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MANCHESTER vs. BAKU UNITED FA Futsal Cup Group ‘3’ Friday 6 March 2015 Powerleague, Trafford


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MATCH OFFICIALS Gavin SARTAIN Marc BIRKETT Peter NURSE

Welcome to Powerleague, Trafford for this FA Futsal Cup Group ‘3’ clash with Baku United. The English champions won this competition last season - beating MFC 2-0 in a close-fought final at the Copper Box. However, last time the teams met at Capital City Academy, Baku eased to a convincing 15-2 win to put themselves in pole position to qualify as group winners. Since then, both sides have gone onto win their respective league with immaculate 100% records, ensuring safe progress to the FA National Futsal Super League. Even a point today for Manchester would see them clinch qualification to the Finals where they will have a chance to claim the trophy they last won in 2011. Baku have already sealed safe passage to the Finals with four wins from four, although they only just overcame a resilient Bristol side 4-3 in their last outing. Also safely through to the next phase are London Zappsport, Helvecia, Birmingham Futsal, Oxford Lions, Fourstar and Salisbury United, so Manchester have it all to play for this evening against Baku. Special thanks to Paul Saffer, Pete Sturgess, Oleksandr Saliy, Doug Reed, Stuart Cook and Marc Taylor for their contribution to our third matchday programme. There’s not much left to say now except enjoy reading, but, more importantly, enjoy the game! Chris Wildgoose MFC Head of Media


CONTENT 4 6 8 10 14 16 20 MANCHESTER CAPTAIN AND ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL STUART COOK LOOKS AHEAD TO FA FUTSAL CUP CLASH

UEFA FUTSAL WRITER PAUL SAFFER COMPARES ENGLISH AND EUROPEAN FUTSAL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ENGLAND HEAD COACH PETE STURGESS

BAKU CHAIRMAN OLEKSANDR SALIY GIVES US HIS VERDICT ON THEIR SEASON SO FAR

FORMER MFC PLAYER DOUG REED REFLECTS ON HIS TIME WITH THE CLUB AND HIS BAKU CAREER

SUPER LEAGUE PREVIEW - WHO’S PLAYING WHO AND THE LOW DOWN ON ALL TWELVE TEAMS

MFC SQUAD AND FA NATIONAL FUTSAL LEAGUE NORTH INFORMATION

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#TheCaptain

STUART COOK

Ahead of this evening’s clash with Baku, MFC captain Stuart Cook has highlighted the quality in the visitors’ ranks – in particular England internationals James Dalton, Doug Reed and Agon Rexha. Cook has played alongside and against the Three Lions trio on numerous occasions and believes they have the potential to be game changers in this FA Futsal Cup clash. “The England lads are great both on and off the court,” said Cook. “Doug and Agon both have experience of playing professionally abroad and experienced a lot in recent years with different styles of coaching and levels of competition. “James is one of the best ‘keepers I’ve seen play – both in England and abroad, so obviously it will be a difficult task when you consider the calibre of the rest of the Baku squad as well. Our young lads will find this as a great test of where they are and also where they need to be.” Manchester come into this game on the back of a thrilling 8-8 draw with London United on 22 February at Capital City Academy, but Cook 4

insists the team need to put the result to the back of their minds and focus on the task at hand. “Travelling away is always tricky, especially on a pitch that size and with players missing; it isn’t a real reflection of futsal,” continued the MFC captain. “This game isn’t about bouncing back – it’s about setting the right tone going into the Super League. “We’re under no illusions; even we’re underdogs to Baku, so a positive result is unlikely. We have to rectify the mistakes made when we last played them and show signs of progression moving forward. “Ideally we would take three points against Baku and then the Bristol game would be insignificant. The likelihood is though that it will be a winner takes all in a couple of weeks between ourselves and Bristol, and with them missing out on the Super League it will make or break their season.” Despite claiming a third FA National Futsal League North title, the champions have barely been able to get into their stride this season due to a number of contributing factors, and the


