Build up play into wide areas

By Sean Reed –

This session focuses on build up play into wide areas to cross and finish, specifically cross-field passes and a combination to create a crossing opportunity and eventually a shot on goal. This session enables players to work on specific aspects of their game.

Set Up – 1st Part
This session takes place in one half of the pitch. It is set up as within Diagram 1, with 2 centre backs or centre midfield players (working on their range of passing) and 2 wide players either side (working on their crossing) and groups of 3 players in around the penalty area working on their movement and finishing.

The first part of the session starts with the 2 deepest players combining to then play a cross-field pass into a wide player, who then plays a pass into one of the attacking players (who start around the penalty spot, coming to the edge of the penalty area), to combine for the deepest wide player to cross the ball in. Meanwhile once the attacking player has played the pass, the 3 players make movements to ensure they cover the near, middle and far post area of the goal.

The second part the 3 attacking players come out, a ball starts with one of the CB (CM) who then plays a pass to one of attacking players. They must then combine with another player before getting a shot on goal. All 3 attacking players get a chance to shoot on goal. See Diagram 2

• Time limit for the attacking players to get a shot off on goal (2nd part)
• Vary the type of cross from wide areas
• An offside line introduced (markers)

Set Up – 2nd Part
The next part of the session is the same as the previous session, but a defender is now introduced to defend the cross and the shots on goal. For the shot the players can be caught off side. See Diagram 3.

• The attacking player does not have to combine and can attack 1v1
• Introduction of a 2nd defender

Set Up – 3rd Part
This part of the session continues from the last, but within this session when the ball is played into the highest wide player, they will set the ball back to the deepest wide player, who then plays a pass an attacking player and the wide player will make a run to receive in order to cross See Diagram 4.

• Change up the combinations into the attacking players (over’s)

Some Coaching Points
• Tempo of play
• Accuracy and range of passing
• Timing and type of movement to receive the ball
• Distances from players, ball and space
• First touch to set and quality of cross
• Timing of movement to get on the end of the cross, staggered runs, near, middle and far post
• 2nd phase to receive the ball
• Angles of support
• Shot on goal
• Clever combinations

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship team Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web –
Twitter – @SeanJReed

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