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MFC REVIEW Issue 1 2012

Futsal in the community New Arrivals


A round up of all the action from our title winning season


Read all about the playoff weekend.

Meet the new staff


New Kit

Exclusive shots from our new kit launch.

New Kit Unveiled

Previews and build up

to the new season

MFC At the Play-offs

Title Celebrations



Head coach Marcos Lean

2012/13 Kit Launch ...................................................................................................... 4 Title Reaction - From the Gaffer .................................................................................... 8 Bite-size round up of 2011/12 .....................................................................................10 Goodbye Daniel ...........................................................................................................12 Meet the (new!) staff ....................................................................................................14 The Connell Award .......................................................................................................15 Futsal should be encouraged ......................................................................................18 Play-offs Round Up .....................................................................................................19 Play-off Reaction ........................................................................................................22 Countdown to Kick-off; Sam Richardson ...........................................................................................................23 Marcos Magalhaes ......................................................................................................24 Marcos Leon ................................................................................................................26 Ant Haralambous .........................................................................................................28 Stuart Cook ..................................................................................................................30 Ilya Ovechkin ................................................................................................................31 Game Day - Round 1 ...................................................................................................33 Contact Us ..................................................................................................................35 Page 2



Above Editor Chris Wildgoose modeling the new MFC tracksuit. Left Mizhael Herrera sports the new keeper shirt

Welcome to Issue 1 of MFC Review Rounding up all the latest news and views from Manchester Futsal Club.

Below Sam Richardson in action away to Liverpool in the first game of 2012/13

Issue 1 brings you the action from the playoff finals down in London, memories from last seasons title win, build up to the new season and exciting developments off the pitch with new staff arrivals and exciting developments for the club in the community. Hopefully Issue 2 will be out just before Christmas and will bring you more news from off the pitch along with match reports and all the action from the 2012/13 season. Unless stated otherwise all articles are written by Chris Wildgoose and photos supplied by

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2012 - 2013 Mobel Kit Launch OUR fantastic new kit has been extremely well received by everyone following the launch on Wednesday, but we want to know what the players think, after all, they’re the ones who are wearing it. Goalkeeper Mizha Herrera may have to take up a job in fashion now following this stunning kit design, with unique features complimenting

the array of colours on display.

Cook is full of praise for the Spanish kit makers.

“When I first saw the kit I was immediately drawn to the vivid colours, especially on the away kit,” said Ant Haralambous.

“From what I have heard, and now seen, it looks the part and seems like Mobel have made the effort to make it unique to Manchester Futsal Club,” said the England international.

“I also really liked the small details like the Manchester Futsal badge being subtly incorporated into the kit and the England flag on the back of the collar. “After trying it on, you can feel how light it is

“I like the badge being part of the main body of the kit, it gives it a and I was impressed with professional feel and look. It fits much better the quality of the material. It felt far more than the previous kit. new age than the old kit “Overall I’d say hats off and was a far better fit. to Mobel on a great “I’m looking forward design.” to wearing it at the play-offs and beyond.” There’s no doubt Manchester will certainly Ilya Ovechkin added: look the part at the playoffs. Let’s hope the team “It’s a really good design that fits in with can deliver as well as the club’s badge. Also, the kits have a light and quick-dry material, which is perfect for playing indoors. Marcus Lean

“I am certainly looking forward to wearing the kit at the play-offs and next season.” The players certainly seem to have taken a liking to their new Mobel kit, and Stuart

Ilya Ovechkin Page 4


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Wildgoose Media



Title Reaction: From The Gaffer

“I was focused our game, because I had to concentrate” said Marcos Leon when asked what he was thinking when the news filtered through that Middlesbrough had equalised against Sheffield. “My first thought when I heard it was 5-5 with 30 seconds to go was: ‘What the hell are Sheffield

doing?’ because I already knew it was 5-1 with seven minutes to go. “But at the end of the day, we did our job and won so that we won the league and qualified for the play-offs, which is what we set out to achieve.”

The Manchester manager was a very animated character for the duration of the 20-2 victory over Crewsadors as he guided the club to its first ever league title. “Of course, I would have liked to have won the league title as soon as possible, but fate left it until the last league match.

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The champagne corks pop as the title celebrations begin.

But, after all, we have come first and the saying goes: ‘Better late than never’ and here we are.” It has been a fantastic first season at the helm for Leon who got off to the perfect start with a 10-0 victory over Tranmere Victoria and ended it in style.

on knowing that the work would help us get things done. We have been able to compete under pressure and for this I owe everything to my players.

