EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Striker combinations

This session is about striker combinations and link-up play in the final third to break down tight defences.

Why use it

It’s important to practise combination play in the final third because teams are frequently asked in matches to break down teams who defend deep.

Set up

You need balls and cones. Use an area 30 x 15 yards in the first two parts of the drill and 55 x 15 yards for the game. We used 12 players.

How to do it

We start in a 30 x 15  yards area, as shown. A plays to B, as C comes towards the ball. B passes to D, then A and B run down their respective wings. As D receives the ball, C spins and receives a cushioned lay-off from him, feeding A down the wing. We now repeat the drill from the opposite end. In the game, set up the pitch as shown with a 3v3 in the central area and two strikers in the next zone, when five passes have been made in the central area, the ball is played to the strikers who, two-touch, link and strike at goal

Technique

Weight and accuracy of pass, combinations and shooting.

Combination play striker

    1. Players link with quick passing – weight and accuracy of the pass is important.
    2. C must approach the ball as if really wanting the pass, even though it’s destined for D. And he must ensure he doesn’t block the passing route to D.

Striker creating space

    3. D links with C to get the ball wide to A – B must support A. To progress, we make all players one-touch.
    4. Here, C spins and receives a short pass from D, then passes to A.

small sided game striker combinations

    5. In the game, players must keep possession in the 3v3 for 5 passes before playing to their two strikers in the next zone.
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