Session: Coach Strikers When And How To Combine Their Movement To Create Goalscoring Opportunities

The session is divided into two phases: Functional Practice and Phase of Play

The principles of attacking should be applied throughout: Penetration, Dispersal, Movement, Support, Innovation

Functional Practice

Functional practice using funnelled central area starting from corners of six yard box
One deep lying feeder player
Attacking team in 1-2-2 formation
Defensive team in 2-2 formation with GK
Supply of footballs to rear of feeder player

Key Factors
– Movement of first striker (drop deep, move wide etc.)
– Movement of second striker (support / movement in relation to first striker)
– Centre midfield ball retention to draw out defending centre midfield players to create space
– Support from centre midfield players (drop off passes, third man runs)
– Starting position from feeder player to central midfield players

The principles of attacking should be applied throughout: Penetration, Dispersal, Movement, Support, Innovation


The functional practice allows the coach to focus on central play with the two strikers and central midfield players. From a session management point of view, it is important to encourage the two defending central midfield players to close down the attacking central midfielders to allow the strikers space in which to play. Playing the ball to the feet of dispersed, deep centre midfield players will allow ‘the hole’ to open up and opportunities to play the ball to the feet of the strikers to be created.

The strikers can practice a variety of scenarios such as dropping deep to receive the ball (turn if CB allows, hold up & lay off if marked tightly). The supporting striker should be alive to this movement to provide an option ‘around the corner’ if required and possibly utilising a 1-2. The centre midfield players can also be brought into play via a lay off pass.

The principles of attacking should be applied throughout: Penetration, Dispersal, Movement, Support, Innovation


Example of CM movement to receive to feet and open up space for ball to strikers:


Example of ST dropping deep to receive and decisions involved:


Phase of Play

Phase of play setup; full width of pitch, 80 yards approx. length
Supply of balls behind feeder
Attacking team in 3-4-2 formation
Defending team in 4-4-1 with GK
Starting position 1: into full backs
Starting position 2: into central midfielders
Condition defending team to try and score within small goals within 5 passes

Key Factors
In addition to the KFs in the functional practice:
– How wide players can come inside to combine with strikers
– Maintaining possession amongst team until opportunity to play to strikers opens up
– Can early ball be played to strikers feet when possession is won?
– Team shape when attacking (dispersal of defence/midfield)
– Positive attitude from full backs to get forward and combine when wide midfielders attack inside
– Positive support from midfielders when team is in possession

Phase of play starting position:


Example of wide midfielder attacking using striker and third man run from full back:


The phase of play allows the bigger picture to be seen and how the strikers involvement affects the team’s attacking shape. The strikers can continue to combine with each other and the centre midfielders as observed in the functional practice, but now can also combine with the wide midfield players and full backs as shown in the above example.

The strikers will also have the opportunity to attack crosses from wide positions, or link with each other following balls into feet from wide.

The team should be coached around and the way from the ball, i.e. Away from the ball the defence should be balanced, the midfield still dispersed to create space. Players around the ball should be offering movement and support to affect the play positively.

About markfc713

Enthusiastic, aspiring football coach.
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