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Crossing on the run

Having the ability to cross the ball on the run makes life difficult for the opposition defenders. This is one of the harder skills that wingers need and it helps them to catch out defenders on the counterattack without stopping or slowing the attack down.

Set up

Set up a 45×35-yard area with a 15×15-yard box in the centre of the pitch and a five-yard channel along each side. We’ve used 10 players in this session. You need bibs, balls, cones and two normal goals.

How to play it

Play 5v5 including goalkeepers. In this game the ball cannot be passed or dribbled through the centre box, so play must go wide to get past it. Players can run in to the channels on the wings to receive the ball and can only take three touches before the opposition can follow them into the channel. Goals scored from a running cross out of the wing channels count double.

Technique

Players need to look up while they are dribbling the ball and execute a good cross on the move. This is difficult for young players to co-ordinate so give them plenty of opportunity to practise and don’t punish mistakes.

1. The game starts with a pass out from the goalkeeper. Here the defender has played the ball quickly to the wing to get past the ‘no go’ zone
2. Players can run through the central zone but the ball cannot pass through it

3. The player going into the channel on the wing is allowed three touches before the opposition can make a tackle
4. A goal scored from a running cross that counts double

5.To make full use of the channel on the wing the player here has run the length of the pitch, catching out the opposition and setting up a team-mate

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