Link midfield and attack with a striker in the hole

Roam menacingly towards the opposition box and give your second striker options with this drill from Jimmy Gilligan, head coach of the Nike Academy

Set-up

Position two centre-backs in the centre of the pitch on the halfway line. Now have a central midfielder positioned between the 18-yard box and the centre-circle. Strikers start this drill on the edge of the 18-yard box with wingers positioned on either channel, between the halfway line and the byline. The aim is to work the ball from back to front, with a second striker linking play, ending in an effort on goal.

Action

CB1, CB2 and CM1 exchange a series of sharp, quick passes before one of the defenders fires the ball into S1 – as this is happening, S2 drops off S1 and makes a run into the pocket. S1 lays the ball off to S2 and S1 spins into the space created by S2’s run. Now, S2 has options to consider – can I shoot? Can I pass the ball out wide and then get in the box? Can I tee up CM1 for a shot? Can I turn? Alternatively, you can take it back and have CB1 pass the ball into the feet of S2 as he drops off S1. As this is happening CM1 bends his run around towards LW1, takes a pass from S2 and finds LW1, who puts a cross into the box.

More after the break

How it helps

This drill will help develop your second striker’s decision making, awareness on the ball and how to create space before he gets the ball.

Progression

Start the drill unopposed because you need to see it succeed and the players need to see it work. Once they get in the rhythm of it and understand the movement, introduce two defenders to mark the strikers.

How to utilise a striker playing in the hole
This attacking move is ideal when the opposition play a rigid back four who rarely break rank.

To draw them out, you need your players to use clever movement to unsettle their organisation and discipline.

A mobile, clever second striker, who can drop into the hole, link the play and cause confusion with movement, is a fantastic weapon here.

The ideal player for this has to be intelligent and willing to buy a foul. You don’t want him to dive, but you want him to work the defender and lure him into fouls near the 18-yard box.

With the second striker dragging the centre-back into areas they don’t want to go, it creates space for other players to expose.

This will also get the opposition midfield thinking, because they won’t be prepared to deal with another player dropping into their zone.

You can find out more about how you can get involved with the Nike Academy, and watch the players’ progress this season, by visiting facebook and NikeFootball.com
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