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A group of girls play football

Marking session: 2v2 target

Ian Parkes, FA youth coach developer (futsal lead), shares a practice that helps players develop their marking, scanning and communication skills.
2v2 marking the target

Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan and give it a go. 



The aim of the game is to get the ball from one target player to the other.   

Players work in their pairs to find a way past the opposition to pass it to the target player. When defending, they try to mark the target and press their opponents to win the ball back.  

Every time they work it from one end to the other, they gain a point and keep the ball to go back the other way.   

Play for three minutes, then rotate the pairs so the target players get a chance to play in the middle.  


If your players master your activity – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. Possible options include: 

  • when a goal is scored, the player who passed it out becomes the target player while the previous target player dribbles onto the court to join in with the 2v2
  • play with two target players at each end to make it harder for the defenders.  

But remember, learning takes time. So don’t alter your activity too quickly – or too much. Try using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). This helps keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.  

Plan to use this with your team? Let us know how you get on by posting in the England Football Community