Target Play in Soccer

What’s target play in soccer? Working on picking out a forward with the ball and having them hold the ball and help build an attack. Or, with target play the forward enables midfielders to escape pressure and get the ball back so they can find the open play with the next pass. Forwards need to offer themselves to receive the ball as a sort of outlet or they break into the space to receive the ball if it’s on.

Field size: 20 yards by 40 yards; rectangle box Number of players: at least eight players

Age range: 14-16

Description: Two players post up at either end of the playing area while players in the middle play 3 versus 3, 2 versus 2, or 4 versus 4, in a long rectangle box.

Group with the soccer ball in the middle tries to play the ball into one of the target players with the least number of passes. If they can send a long chip to the target player then they should do it. Teams earn a point when they connect a pass with a target player. Rotate target players after one team scores a certain number of points – say first to ten points.

Start without defenders in the area where the target players are posted up and then add them, so the target player then is challenged as well as the players in the middle.

The key in this drill is to get the timing and the movement right, where the players in the middle are able to serve the ball into the target player after a few quick passes. The players in the middle make move and make runs so they can play the ball to a player who can make a clean pass to the target player.

Target players can move along the edge of the grid to receive the ball and must play the ball back in one or two touches. Once the ball is played into a target player the group in the middle turns and attacks the other end and tries to get the ball to that target player. This a quick flowing game and a good drill to get players focused on getting the ball forward.

Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.

In today’s video, I’ve tried to analyze the game-play of Giroud who is one of the best target men in the world of football.