Set Pieces are an important element in any team's ability to score from the opportunities provided by corner kicks and free kicks. More than a third of all goals in the professional game are scored from set plays. The importance of set pieces cannot be overstated, football teams at all levels dedicate whole training days to set plays, repetitive practice, repeating the set plays over and over again until everybody knows their role in the move and the person with the responsibility of delivering the final ball is confident he / she will put the ball in the right area, that player may only have one chance in a match, there is no room for error.
For the team as a unit to execute the set plays properly it will require practice, practice and more practice. In American Football there are “Special Teams”, a group of players brought on to the pitch to execute a specialist play. When observing an American Football match the organisation on the sideline is second to none, 40+ players plus coaching staff yet every person knows there place, where to go and when to do it. If this kind of structure and organisation can be brought to your team then you will have a distinct advantage.
One player on the pitch, usually the captain can “call the play” as the personnel move in to a more advanced position to execute the set play. Whether your job is to deliver the ball, feint a run to the near or far post, block a defender, take a player out of the area the ball is to be delivered or just create verbal confusion, every player will have a job to do.
Set Play 1 - Corner Kicks
Aim: To allow marked player with a free run to the far post.
On the signal of the corner taker, the 3 most advanced players make runs along the flight path of the six yard box towards the near post. The idea is for the fourth player to get around the back to meet the ball. To assist with this play we are looking for one of the forwards to block the run of our target player’s marker. ACCIDENTALLY!
Set Play 2 - Corner Kicks
Aim: The player to recieve the ball stands in front of the keeper, the ball is to be delivered to the edge of the 6 yard box. As the ball is delivered, the marked player will come off the keeper towards the 6 yard box line.
Organisation: On the signal of the corner taker, the 3 forwards make runs along the flight path of the six yard box. One towards the far post, one the near post and one to fake a run and hold near the penalty spot. We are looking for the marked player to come off the keeper and get his head on it.
Set Play 3 - Corner Kicks
Aim: The corner taker is aiming for players C & D, who will be in the 6 yard box, at the near post.
Organisation: On the signal of the corner taker, Player B makes a straight run to the back post, running in to as many defenders as possible. Player A stands his ground blocking any defenders. Players C & D make bent runs to near post to meet the ball.