Manchester captain is relishing the prospect of facing tougher opposition. “It’s felt like a pre-season,” admitted Cook, “we’ve yet to be tested in the league. The North league has been won at a canter and, to be honest, it has actually been a detriment to our season so far. The league effectively starts on Sunday against a strong and experienced Baltic, who we last faced in the 5-2 FA Futsal Cup final victory on 2011. “The Cup hasn’t been ideal preparation either due to a number of factors including travel, pitch size and scheduling. Hopefully we can clinch qualification for the Finals as soon as possible and concentrate on the Super League where we will finally be tested against some quality opposition and find out where we were at this point last season. “As the leading club in England we have to be competing in the top competitions.”

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#TheColumnist

PAUL SAFFER

The meeting of England’s two top futsal clubs is a good excuse to compare the sport here and abroad. Manchester are the most successful example of the amateur model that make up the bulk of the league, run by enthusiasts and developing fast. Baku, with outside sponsorship, have built a cosmopolitan professional squad that have become the first English club to be a force in the UEFA Futsal Cup. Of course, professional futsal clubs are the norm in much of Europe, and an equivalent match between the two top teams in other countries would attract a much bigger crowd and far more media attention that there is today. So is English futsal doomed to fringe status, known, if at all, as a training tool for football rather than a top-class international sport in its own right? In fact, the sport here has come a long way. The countries where professional futsal is established and whose national teams, for now, are out of reach of England, it is not a new 6

discipline. Spain, Portugal, Italy, the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia: these are all places where, if not specifically futsal, than a recognisable form of mini-football was an established competitive spectator sport. Also, in these countries other indoor sports like handball, basketball and volleyball are far more part of the culture than here – meaning facilities like the Copper Box are more common than in England. In England, indoor, small-sided football was a recreational discipline, not a serious full-blown sport. Nevertheless, in ten years England has gone from having a new national team made up of intrigued semi-professional footballers to a competitive squad, including several full-time futsal players taking part in a nationwide league. That despite almost little (certainly national) media coverage. Futsal may not be the FA’s overwhelming priority but it has been willing to invest and learn from best practice elsewhere. Taking internationals and cup finals to venues like here at the Copper Box is also important. It is only in top arenas like


this that the sport can be made attractive to sponsors and, ideally, television. Obviously, it would be nice for matches such as Manchester against Baku United to be played in front of several thousand fans, broadcast live and reported on in the mainstream sports media. Such a breakthrough is some way away and there is certainly more room to push the game. The German FA, who after all do not have a national team as of yet, have decreed that all indoor football tournaments must now be played under official futsal rules, even at the expense of the popular Indoor Cup events involving top eleven-a-side clubs. A recognition of futsal as how football is played indoors ought to help the creditability of the sport there. Here, the determination of clubs to encourage youth futsal – not least Manchester and Baku – is vital. When futsal got publicity during the football World Cup in Brazil it was notable that Phil Neville was aware of the sport through his children. Even if the most talented young futsal players 7

developed by Manchester and Baku transfer into football, it will not do the sport any harm if the future top English soccer players credit futsal for their talent, just as Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar already do. And I do believe that futsal benefits far more from its relationship with football than it loses by inevitably being a junior partner. On a European level, UEFA can bring futsal a profile, resources and know-how in event staging that an independent five-a-side body could not possibly have, and the publicity given by famed footballers and football clubs endorsing futsal is invaluable. What this means, then, is that English futsal should not be depressed at how far it has to go to catch the leading European nations, or at least close the gap. Futsal here has not been established over decades as a sport with mass participation and a long-standing competitive structure. In England futsal has only just put those foundation in place, and in any construction that takes more time than the building itself.


