Support patterns

If you want your team to have more creative options in the final third, use this session to encourage players to support team-mates and improve first-touch and accurate passing. This shows how making runs and supporting play gives options to the player with the ball. Moves can involve more than two players, so all must be alert and move into a receiving position.

Set up

Set up an area of 20×20 yards with cones in the middle of each side labelled A, B, C and D. We used eight players.

How to play it

For the first part, we created two areas using four players in each. A player stands on each cone (A, B, C and D). Player A plays a pass to B, who has a choice of passing to C or D. Whichever player receives the ball, the other player turns back around the cone and receives a pass from C or D and dribbles to B. Players swap positions anti-clockwise. B now passes to A, who passes to C or D and the session continues.
Progress the session by playing 4v4 with two goals in the same area. Players must do the same movements under pressure and try to score in the goals, but the play must be in the style of the first part.


Look for good first touch, communication and accurate passing. As the session gets quicker, technique becomes vital or the ball will be lost.

    1. In teams of four, player A starts with the ball and makes a deliberate pass to player B
    2. B has a choice of playing a quick pass to either C or D – the player who doesn’t get the pass moves to receive the next pass

    3. Players swap positions anti-clockwise and now the passing sequence goes the other way, with B passing directly to A who can pass to C or D
    4. Here D gets the pass and C moves around the cone to receive the ball and dribble to A

    5. Now play a 4v4 game using the same sequence to try and score a goal
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