One of the most attractive and skillful areas of the passing game of football comes when a player ‘flicks’ a ball onto another player. A flick-on is simply when the ball arrives at a player and with only one touch of the ball they pass it on to another player at speed and often in motion. This can result in the opposing team being wrong-footed and a sudden need to defend.
A flick-on can be executed using any part of the body, except the arms or hands. The ball can approach a player either in the air or along the ground and that player would make the instinctive decision not to stop the ball, or control it but instead release it immediately in any direction. Often this is due to them being closely marked by another player or players and they want to avoid being tackled. Alternatively this might be because they can see the movement or positioning of another player on their team who would benefit from receiving the ball immediately.
A flick-on can often prove very beneficial to an attacking team during set-pieces such as free kicks and corners, where the ball is often in the air and there are a number of players in a small area around the goal ready to score. A flick-on is also very useful during a sudden counter-attack from the attacking team when they aim to attack suddenly and at speed.