#England

PETE STURGESS

Despite being eliminated at the group stage in Malta, England Head Coach Pete Sturgess believes there are many positives to take from the UEFA European Championship campaign. The Three Lions narrowly missed out to Switzerland on goals scored, but Sturgess is happy with the way his squad went about their business. “Before the tournament started, I think we would have all settled for remaining unbeaten and getting seven points from the three games,” said the Head Coach. “However, in hindsight, it wasn’t enough. I always try to be positive and the three performances demonstrated how far we have progressed and the exciting thing is I believe there is more to come. “In Malta we were defensively strong and this is an area we have improved upon and this has been achieved without us losing our attacking threat and potency. Our game management is getting better and the time spent in the last game - almost 25-30 minutes - playing against the fly ‘keeper of Andorra was great practice for our squad.” England got off to a flier with a 3-0 victory over hosts Malta before grinding out a 2-2 draw with Latvia. The Three Lions then narrowly edged out Andorra 3-2 in their final group game but,

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unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to progress to the main round. Five of the 14-man squad who travelled to Malta were made up of players from Manchester and Baku. Stuart Cook and Jordan Parker were the MFC representatives, while James Dalton, Doug Reed and Agon Rexha flew the flag for the English champions. “It is always a positive thing if there are squad members from the same team,” continued Sturgess. “The knowledge about each other’s game and of player’s strengths and weaknesses can be deeper and this can help the team. “Having said that there will always be a desire to pick the strongest squad regardless of where they play. Playing for Baku obviously allows my players to train full time and, with some of the best players in Europe, so this is a real bonus. “The squad is building up to the FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifiers that take place later this year. This is another great challenge and, although we have some gaps in our programme because we missed out on qualification to the main round, we will try to prepare in the best possible way.” Not only does England have talented first team set-up, but the nation also boasts a batch of


hungry players in the Development Squad who are champing at the bit for their opportunity. “The development programme is vital to our long term success,” said Sturgess. “It is underpinned by eight Regional Centres of Excellence who meet periodically throughout the year. This pathway will help us identify the next generation of players and this is crucial at this stage of our development as a futsal nation. “The England senior squad is our flagship at the moment but we want to be competitive at every level and we also want talented players to see futsal as a viable option.”

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#TheOpposition

BAKU UNITED FA FUTSAL CUP GROUP ‘3’

BAKU UNITED SQUAD Jonathan CAMARA Bruno CHRISTO Alcides DA SILVA Diogo DA SILVA James DALTON Calvin DICKSON Marcelo DOS REIS SOARES Isaac FERNANDEZ Alexandre GHIOTTI Jesus HURTADO Jose LOZANO Christian LUFT Carlos MUNOZ Kenedy OFONG Liam PALFREEMAN Douglas REED Agon REXHA Fabricio SANTOS Tobias SEETO Roberto TOBE Paulo YAMEDA

P W D

L

F

A

1 BAKU UNITED

4

4

0

0 41 7

2 MANCHESTER

4

2

1

1 28 31

3 BRISTOL CITY

5

1

1

3 17 29

4 LONDON UNITED

5

0

2

3 17 36

Baku are flying this season. Make no mistake about it. Their 15-2 demolition of Manchester in January shows just how far the champions have gone since the two sides met in both the league and cup finals at the end of last campaign. Baku won both encounters 5-1 and 2-0 respectively, but MFC were swatted like a fly in the FA Futsal Cup tie at Capital City Academy in the Group ‘3’ fixture earlier this year.

HEAD COACH: Chema JIMINEZ ONE TO WATCH: JOSE LOZANO The Spaniard has lit up the South league this campaign and was on the scoresheet in last season’s FA Futsal Cup final. Lozano averaged three goals a game with 30 in ten league appearances.

The champions stamped their superiority over the game in stunning fashion, showing the kind of quality that also took Europe by storm in their UEFA Futsal Cup crusade. They were eventually undone by Spanish giants Barcelona, who triumphed 5-1. But perhaps the most disappointing moment and turning point of their European adventure was letting a 1-0 lead slip against Ukranian outfit Lokomotiv Kharkiv as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat in their opening Elite Round fixture. In order to reach that stage, the English champions blew the opposition out of the water with some emphatic performances. Gibraltar Scorpions and Malmo City were both thrashed 10-0, while Baku finished the Preliminary Round with a 6-3 victory over Bosnian outfit MNK Centar Sarajevo. It was three wins from three in the Main Round for Baku who beat Italians Luparense 6-2, Serbians KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac 4-1 and Athina of Greece 2-0 to comfortably qualify for the Elite Round of the competition.