“I am very happy with the players, I always believed in them. With the effort they have given throughout the season, we've been able to play to the maximum in most games. “We lost the second league match at home against Middlesbrough 5-0, which made us stronger to go

“The team has been working hard and has managed to make the big

games count. We have a very competitive team that does not forfeit a game.” When asked who he thought was the stand out player for the season, Leon, unsurprisingly, was unable to single out an individual for special praise after a sensational collective effort this campaign. “All the players have contributed to the team effort. Everyone has had a magnificent season and I want to send my most sincere congratulations to all the players and staff for achieving this league title. Page 9


A bite-size round up of 2011/12

Crushed at home to Boro losing 5-0

Taking time out from the league to play England

Nerves of steel to beat Sheffield 3-2 away

Bumping into old friends away to Liverpool

Liverpools bag of tricks couldn’t stop MFC

Pulling level with 8 seconds to spare away to Boro

Beating a strong Sheffield 7-2 set up the title charge

Goals a plenty away at Crewe to seal the title

Picking up the silverware

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Specialising in sports, property and gig photography. Official photographer to Manchester Futsal Club, Wigan Robin Park football club and accredited with the Rugby Football League. To get in touch or for more details on what I can offer visit Page 11


Goodbye Daniel thanks for your hard work... AFTER two seasons as Manchester Futsal Club’s strength and conditioning coach, Daniel Berdejo-delFresno has taken the opportunity to become the head coach at Sheffield. The Steel City side finished third in the FA National Futsal League North last season and will be hoping to mount a title challenge with the Spaniard at the helm. “I cannot talk about the last season because I was not there [at Sheffield], so I don’t know how they worked and how many injuries they had or how

many problems. Also, I am not going to talk about other coaches, because that would be very disrespectful. “However, I can talk about what I can bring to the club. I would like to work as a professional team the time that we are together, although the team are not professional. We have got a lot of equipment, great facilities, great technical staff around me and players with full time futsal experience.

“When I arrived at Sheffield I had a meeting with the managers. In that meeting we talked about my, and their, proposals. Our ideas were very similar, so we came to an agreement very quickly. However, I never mentioned anything in relation to winning the title. In fact, I never said anything about my period with Manchester Futsal Club. “I said that I wanted to coach futsal. I want to be the first English club to play real futsal;

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MANCHESTER FUTSAL CLUB although I know that that is impossible to do it overnight, it is a long term process. And we are already working on it. If we are able to get that, I am quite sure we will get silverware.”

with eight seconds remaining.

futsal players play. Their futsal style is totally different compared to “The players did a futsal in other fantastic job and, even countries.“Here is although some of them amateur, so you cannot didn’t play, they were expect the players to have supporting from the certain aspects as they are bench. It was epic. It was not full time players. I incredible, and a turning learnt that the training point for the lads. After time is very limited, so I Berdejo-del-Fresno tasted that, we destroyed needed to plan the success with Manchester Sheffield and East Coast sessions very in both campaigns, first at home, then Crewsadors well to cover all winning the FA Futsal away. Our performances the aspects Cup alongside Periklies in the last three games demanded in Antoniou before topping were awesome.” futsal. the league with Marcos Leon last season. The role at Sheffield is “This is the Berdejo-del-Fresno’s first as head coach, but he believes that he learnt a lot in his time at the National Cycling Centre.“My two seasons at Manchester Futsal Club were great. I enjoyed it a lot and most importantly I learnt a lot from the lads. We trained very hard and finally we won the title. I gained great experience and I started to know the But the new Sheffield coach insists that neither English futsal, which is of those triumphs was his quite different from my Spanish futsal. favourite moment. “I know that I am going to “Therefore my be a bit controversial experience during the last here, but my favourite moment was the 5-5 draw two seasons working for Manchester Futsal Club away against has been very positive. Middlesbrough. “We didn’t play well but after losing 5-0 at home against them, and then to be losing 3-0 at half-time, then 4-0 and 4-1 with 15 minutes to go. We came back to score the last goal

“Manchester Futsal Club was my first English futsal club, so I learnt about how the English game compares to the Spanish one. I learnt about how the English

reason why all of our sessions used ‘integrated training sessions’. We tried to cover several aspects in one task or exercise. These things had a great evolution from my first season to the second. In my second season, I was more involved in the all the aspects around the team, not only about the fitness, and that gave me a great background.” Manchester will be looking to defend their title this season and Berdejo-del-Fresno believes his former club are in pole position to do exactly that. “Manchester Futsal Club will do well. They have the same core of players, with some new and

young additions, so that is a key aspect to be successful. And they have Wayo [Eduardo Betancor], maybe the best player in the country. “In addition, the head coach [Leon] will have more experience after his great first season on the league. Finally, the club

has recently appointed two fantastic strength and conditioning coaches. Therefore, I am sure that Manchester Futsal Club will be a very tough opponent.” Everyone associated with Manchester Futsal Club would like to thank Daniel for all of his hard work over the past two years and wish him all the best for the future. Gracias por su duro trabajo de Daniel. Le deseamos lo mejor para el futuro y esperamos verte pronto de nuevo.

