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The feet of a young player that is about to kick the ball to teammates
SESSION

Finishing session: set and shoot

Adam Dunleavy, FA coach development officer, shares a practice that helps players work on their ability to combine and attack.

Players will develop their understanding of: 

  • when to be creative and when to combine with teammates to score 
  • positioning to receive for a set-back 
  • decision-making in the attacking phase. 
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Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan to your device and give it a go. 

 

Set up an area appropriate for your players’ age and stage of development. Place a halfway line down and put a goal at each end. 

We have 12 players for this practice: a 4v4, including goalkeepers, and four ‘setters’. A pair of ‘setters’ are needed at both ends of the pitch. They position themselves on the goal-line, one on either side of the goal. 

To adapt to your numbers, adjust how many outfield players and ‘setters’ take part. If you have a larger group, create as many areas as you need to get everyone involved. 

 

How to play

The aim of the game is to combine with your teammates to play the ball to a ‘setter’, then receive and score. 

‘Setters’ must play the ball back to the team that gives them the ball, but they don’t have to play it to the individual who passed to them. 

If the defending team win the ball, they attack the other goal and combine with the ‘setters’ positioned at that end. 

If a shot is saved, or the ball goes out behind the goal, the keeper passes to the defending team, who move forward to attack the other goal. 

 

Progression

If your players master this game – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. If you’re looking for an idea, you could use wide players that play over the touchline and can’t be tackled. These can play bounce passes to their teammates, and they’re able to give the ball to the ‘setters’.  

But remember, learning takes time. So don't alter your activity too quickly or too much. To help, try using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). This is a great way to keep things fun, engaging and appropriate. 

If you use this session with your team, let us know how you get on by posting in the England Football Community