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GD PTS 34 12 -3

7

-12

4

-19

2

However, it proved to be a step too far for the English champions who, after losses to Lokomotiv and Barcelona, ended their European campaign on a high with a 6-0 win over Hungarian side MVFC Berettyoujfalu. Spanish coach Chema Jimenez is currently overseeing one of the finest futsal teams to have ever played in the UK. With an immaculate record this season, Baku will again be hot favourites to retain their league and cup titles. In James Dalton, Agon Rexha and Doug Reed, there is a core of England internationals who are playing futsal at the highest level, which can only benefit the national team in the long run. This trio also complement the flair and quality of the foreign spine of Baku, with the likes of Jonathan Camara Jesus Hurtado, Jose Lozano, Carlos Munoz and Paulo Yamada slotting seamlessly into this star-studded team. The English champions have scored an astonishing 228 goals in all competitions this season - 141 of which have come in the league. They’ve also hit double figures twelve times as well, including a 21-0 rout over Maccabi on 2 November. Can anyone stop Baku? Manchester will be looking to be the first English team to beat Baku since City of London triumphed 7-6 on 2 December 2012. Shouldn’t be too difficult, then. 11


#TheChairman

OLEKSANDR SALIY

Baku Chairman Oleksandr Saliy officiating a Football League fixture

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Why did you choose to become involved in Baku? “To make one of the best clubs in Europe,” replied Baku Chairman Oleksandr Saliy. The Ukrainian-born businessman is certainly on course to making that dream a reality, with domination of the English game well underway. Back-to-back league crowns were added to with an FA Futsal Cup triumph in June last year and the champions are favourites to retain their titles this season. “Each year we try to improve as we are ambitious and if you stand still your competition will overtake you,” said Saliy. “We have made some changes to the playing squad from last season, which has made the team stronger and with more depth - plus we now have one more year together, which only brings the team closer. “Our main target is to go further in Europe. The first step to doing this is winning the National League which gives the opportunity to play in the UEFA Futsal Cup. This season we got further in Europe than last year and, if we can win the league again, we will try to progress once more.” Baku have simply been too strong for the competition this campaign – Lokomotiv Kharkov and Barcelona aside - and the closest they’ve come to dropping points in the league is a 3-1 victory over runners-up Baltic on 21 September.

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“We are pleased with how the season has gone so far and the fact we have maintained our unbeaten record,” continued Saliy. “However, the most important part of the season is still to come so we will not be complacent and give everything to win the two titles on offer. Saliy is also a professional referee with the FA and has officiated at Championship level, although his last action was a League One stalemate which finished 1-1 between Crawley Town and Bristol City in May 2014. However, it appears that the man from Ternopil, Ukraine, is focussing all of his sporting endeavours on making Baku one of the major forces in English and European futsal. “Playing against the best teams in Europe can only help the team and that experience gives us a small advantage over our rivals,” stated Saliy. “However, we know the domestic competition is very different and we are prepared for that.”


#TheFormerPlayer

DOUG REED

Having travelled Europe and competed in Spain, Cyprus, Serbia and Croatia, former Manchester star Doug Reed now plies his trade with Baku.

scoring record of 143 goals, but managed 141. But how does his current team compare to those on the continent?

The England international was part of last season’s league and cup double winning side and has got more domestic honours in his sights with the English champions.

“The teams I played in Croatia and Spain were very good but for the overall squad Baku has to be the best,” continued Reed. “I would highlight former players Arnaldo and Marcelo as two of the best players I have played with in my career and training with them was enjoyable and makes you a better player.”

