Youngsters in the Stourbridge and district area will soon be given the chance to try out Futsal for the first time thanks to funding from The Football Association.
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, skilful and tactical. For these reasons 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. This will especially help during the winter months to keep action happening to the regions hot bed of football.
Rus Smith, Football Development lead, said: “This grant will help us to develop and engage more young people in the game with Dudley College and Laboca as partners we can compliment the great work of the SDYFL in the Stourbridge and district area."