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Meets the staff New arrivals for 2012/13 Manchester Futsal Club is proud to unveil two new additions to the backroom staff following the departure of Daniel Berdejo-del-Fresno to Sheffield. Rafik Tahraoui and Javier Manzanero have both been installed as strength and conditioning coaches as Manchester bid to defend their FA National

Futsal League North crown this season.

players we’ve got,” said Spaniard Manzanero. “It’s been two years since I was involved in a futsal club, so I’m looking forward to coming back to this environment.”Manzanero has been involved with Spanish giants Inter Movistar, who are the eight-time champions of the Primera Division, and he is hoping that his experience can have a positive effect on the countryman Marcos Leon squad. at his new club.“I think there are some players “I’ll just who are in great try to bring condition already and all of my they will be able to knowledge improve when I work from Inter with them. So the main Movistar. goal, like last year, is to Obviously win the league and to it’s a really always improve.” big club so I’ll just Our second new arrival is bring Algerian-born Tahraoui, knowledge who comes from a very from there successful sporting and try to background. His help the grandfather, Charles team and hopefully I’ll be Brand, captained Great able to learn from the Britain’s water polo team players as well.” at the 1948 Olympic

And that, they insist, was one of the main The 25-year-old currently attractions to join the works as a personal Club. trainer at LA Fitness in Manchester, and he is “There’s big expectations delighted with the set-up for the season, with the alongside fellow

Games in London and in Helsinki four years later.

the handball, but, unfortunately, was not selected due to injury. His brother, Samir, plays professional rugby in Australia for Tweed Head Seagulls after spells in England with Warrington Wolves and St. Helen’s. “I’ve worked with Salford City Reds rugby team as the strength and conditioning coach,” said Tahraoui. “I’ve done a bit of work with Manchester City as well, with the GB London triple jumpers and mainly I’ve done a lot of work with rugby players individually.

“For example my brother, Tahraoui was in line to he’s a top class rugby emulate his grandfather’s player. He’s now playing achievement by top class rugby in representing Team GB in Australia from it, so Page 14

MANCHESTER FUTSAL CLUB “At City it was more preseason testing. We did fitness testing, screening and we did some towards post-season as well. But, just from speaking with Marcos [Leon], football and futsal are very different as well, so we’ll see what it’s going to be like with futsal.”

top of their game ahead of, and during, a gruelling season.

The 23year-old is looking forward to Tahraoui’s background sinking his should be music to the teeth into the exciting player’s ears as the prospect that Manchester experience he has to offer has to offer. “I saw the will help them reach the position going and heard

from it [is what made me want to join]. “I’m not the kind of person who wants to stay in one place. I want to move forward with everything as well, so if the team is trying to move forward and progress then I’m happy to work with them. about what the Club is “It’s been a lot more aspiring to do, where they professional than what I want to move to, what expected as well and I’m they want to achieve quite excited about

Manchester Futsal Club presented with Connell Award... WE ARE delighted to announce that the Club has been presented with a Connell Award from City in the Community.

Programme will also offer youngsters a pathway into futsal by giving them the opportunity to represent the Club at U18 level.

currently exist with the club and English Futsal.”

The programme will be delivered to schools in the Manchester area by Manchester Futsal Club coaches over a 20 week Manchester Futsal Club “The club are period and players will chairman Simon delighted to have been learn a host of new skills, The aim of the Wright, along with Ilya recognised by the not only on the futsal Manchester Futsal Club Ovechkin, accepted the Connell Awards from court, but also valuable Award before Manchester Schools Futsal Manchester City Football life skills. Development Programme Club,” said Wright. City’s Premier League clash with Queen’s Park is to inspire young Futsal is about teamwork, players between the age Rangers on Saturday. “We hope that though discipline and trust and of 14-16 living in across delivering this Futsal in all of this comes together Manchester to choose The Award was presented Education project will in a very inclusive futsal as their preferred by Connell Awards inspire the young people environment. Manager, and former City format of small sided of Manchester to take a football and experience goalkeeper, Alex real interest in futsal and “I’d like to thank how the game can be a Williams and the Club the club itself. Manchester City FC and has also received a grant fun way to develop new City in the Community skills and play with their to deliver Manchester “We will utilise the award for their support and friends. Futsal Club Schools to really connect with the investment,” continued Futsal Development local community where Wright. “We look In addition to becoming Programme. the club is based and forward to working with involved in futsal, the demonstrate the wealth of them to bring the project Manchester Futsal Club opportunities that to life.” Futsal Development Page 15