“For me sport is about competing and putting in the effort to be better than your opponent,” said Reed. “The most objective way of knowing you have done that is through winning and a title gives you a huge feeling of satisfaction.

With futsal being so new in the UK, our European counterparts are streets ahead – with leagues offering much more competition and fixtures often televised live, and Reed believes the FA needs to do more to promote the sport.

“For me, as a player, the most important thing is to enjoy my futsal each day. If I am doing that then I know I am doing my best and maximising the contribution I make to my team winning trophies.

“Futsal is part of the sports and leisure industry which is very profitable and thus very competitive,” said the Baku man. “Futsal is new in England and to establish itself it needs to compete with many other things fighting for people's interest.

“I have many fond memories from my time with Manchester and it was where I was first introduced to futsal. The best part was the friends I made and the time we spent together. It is so enjoyable playing futsal with friends and even more when you win together.

“At the moment relatively few people know of the league's or sport's existence. For futsal to succeed it needs to be managed like a business and build its brand. The positive thing is the 'product' of futsal is incredible so it is more a case of raising awareness and improving the presentation than anything.”

“One of the best moments was winning the FA Futsal Cup in 2011 when we had a talented and close knit group. I was there since the club was first founded and that was a great reward for all the hard work everyone had put in. I still follow the club closely and keep in touch with people there. They are doing a fantastic job.”

Unfortunately for Reed and co. their European adventure was halted by Spanish giants Barcelona in the Elite Round, but that defeat came after a disappointing 2-1 loss to Lokomotiv Kharkiv in their opening game.

Baku won every league game this season and came close to breaking Oxford Lions’ goal

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r

D

However, despite coming up against some of the world’s best futsal stars, Reed insists he wasn’t fazed by the challenge and is relishing the opportunity of potentially coming up against such high quality again next season. “There is arguably no-one better or bigger than Barcelona so it was a fantastic opportunity for the club to test itself against the best in front of a big crowd and live on TV. “In those countries, futsal is established and well known. The sport gets far more attention, larger attendances and players are playing from a young age which results in the leagues being a much higher standard than in England. “It is a really nice environment to play futsal in. However, every country started from zero and if England learns from them to put the right development plan in place it can catch up quickly and even overtake them.” Reed was part of the England squad that narrowly lost out to Switzerland on goals scored at the recent UEFA Futsal European Championships in Malta, although the former Manchester man didn’t feature due to injury.

Cup qualifiers in October with the aim to make up for the disappointment then. “I think we will continue to improve because the national league is improving, be it slowly, and the England team's progress has tracked the league's development. Every year there is a bigger pool of players for the coach to select from and the players in the squad have more experience. “You can see across the world that there is a strong relationship between the level of a country's league and the national team's success. The league must continue to develop and that will lead to more players going professional or semi-professional which will help us reach our potential. “At the moment we have several professional players, which gives us an advantage over our current rivals, but we still lag behind the nations that make it to the major tournaments. We are a top-60 team now and I think it is realistic to aim to be a top-40 side in the next couple of years, and from there we can look to break into the next level of teams who qualify for major tournaments.”

However, he predicts big things for the Three Lions and is confident the team will make a big impact at international level sooner rather than later. “Of course we were very disappointed to not qualify; especially given we did the previous time,” said Reed. “We have to move forward, learn from our mistakes and focus on the World

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#GrandFinals

GROUP ‘A’ PREVIEW

GROUP ‘A

MANCHESTER The North champions will be looking to go one further this season having finished runners up last time around. However, to do that would surely require Manchester to overcome Baku at some stage in the competition. Like the English champions, MFC have reached this phase with a 100% league record and have a never-say-die attitude that could prove to be crucial in games against Baltic and Helvecia, who will provide very tough competition for Manchester. However, it’s a prospect the side will be relishing.

