Find the target man

Playing patterns are vital if your team want to get the ball to a target man. Build up play shows your players how they can interlink to create passing opportunities opening up the route to the man up front.

Set up

You need bibs, plenty of balls, cones and a full-size goal with a goalkeeper. Use the attacking third of your pitch. Set up cones as shown in the diagram. We’ve used four players in the session.

How to play it

This is a progressive sequence of passages of play that build up to creating a chance to score and a shot on goal. Start on the corner of the penalty area where it meets the touchline and play into the near corner. As play builds up players must move and keep a good pace to make the game realistic.


Build up play around the penalty area shows your players that it is not only in midfield and defence where clever passing can be successful for team play, but around the penalty area it is also necessary. In this session the players see how they can build up play into a target man and play off him to create good scoring chances.

1. Play starts at the back of the penalty area with a combination move between player A and B
2. Player C receives the ball from a crisp pass from player A and dribbles to the cones and plays a one-two with player D

3. An extra pass is added into the sequence and player A becomes a defender. Player C can go 1v1 or set up player D
4. Player A defends after his pass, player B attacks the far post and player C passes to wide player D and attacks the near post

5. Player D should play in crosses at a variety of heights. Here Player B connects gets his head on a high cross to score

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