Youngsters in Cambridgeshire will soon be given the chance to try out Futsal for the first time thanks to funding from The Football Association (The FA).
In June, The FA made £300,000 available to County Football Associations, FA-affiliated clubs, youth and adult football leagues who wished to develop either one or two new Futsal leagues, as they ramped up efforts to encourage more people to play the sport in England.
The scheme, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, awarded grants of £1,500 to applicants per league created, with money being used towards associated costs of facility hire, equipment, referees and FA-affiliated courses.
Futsal is the UEFA and FIFA recognised format of five- a- side football but it differs from the version that we know in this country. It is played on a firm indoor pitch, with Hockey sized goals. It is played to lines rather than walls or boards and the ball differs in being slightly smaller and with a reduced bounce.
Taken together these differences lead to a game that is fast, skillful and tactical. For these reason Futsal is being adopted as a game in its own right as well as useful development experience for young footballers.
A number of football’s biggest names credit Futsal as playing a significant role in their professional football development, with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi Hernandez and Ronaldinho having all played the sport in their younger years.
Dean, Football Development Officer, said: "By receiving this funding
from the FA and the Football Foundation we will be able to provide players with
the opportunity to get involved with the fast paced game of Futsal
competitively. The funding will allow us to keep costs down for clubs and to
upskill the futsal workforce to deliver a high quality league provision. As a
County FA we are excited to watch Futsal grow as a development tool for our
next generation of young players!"