FM16: Defensive Corner Kicks Routines

Hello everyone, this is my new FM Guide about defensive Corner Kicks Routines. I decided that it will be better If I write about Defensive/Attacking Corners Routines separately because it would not be clear due to the large amount of images.

defensive corner kicks routines

Be a successful in defending corners is one of the most important part of my FM saves because it could be the key moments same as other set pieces. With a new Set Pieces Routines creator in FM16 I create three little different Routines which you can see below.

There are some my tips for individual player’s positions. Players with the best marking ability – concentration, positioning, anticipation & marking – should be instructed to man mark opposition players. The man markers with the best aerial presence and physical attributes should mark tall player. Otherwise, players with bad aerial presence should be instructed to mark small player.

It’s very useful to instruct two players to mark near and far post to protect goal. As you will se below I use this in two of my three Routines.

For all my Routines I use Close Down Corner instruction because there were to many short corners during my first months of FM16. This is also good to use if you want to make harder for the taker to direct the corner. This player could be very useful when corner is headed away from penalty box to his way and he is able to make conter…

I played the one and half season with these three Routines during my save with Akademisk Boldklub and I conceded only one goal from Corners in last 50 matches.


Routine #1 – Zonal Marking

The first Routine is focused on Zonal Marking of penalty area. One player is instructed to Close Down Corner, two players are at near/far post and no one Stay Forward.

Two players are instructed to Go Back and the rest players (4) have these instructions – Zonally Mark Six Yard Box Near Centre, Zonally Mark Six Yard Box Centre, Zonally Mark Six Yard Box Far Centre and Far Post. There is no Man Mark position.

Tactics_ Set Pieces Corners

The most important attributes for these positions are Jumping Reach, Strength, Heading, Positioning, Bravery and Concentration. I usually place player with best Heading attribute to first two positions because there are too many corners delivered to near post or to six yard near post.

In screenshot below you can see that the player who is normaly instructed to close down corner is in six yard box (the white circle) because he moved there with opposition player who not offered short option. Every other players are in right position and corner was cleared away from penalty box to player who are instructed to be on the Edge of Area and he could go forward with ball.

zonal marking

This Routine was the most used from all I have tried so far during FM16…

Routine #2 – Man Marking

The second Routine is opposite of the first one. It’s focused on Man Marking. This is the only one Routine in which I don’t use players at the posts because I want all players to be available to mark players.

There is one player who are instructed to close down again, one player should have Zonally Mark Six Yard Box Near Post and one Zonally Mark Six Yard Box Centre.

Three players are instructed as Man Mark, one player as Mark Small Player and three players as Mark Tall Player. There should be players with best attributes of concentration, positioning, anticipation & marking as I wrote higher. And heading as well.

Tactics_ Set Pieces Corners-2

There are no player on the Edge of Area and no player Stay Forward. It’s very defensive Routine with a very small chances to make conter-attacks.

Same as in the previous one there is no player who close down the corner because it is not needed.

man marking
Red – Zonal Marking, Yellow – Man Mark
man marking2
Red – Zonal Marking, Yellow – Man Mark


This Routine was the most used when we played against team with a bigger reputation…

Routine #3 – Mixed with Counter Attack

The last one Routine is mix of the previous one but there are counter attacks very often thanks to this one because one player is instructed to be on the edge of area and one player stays forward.

The most important attributes for player who is instructed to Stay Forward are – Acceleration, Agility, Pace, Strength, Balance and Anticipation. Player who is instructed to be on the Edge of Area should have good Anticipation, Acceleration, Concentration, Strength, Aggression and Passing attributes.

Other player instructions – 1x Near Post & 1 Far Post, 1x Zonally Mark Six Yard Box Near Centre & 1 Zonally Mark Six Yard Box Far Centre, 1x Go Back & 2x Mark Tall Player.

Tactics_ Set Pieces Corners-3

The main aim of this Routine is to clear ball from the penalty box (like with any other :) and the players at Edge of Area and Stay Forward have the most important roles because they have to keep the ball and run forward.

When I play with team from lower league and my team is a big favorite I usually placed two players to Stay Forward position because more opposition players stay back and there is a bigger chance we will be able to clear ball easily.

stay forward

Example of bad defending:

Player with number 10 who is instructed to be on the Edge of Area “is sleeping” and he is too late for the ball so opponent is able to play ball back to corner and make another cross or he is able to go to penalty area.


edge of area

Example of good defending:

This is the good example how to start conter. Player who is instructed to Zonally Mark Sixa Yard Box Near Post clear the ball and player who mark zonally go with the ball forward or pass the ball to player who is at half line. The best version of this is if player with number 10 is the first player to the ball and he starts the counter.


edge of area2


All feedback and comments are very welcome. I’m sure that most of you have very good Routines as well so it would be great if you share them with all of us.

If you download these Defending Corner Kicks Routines and you want to use them in game you have to put files to this directory: C:\Users\user\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2016\tactics. In game you have to go to Tactics/Set Pieces/Free Kicks and Load Routine(s).

If you have patch 16.2. you have to put these files to this directory: C:\Users\user\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2016\set pieces

One last note: If you use more than one formation and you change formation you have to set up all Routines for each formation in particular.

dont forget

Thanks for reading. @KeysiRensie.


4 thoughts on “FM16: Defensive Corner Kicks Routines

  1. Are you limited to only one of the three tactics during a match?
    Or if you have three routine on your tactic are all three available to be used ?


  2. Sorry – I have worded it badly :)

    If I have 3 routines loaded then are all 3 available, during a match or just the one currently selected in the specific set prices tactic screen ?

    I’d always assumed that all 3 routines could be used in the same match but have seen something on the SI forum that says only the one is used per match.

    Just a bit confused

    Great bunch of articles here … And the team talk one as well – congrats!


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