and play a 3v3 in the main zone with the attacking team trying to get the ball to the lone attacker
2. The lone attacker stays in the end zone with the keeper locked in the six-yard box

3. Players from the red team must thread a pass through one of the gates to get the ball to the attacker
4. If the ball goes through the gate, the attacker has two touches to control and shoot from the pass

5. If the opposition win the ball they must try and pass it through the small goal at the other end of the pitch

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