LOUGHBOROUGH Finished this campaign some way off eventual Midlands champions Birmingham, which will be disappointing for the team that made it to last season’s Grand Finals - only to be beaten by Manchester 5-4 in the semi-finals. Second place a best-ever finish for Loughborough, who have been aided by the stunning form of England international Will Rooke, who hit 17 goals in twelve league games. James Webb is also an important player for the Midlands side who will need big performances from the main men in order to qualify.

08/03/15

Baltic v Ma Loughboro Helvecia v

29/03/15

Loughboro York v Man Baltic v Oxf

12/04/15

York v Helv Baltic v Lou Mancheste

19/04/15

Helvecia v Oxford Lion York v Baltic

26/04/15

Oxford Lion Mancheste Helvecia v

03/05/15

Mancheste York v Loug Oxford Lion

10/05/15

Helvecia v Mancheste Oxford Lion

17/05/15

Helvecia v Oxford Lion Loughboro

24/05/15

Mancheste Loughboro Baltic v Yor

31/05/15

York v Oxfo Loughboro Baltic v Hel

OXFORD LIONS The two-time Midlands champions have suffered an indifferent season, with third place their lowest-ever league finish. Goals simply haven’t flowed for the Lions this campaign with their record low of 70, however Oxford know all too well that goals don’t win you leagues having bagged a Futsal League record 143 in the 2012/13 season but still finished second to University of Bath. Made the league final in 2011/12 but were beaten by Helvecia. Eliminated at this stage in the last two seasons at the expense of Sheffield and Helvecia.

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A’ FIXTURES

BALTIC

anchester ough v York Oxford Lions

Have finished second in the South on three occasions - including the last two campaigns, Baltic are certainly the ones to watch in this group. Bettered only by Baku this season (3-1 and 8-0 respectively) the Londoners will provide tough competition for any opposition in the Super League. Came close to winning the South league in 2010/11 but missed out to Helvecia by a point, which is as near as they have come to claiming the South crown. Eliminated at this stage of the competition for the past two years at the expense of Sheffield and Loughborough.

ough v Helvecia nchester ford Lions

vecia ughborough er v Oxford Lions

Manchester ns v Loughborough c

ns v York er v Loughborough Baltic

er v Baltic ghborough ns v Helvecia

Loughborough er v York ns v Baltic

York ns v Baltic ough v Manchester

er v Helvecia ough v Oxford Lions rk

ord Lions ough v Manchester lvecia

HELVECIA England’s most decorated futsal club, however the emergence of Baku has knocked them off their perch in recent years. The Samba Stars have won the English title on five occasions but look a shadow of their former self at the moment. Underestimate Helvecia at your peril as the experience in the squad may well be enough to claim victory in any game. They finished this season with their lowest ever points total and goal tally with 58 in 14 fixtures. Helvecia lost out to Baku in last season’s Grand Final semifinal as the eventual champions triumphed 3-1.

UNIVERSITY OF YORK Awarded a place in the Super League despite finishing sixth due to Teesside pulling out of the competition. York may find it difficult to make an impact having finished bottom of the North league with just two points. The highlight of their season was definitely the 4-2 victory over Middlesbrough at Thornaby Pavilion, but they failed to take advantage of the teams around them in the league, in particular fellow promoted teams Teesside and Stockport. However, Junior Roberti’s side will put up a good fight and won’t be there to make up the numbers.

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#GrandFinals

GROUP ‘B’ PREVIEW

GROUP ‘B’

BAKU UNITED The English champions should come through this group relatively unscathed and at a canter, but they’ll be under no illusions - turning up will not be enough to qualify. Baku are professional from the foundations up and know that they will still have to work hard for their place at the Grand Finals. Quality should tell and they seem to be in ominous form having convincingly swept away Manchester 15-2 in the FA Futsal Cup in January, while they are also defensively, with just 13 goals conceded in the league this season.

