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During a tournament on an indoor 3G pitch, a player passes the ball between two defenders to find one of her two teammates who are both running through.

Firstly, what do we mean by core football moves? Well, they’re simple combinations that players can use to help keep possession and get past opponents. And they can take place anywhere on the pitch.  

These moves can happen between two or three players. But here, we’re focusing on three-player core moves.   
Let’s take a look at them.  

Round the corner

Round the corner graphic

For this move, player A passes to player B who, with one touch, plays it ’round the corner’ to player C.  

For this to work, player A must provide player B with a well-weighted, smooth pass. That makes it easier to play it first-time to player C.  

As player B might not be facing player C, they may have to think carefully about which part of the foot to use to flick the ball to their teammate.  

Player C needs to read the scenario, pick up a good position to receive the ball, and then secure it.  

Lending pass graphic

For the lending pass, players A and B exchange passes before player A switches the ball to player C.  

The idea is that when player A passes to player B, and then back again, their opponents will gravitate to the ball. This creates space for player C to receive a pass.  

Set back pass

Set back pass graphic

Here, player A feeds the ball through to player B, who, with their first touch, sets the ball back to player C.  

For this quick move to work, player A needs to provide player B with a crisp pass that doesn’t need controlling. Then, once player B has set the ball back, along with player A, they must be prepared to move quickly to continue the attack.   

Up, back and through graphic

This core move sees player A pass to player B before running around their opponent and into space. When player A makes their run, player B sets the ball back to player C. They then play a through ball to player A.  

To successfully utilise this move, the following needs to happen:  

  • Player A makes a smooth pass to player B.  
  • Player A gets the timing, acceleration and speed of their run right to arrive into space as the ball is played into their path.  
  • Player B provides a good set back pass for player C.  
  • Player C tries to play a first-time pass in front of player A. 
  • Player C scans and decides whether to loft the ball or play a through ball along the ground. 

Three in a line graphic

As the name suggests, three players start by being in a line for this move. 


In the scenario above, all three players have a defender in front of them, while the attackers are in a diagonal line.  

Player A passes the ball towards player B – but player C is actually the intended recipient of player A’s pass. So, player B adds disguise by either letting the ball go behind them or letting it run through their legs. After doing this, player B then runs behind their opponent and into space to receive a pass from player C.  


Now that you know about the three-player core football moves, discover what the two-player core moves are by reading our article.   

And if you want to see examples of them in action, check out this blog on the England Football Community.