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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 07:52 GMT 08:52 UK
Planning your pre-season
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A good pre-season is a must for all professional players in the Premier League and Football League - but is also hugely valuable for all amateur and junior players.

Here, Reading FC Academy manager Eamonn Dolan continues a five-session guide of how he would prepare a team for the new season.

This week Dolan builds in crossing and shooting skills to sharpen up your finishing abilities.

Eamonn Dolan
Eamonn Dolan
Reading FC Academy manager

WEEK THREE - DEVELOPING SKILLS

As with the previous weeks, a good warm-up is essential.

I would then go through some passing drills followed by pass and move - you simply cannot get away from these as they are the fundamental basics.

GUIDE TO HEADING DRILLS

At the end of these drills, however, I would introduce some basic heading and then work on crossing and finishing.

Not only is crossing and finishing a very important part of the game but it is a good conditioning tool and scoring goals always motivates players to work harder.

Crossing and finishing drill

I would set up a session in which the ball is worked out wide close to the byeline and then crossed to players who have made their way into the box.

If you want to increase the intensity try starting the drill 15 yards in front of the penalty area. You can work this drill back to the halfway line and build in relays, overlaps etc as you see fit.

A good-fun drill to try is giving players the ball 40 metres from goal and telling them they have 10 seconds to score a goal. This is extremely motivating, generates good banter and concentrates on skill.

As always, finish with a game followed by a warm-down.

  • Eamonn Dolan was talking to Paul Fletcher.


  • SEE ALSO
    Football drills: Control
    02 Jun 06 |  Academy
    Football drills: Turning
    05 Jun 06 |  Academy
    Football drills: Goalkeeping
    20 Jun 06 |  Academy


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