Forwards are expected to create and score goals. A central striker certainly has the hardest position to play. One who can score 15 or more goals each season is an valuable asset to any team.

Generally two, three or four players are used, depending on the system.

On a team with two strikers there should be midfield players capable of moving into forward positions, as shown in Diagram 1.

If wingers are used in a three-or four-player front line, the strikers need to be good at heading to convert the centering passes from the wings.

Certain types of wingers are known for their fast, direct style. Don Nardiello of the Diplomats is at his best when he passes the ball well behind his opponent and accelerates past him. The center, if well placed (Diagram 2), is always a threat to any defense. Even more dangerous is a cross into the center from the goal line as the receivers should be running onto the ball.

Certainly at a young age forward players should be allowed to develope their own dribbling techniques. The numerous ways of beating an opponent should be practiced. The better they become, the more confidence they will have. There are times when forwards need to be a little selfish with the ball.

Diagram 3: Let's divide the field into three parts: defensive, midfield and offensive thirds. Niney percent of the dribbling should take place in the offensive third. This is the area where the attacking players can improvise and create most of the excitement of the game. If a breakdown does occur in this third of the field, the repercussions are not so great as if it happens in the middle, or, worse, the defensive third.

Certain defensive responsibilities have been accepted by the forward players. Primarily: stopping the opposing defensive players from moving up the field with the ball. Secondly: on set plays such as corner kicks or free kicks in their area, they should be prepared to give assistance to the defense.

Forward players often have to make dead runs to take away opponents thereby creating space for their teammates to use. Think about such runs and, more important, the timing of them. Attack the defense immediately after you gain possession. Don't dawdle with the ball. Penetrate. Shoot at goal as often as possible because only goals win games.

Note: The striker position was covered in Article 11.