EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

The Matthews Move

Named after the legendary England international winger Sir Stanley Matthews, who played from the 1930s to the 1960s, this fake is a simple yet still very effective way of wrong-footing a defender.

What this session is about

  1. Changing direction to wrong-foot and beat defenders.
  2. Improving dribbling skills and close control.

What to think about

  • Players slow down as they approach defender.
  • Lightly touch ball to the left with inside of right foot.
  • Using left foot immediately hop to the left…
  • … and drop left shoulder to emphasise the fake.
  • Push off on left foot, take ball to the right with outside of right foot.
  • Accelerate away from defender.

Set-up

Each player has a ball in a grid approx 20×20 (depending on the number and age of players).

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Players stand over ball and practice Matthews Move with a stationary ball.

Using a stationary ball, each player takes a short run-up and tries the Matthews Move. Repeat several times, making sure players practice faking to go both ways.

To progress, repeat the practice, but this time the players dribble the ball a short distance before attempting the Matthews Move.

Follow the footsteps to complete the Matthews Move.

Follow the footsteps to complete the Matthews Move.


Development

Players split into pairs with a ball for each pair. The player with the ball dribbles towards a passive defender and performs the Matthews Move. The player with the ball and the defender both turn to face each other again. The attacker repeats the drill, but fakes to go the other way.

After several attempts with both feet, the players switch roles.

Practice against a passive defender.

Practice against a passive defender.


Game situation

Two teams of 4 players line up approx 20-25 metres away from goal. The 1st player from team A must use their skill to beat the 1st player from team B and score a goal past a goalkeeper.

After the shot, the 1st player from team A becomes the defender in the 1v1 situation and tries to stop the 2nd player from team B.

Award points for successfully creating space for the shot, and also for scoring. The team with the most points wins.

Take the skill into a game situation. Use the move then score for double the points.

Take the skill into a game situation. Use the move then score for double the points.


What to call out

  • “Start slowly at first to get technique right”
  • “Keep the ball under close control”
  • “Now blast past the defender”
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