08/03/15

Birmingham Sheffield v Middlesbro

29/03/15

Sheffield v Reading v Birmingham

12/04/15

Reading v Birmingham Baku v Gen

SHEFFIELD

19/04/15

Middlesbro Genesis v S Reading v

26/04/15

Genesis v R Baku v She Middlesbro

03/05/15

Baku v Birm Reading v Genesis v M

10/05/15

Middlesbro Baku v Rea Genesis v B

17/05/15

Middlesbro Sheffield v Genesis v B

24/05/15

Baku v Mid Sheffield v Birmingham

31/05/15

Reading v Sheffield v Birmingham

Had a disappointing league campaign by their standards having failed to mount a serious North title challenge. They ran Manchester to the wire last season but finished 14 points adrift of the champions this time around - with only 30 points up for grabs. However, Sheffield will fancy their chances in this group with Baku really the only major threat. Birmingham will provide tricky opposition but the Yorkshire side are more than capable of putting in a performance on their day and could well sneak a place at the Grand Finals.

GENESIS Haven’t made it to the Grand Finals since 2011/12 where they were eliminated by eventual runners-up Oxford. Finished comfortably in the top four this season and narrowly missed out on third place. Will be without Pedro Cabral after his move to Manchester, but there’s still plenty of firepower in the Genesis squad. Have proved in the past that they’re capable of scoring goals when they hit 114 three seasons ago as they finished second to Helvecia , who also scored 114. Back in the Super League after two consecutive sixth place finishes.

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’ FIXTURES

m v Baku Reading ough v Genesis

Middlesbrough Baku m v Genesis

Middlesbrough m v Sheffield nesis

ough v Baku Sheffield Birmingham

Reading effield ough v Birmingham

mingham Sheffield Middlesbrough

ough v Sheffield ading Birmingham

ough v Reading Birmingham Baku

ddlesbrough Genesis m v Reading

Genesis Baku m v Middlesbrough

BIRMINGHAM Won the Midlands league at a canter but never blew the opposition out of the water - their biggest victory was 8-1 against Reading back in November. The season hinged on two close games with Loughborough which Birmingham narrowly won 5-4 and 3-2 respectively. But the Midlands champions have made a habit of grinding out results this season and when push comes to shove they have had the quality to see off their opponents and will be fancy their chances of qualifying from what looks like a relatively straight-forward group.

MIDDLESBROUGH An inconsistent season for Middlesbrough who suffered shock defeats against Teesside and University of York this term. However, ‘Boro have plenty of attacking flair and will be relishing the prospect of competing in this group. Mikey Roberts will be the one to watch for the Teessiders as he has the ability to make something out of nothing. Finished rock bottom of their Super League group last season after two hammerings from Oxford and Helvecia and were also eliminated at the expense of City of London the previous campaign.

READING Had a strong end to the campaign to finish in the Super League places. Reading won four of their last five games to leapfrog Bristol City into fourth place. Also having a strong FA Futsal Cup campaign, with a 5-4 defeat against Helvecia the only blip in an otherwise encouraging competition. Thrashed Gateshead 19-2 in the Cup and have also secured an impressive 6-3 victory over Oxford last month to keep their Super League dream alive. However, they might struggle in this group with the other teams possessing that bit more quality.

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Marcos MAGALHAES

Russell ASTLE-COATES

Ilya OVECHKIN

Ant HARALAMBOUS

Paul THOMPSON

Ed BRYERS

Enric VALLES

Sergio LORENTE

Aidan HILDITCH

Abdallah MOHAMED

Danny STAPLETON 20

#TheTeam

Jordan PARKER


Stuart COOK

Sam RICHARDSON

Raducio KING

Sean BYNOE

Lubas NAGY

Gerhard GLUCHMAN

Pedro CABRAL

Robert SZENTGYORGYI

Roger SOLVAS

Jordan EDGE

Giles COLLIER

Ben SEOL

Awaiting image

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FA NATIONAL FUTSAL SUPER LEAGUE GROUP ‘A’ 2014/15 P W D

L

F

A GD PTS

1 BALTIC

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2 HELVECIA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3 LOUGHBOROUGH

