Every player needs a bag of tricks to be successful on the field. Below we have described 5 tricks our kids can be practicing in the back yard. The aim is to make sure they have the skills to take on and beat a player without solely relying on their pace or strength.

We have included youtube clips so you can see these moves in action.


The Step Over : The player dribbles towards the opponent at pace. The player flicks their foot around and over the ball. The attacking player then pushes the ball with the opposite foot to the side and around the defender. The idea is to momentarily throw the defending player off balance as they react to the flick of the foot so the attacking player can accelerate past them.



The Crujff Turn : The attacking player has their back to a defender in close quarters.The attacking player then swivels to face their opponent while faking they are hitting a pass or shot.While dummying the shot the player then hooks the ball behind their standing leg while accelerating away in the opposite direction.The defender is left flummoxed as they have committed to blocking the shot.



The Drag Back : This utilitarian move while easy to execute is fantastic when faced with a defending player directly in front of you.It can be made either while moving or at a standstill. The goal is to insure you maintain control of the ball while dragging it back towards your own body with the sole of your foot. The defender generally will try to make a stab at the ball. The attacker can accelerate in the opposite direction from whence they came or push the ball to the left or right past the defender.



The Matthews : Made famous by Sir Stanley Matthews “The Wembley Wizard”  this trick involves driving at the defender. Just as the attacker gets in striking distance of the defender they slow the pace of their run and take 2 touches with the inside of their foot as if they are cutting inside. While the defender readjusts the attacker rapidly pushes the wide of the defender with the outside of the same foot with which they made the initial move and accelerates away.



The Nutmeg : If you really want to own a defender then the most satisfying move is to execute the Nutmeg. It can be used in combinations with the other moves. The attacker while looking to make space needs to be aware of how the defender is positioning their feet. If the defender while chasing, trying to stab for the ball or maintaining their balance plants their feet too far apart then the opportunity is available to push the ball between their legs.