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Near & Far Post Finishing

Field size: goal box area - six yard box

Number of players: full team with two field players and a keeper working to start

Age range: 14-16

Description: Starting player stands in the middle of the six-yard box and plays the ball out wide to a player who will cross the ball back across the goalmouth to the far post.  Work on slotting the ball home with a crisp finish.  The crosses should be hard and on the ground, so all the finisher has to do his get a touch on the ball with their foot to knock it past the keeper. And, so it's hard for the keeper to get a hand on the cross.

Later, add in two more players, one who will cross from the other side and then another attacker. Alternate the crosses from both sides. Have two lines at the top of the goal box for shooters and then a line on the left and right side for crossers. The cross should come in from near the penalty box line out wide - so away from the touchline and in about ten yards.

Make near and far post runs.  Again, the crosser should whip the ball in - cross the ball at pace on the ground.  The keeper can play passively at first and then slowly build up to all in or 100%. 

As the drill progresses, add in two passive defenders, who will mark the players making near and far post runs. The attackers must drag their marker away and then make a quick run to the near or far post.

The ideas is to make this seemingly simple finish even more simple, so a player can score from this area in his or her sleep.  Have players try to send the ball right back where it came from, another words, if the ball comes to them they try to fire it into the direction the ball came from, but into the back of the net of course. Usually the keeper will be rushing to get back into position, and it's easiest to fire the ball into the corner they're just leaving.

Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.

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