Total Finishing: Attackers V Defenders

In the final part of Kevin Nicholson’s Total Finishing Trilogy you can set up a competition between your attackers and defenders in a much more direct shooting session.

Why use it

Great way to practice defending and attacking crosses.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and goals. Using half your normal pitch you need a goal at each end. We used 17 players in the session.

How to do it

Split your players into two teams of 6 players the attackers and defenders, 4 crossers and one server. The teams stand at opposite ends either side of the goal. The server is in the centre of the pitch and the crossers are one on each wing. The server plays to a crosser triggering movement from two attackers to run into the opposition half and two defenders to organise quickly in the box with a 2v2. Immediately the ball goes dead the defenders attack the other end and the server plays to one of the crossers at the other end. Play for 6 balls so each pair at each end defends and attacks once – most goals wins the competition.


Crossing and finishing in this quick high tempo game needs quick thinking, good finishing, good crossing and good awareness. Everyone has a role to play and

Attackers v defenders

    1. The game starts with a pass to the server who passes to a crosser at the other end of the pitch.
    2. The crosser times his cross so the attackers are running into the penalty box at the right time and the defending pair step out to defend the cross

Attackers v defenders

    3. Play now goes to the other end with a pass into the server who plays wide to the opposite crosser
    4. The attackers again must time their runs and defenders organise quickly in front of goal

Attackers v defenders

    5. The attackers must try to score with every chance so they can beat the defenders
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