Recycle with a backpass

When you watch the teams at the top of the Premier League they always play the ball back to keep possession when there is no easy way forward – a pass back allows teams to keep the ball until a pass forward is ‘on’.

Why use it

Your players will come up against teams that defend well and are hard to break down so going forwards is difficult. By going back teams can attack from a completely different area of the pitch

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and two mini goals at each end of the pitch. Set up an area 40 x 30 yards. We used 10 players in the session.

How to do it

Split your players into two teams of 5. Each team has one player start as the anchor player who stands off the pitch between the two mini goals. Teams score into the mini goals and the game is directional. If the team cannot go forward they pass back to the anchor player who dribbles onto the pitch – the player who passed the ball must become the anchor player. Play for 10 minutes.


Reading the game is important so players get the most out of using the anchor player. Good passing, receiving and movement.

Recycle backpass

    1. Play starts with the anchor player who stands off pitch between the two mini goals at either end of the pitch
    2. Set teams up so they are pressing tight and forcing play away from the goal bringing the anchor man into play

Recycle with a pass

    3. When the ball is passed back to the anchor man the player who passed the ball switches and takes over the anchor role
    4. The anchor man can see the whole pitch so should know where the areas of space are and where the free players are

Recycle with a pass back

    5. Here the space is in the middle and as the anchor man dribbles into that space options to pass open up around him
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