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4 MANCHESTER

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5 OXFORD LIONS

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6 TEESSIDE

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

MFC FIXTURES AND RESULTS 2014/15 14/09/14 28/09/14 26/10/14 02/11/14 09/11/14 16/11/14 07/12/14 21/12/14 08/02/15 15/02/15 08/03/15 29/03/15 12/04/15 19/04/15 26/04/15 03/05/15 10/05/15 17/05/15 24/05/15 31/05/15

MANCHESTER 6-0 MIDDLESBROUGH STOCKPORT 6-7 MANCHESTER MANCHESTER 5-2 SHEFFIELD MANCHESTER 6-4 TEESSIDE YORK 3-10 MANCHESTER MANCHESTER 9-1 STOCKPORT MIDDLESBROUGH 2-4 MANCHESTER SHEFFIELD 1-5 MANCHESTER TEESSIDE 3-8 MANCHESTER MANCHESTER 7-2 YORK BALTIC v MANCHESTER TEESSIDE v MANCHESTER MANCHESTER v OXFORD LIONS HELVECIA v MANCHESTER MANCHESTER v LOUGHBOROUGH MANCHESTER v BALTIC MANCHESTER v TEESSIDE OXFORD LIONS v MANCHESTER MANCHESTER v HELVECIA LOUGHBOROUGH v MANCHESTER MFC TOP SCORERS 2014/15

12 10 9 7 5 4 2 1 P 95

RICHARDSON KING OVECHKIN COOK GLUCHMAN, STAPLETON BRYERS, SEOL MOHAMED, NAGY, SOLVAS FIVE PLAYERS, OWN GOAL W 72

WIN % DRAW % LOSE % GF AVERAGE GA AVERAGE PTS AVERAGE BIGGEST WIN BIGGEST LOSS HAT-TRICKS

MFC FA NATIONAL FUTSAL LEAGUE HISTORY D L GF GA GD PTS CS 10 13 638 261 +378 226 9 75.79% 10.52% 13.69% 6.72 2.75 2.38 27-0 (vs. HULL; 04/03/12) 4-9 (vs. OXFORD LIONS; 12/05/12) 55

ALL-TIME TOP GOAL SCORERS (LEAGUE ONLY) SAM RICHARDSON ILYA OVECHKIN STUART COOK ROSS BOND DAN HARALAMBOUS RADUCIO KING PAUL THOMPSON EDUARDO BETANCOR ANT HARALAMBOUS SEAN BYNOE RUBEN MANNA DOUGLAS REED MARK THOMPSON RODRIGO SPERANDIO LUCAS QUINTANA NICHOLAS HAMBLIN ED BRYERS JAMES NESTOR JESE PRIEGO AMMAR SAAWE CARLOS CASTRO VICENTE GARCIA GERHARD GLUCHMAN DANNY STAPLETON PARTICIO GOMEZ AIDAN HILDITCH RUBEN MARTINEZ EDGAR PEREZ RIK BRADLEY NETO FERRARINI ROBERT HOWARTH MARCOS MAGALHAES JOSE ALVES DE SOUZA ROSS FARRAN JANSIL HEZAQUEL DE SILVA ABDALLAH MOHAMED LUBAS NAGY CLEBERSON REITZ LEWIS SCHOFIELD BEN SEOL ROGER SOLVAS RICHARD BAHZURI GILES COLLIER JORDAN EDGE FRANCISCO MIGUEL AGOSTINHO NETO MARCOS ORTIZ JOSH POYSER FAHILD SULEMANE ROBERT SZENTGYORGYI JAMIE WEBER-MACARTNEY OWN GOALS

22

131 63 50 41 38 38 30 20 17 15 14 13 13 11 9 8 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 27


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Programme compiled and edited by Chris Wildgoose Images courtesy of Marc Taylor unless otherwise stated


MANCHESTER FUTSALCLUB ISSUPPORTEDBY

Manchester Futsal Club vs Baku United Futsal Club Programme