Shane Smeltz’s tricks of the trade

A-League Golden Boot winner Shane Smeltz offers his advice on getting goals, from being a pest, to movement off the ball and the cat and mouse of one-on-one situations

Assess your opponent

“First of all, if you can you try to look at your opponent. It’s always important. 

More after the break

“They look at you and assess your game and see where your strengths are, so it’s important to do the same to any defender. If you can see any weaknesses you try to exploit that.”

Be a pest

“Generally you try to be a pest to any defender and you’re always trying to make them follow and watch what you’re doing. In a way it’s a battle between who is dictating the play.

“As a striker you want to keep the defender on his toes and trying to watch the play but also being unaware of where you are.”

Smeltzy's rule

“In general play and in the box, there’s something I abide by and that’s if a ball is going to be played into me from a team-mate, I like to always be on the shoulder or sometimes behind the defender.

“He knows where you are, but as soon as he takes his eye off you to look at the play, you shoot in front of him to receive the ball. The same thing if it’s a cross, you don’t want to be standing in front of a defender where he can easily see you and mark you. I always try to move in his background, making his open his body up and that gives you time to dart in front of him.

“In another case he can see where you are, it looks like he’s reading you’re going to come across him, he takes his eye off you, watches the play and you don’t go in front of him and you sneak out the back. So it works in both ways.”

Cat & mouse in one-on-ones

“The biggest thing you can come unstuck with is being unsure. Sometimes they can be the hardest ones, it’s not just instinct, you’ve got to think about what you’re going to do. If too many things are running through your head as you’re approaching the goalkeeper you can come unstuck.

“When you’re approaching the keeper you need to know what you’re going to do and follow through with it 100 per cent and believe the outcome is going to be a goal.”

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