By Matthew Carroll
This corner play combines the physicality of placing numbers into the box with the agility and speed that comes from corner plays that start outside of, or at the top of, the box. The first row of players should line up on the near post, far post, and someone should look to shade the keeper. Overall the purpose of these players is to ensure that the opposition has to sit back and keep players near their own goal. Individually, the near post play should look to either screen the keeper if it goes far post, or get a head on anything driven low near the near post. Far post should be going up for anything that gets over the head of the keeper. And finally, the player on the goalie should look to challenge anything directly at the keeper, or pick up anything that is allowed to fall into the box.
The next group should be 3-4 players placed at the top of the box, their general role is to spread the defense out and make them make a decision. If the defense presses up to mark the players at the top of the box individually they leave an unmarked area in the center of the box that either group of players can contest. If the defense stays back, a ball can be played to the top of the box that can be played onto goal or into the three players nearest goal.
When the kick taker signals, the players at the top of the box should make their runs. Prior to the kick the 3-4 players at the top of the box should be constantly moving, but only within the frame of goal. They want to keep their runs close together so when they move into the box, their movement will create natural picks for them to lose their marks. Players can have designed runs that can be coordinated with the kick taker, or the kick taker can be instructed to play the ball to a certain area with the players being given a certain amount of time to lose their marks and get to that spot. The kick should be taken at the point when the players at the top of the box intersect so there is minimal time for the opposition’s defenders to recover from the natural pick plays and mark the runner again.
By Matthew Carroll