The FA Futsal League kicks off Last Sunday saw the long awaited start of the FA Futsal League: the first Football Association organised national futsal league. The national league is made up of three regional leagues: North, Midlands and South with the top two teams from each division progressing to the playoffs at the end of September to contest for the national championship and a place in The UEFA Futsal Cup 2009/2010. The FA Futsal League is a step in the right direction for the sport in the country, which has traditionally been in the shadow of 5-a-side football. The FIFA version of 5-a-side hasn’t taken off in England until recently, and this leaves us playing catch up with nations that have played futsal for years. This was evident as England yet again struggled against international opposition in the World Cup Qualifiers earlier this month.
With the FA Futsal League now underway, the best players in England will be training and playing on a regular basis, which should give Graeme Dell a better pool of players to select from. The opening day’s results saw no real shocks as Baltic overcame newcomers Northaw 7-4 and former champions White Bear beat Kickers 9-5 in the South. The only game in the Midlands saw reigning champions; Ipswich Wolves defeat rivals Team United Birmingham 5-3. Only the North league had a full set of fixtures and Middlesbrough stormed to the top with a 10-1 rout of FC Barsa. Tranmere Victoria, arguably favourites for the North, beat a strong Hull 9-6 and Grimsby overcame Manchester in a close game 3-2. The Sheffield derby ended 5-2 in favour of the more experienced Sheffield FC (FPL North champions 2007). The 3rd Tees Valley Futsal Cup will take place at the University of Teesside over the weekend of 12th and 13th April. For more info:
11-13 April 2008 www.BoroFutsal.co.uk
Mortlock tackles Black, Boro vs. Barsa. Photo taken by Mark Gillespie.
Results South Baltic 7-4 Northaw White Bear 9-5 Kickers
Midlands Ipswich 5-3 Team United
Match Report: Baltic vs. Northaw By Rob Brassett The game was kicked off by Baltic United and things started at a nice pace with both sides getting possession but neither finding the breakthrough. On 3 minutes Baltic United found the net to put them in 1-0 up. Game on. Some good play by Sam judge at the back was seeing the ball passed around well with Dezenzo and Cato doing some good work out wide. Baltic have seen this all before and were not fazed by the pace and some slick passing saw them go into a 2-0 lead after 9 minutes. James Dezenzo showed what FS Northaw has on offer and within a minute he blasted the ball into the net and it was back
North Middlesbrough 10-1 FC Barsa Tranmere Victoria 9-6 Hull Manchester 2-3 Grimsby Sheffield 5-2 Sheff & Hallam
Eye on England England embarked on their first ever World Cup Qualifying campaign in February in what was their last set of
to 2-1. Jamie has been banging in goals for fun locally in the Cheshunt League and proved he can step up to national level and do the business. The foul count had been rising through the match and after 15 minutes FS Northaw gained a 6th which meant Baltic received a long penalty from the 10 metre spot, this struck Tony Edwards’ left hand post and Northaw were let off the hook. With minutes to go in the half Northaw struck once again, Aaron Cato finding the net to make it 2-2 and a dream first half for the North London side. The second half started at a frantic pace with Baltic piling on the pressure and using all their
experience, this proved valuable as on 4 minutes of the half they went into a 3-2 lead and increased this to 4-2 within a minute to once again leave the Northaw boys some work to do. Sam Judge blasted in a long range effort with 3 minutes to go and the game was on at 5-3, Manager Grant Suborn then beat his man in the middle and blasted in the 4th to make it 5-4 with only a minute to go. Pushing forward for the equaliser they left themselves open at the back and 2 goals in the space of a minute shattered the dream of a victory or even a point. Baltic used all the experience they had and opened up the defence with 2 great runs that made the final score 7-4.
fixtures prior to the FA Futsal League’s kick off. It was never going to be easy, but results didn’t do English Futsal any favours as they went down 10-2, 15-0 and 4-1 to Poland, Hungary and Macedonia respectively. It was hardly showing an improvement over recent results in the KL 5s
either, but with the players now returning (hopefully) to futsal teams in the national league, we should start to see an improvement in England’s next fixtures, which are yet to be confirmed. To read the thoughts of England Manager Graeme Dell log on to www.TheFA.com
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