Connell Award: Launch Day

City’s Brazilian defender Maicon was the special guest to launch City in the Community’s link-up with Manchester Futsal Club at Gorton’s Wright Robinson College. Manchester Futsal Club are the first organisation to receive a Connell Award this season, a series of awards designed to

recognise outstanding contribution to urban sport in East Manchester. CITC and Manchester Futsal Clubs programme is to be rolled out in 20 schools across Manchester, at Primary and Secondary level with the aim of providing activities for every age group and a pathway into competition, coaching and clubs.

Futsal, the sport which originates from South America, is credited as a key component in the successful careers of Carlos Tevez, David Silva and, of course, Maicon but the sport has struggled to gain a foothold in the UK to date.

Pictures courtesy of Simon Wright.

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This pioneering scheme is looking to change all that and City’s Brazilian international believes that can only be good news for the future of the English game. “Even though football and futsal are two different games, futsal will help children with their technical development and make them become better players when they play 11-aside football,” Maicon said. City in the Community’s Football Development Manager Gavin Makel outlined his vision for the project. “We hope that we can make a contribution to the development of both young players and

coaches whilst also putting the game of futsal in the forefront of people's minds,” Makel said. “The Connell Awards were originally designed exactly for this purpose – putting something back into a grassroots sport at the heart of the Manchester community. This is a very exciting project. “Futsal is a skilful sport that is popular all over the world. CITC has always been recognised as creating new and innovative ideas and being a partner with local sporting and educational organisations. This

latest project furthers that premise.” Simon Wright is chairman of Manchester Futsal Club and he believes that skills learned in these small-sided games can help to lay the foundations for technically gifted players to emerge in the English game. “Futsal is such an enjoyable sport to be part of and we can’t wait to expand our reach into Manchester schools and give the children an insight into the skills and flair associated with this small-sided game"

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Futsal should be encouraged... Bury FC Community Trust; Mike Morris MANY top Brazilian and Spanish internationals played futsal as youngsters, so why is the sport so new in Britain?

a full-time academic course.

One of the club’s involved in the programme is League One side Bury, and Community Manager Mike Morris believes it is It raises the question: vital that futsal is would the home nations be so far behind leading integrated into the football nations had futsal development of young been introduced at youth players. level decades ago? “I think it should be encouraged,” admits Spain continued their international dominance Morris, “because the thing is with football with European Championship glory this now, especially after the Euro’s, is about summer, while England possession and retaining and Ireland fizzled out possession and I think and never really looked futsal links in nicely with like mounting a serious that. I think there’s no challenge. coincidence that Spain We’re not suggesting that and Brazil and countries our failings were entirely like that have done futsal for a long time. because our players had not participated in futsal “Obviously with it being at an early age, but the key to Spain’s success is a weighted ball on the floor it encourages their technical skill and possession and accurate the ability to maintain passing, so the long term possession. goal of the game just Now, the Football League slots in nicely really. It’s just common sense and Education really.” Department has introduced a programme that allows young players The programme is aimed the chance to play futsal at 16 to 18-year-olds, while earning a BTEC on players who have just left

opportunity for this came up via the Football League and Education department I just thought it sounded brilliant and wanted to get involved right away.”

U18s in action at the Velodrome

school, and will begin in September.

The programme is exactly the same as a BTEC course you would expect to see at college. The players will get a diploma in Sports Performance and Excellence, which is the equivalent of three A Level’s.

Manchester Futsal Club are hoping to offer players a route into futsal once the course is finished if that is the desired path they want to take.

“They’ll do fitness training once a week, they’ll do classroom exercises three mornings a week. Every other week they’ll be playing in the Central League against Blackpool, Preston North “Bury have never done End, Burnley, Rochdale any futsal, as far as I know,” continued Morris. and they’ll all have futsal “But many years ago I set educations when they play together in the up a kid’s league for league. futsal, which was quite popular before I left. I “Futsal will teach them don’t think it carried on all the transferable skills after I left the company but it was really popular, like leadership, teamwork especially because of the and communication.” goals. For more information about the course visit: “Young kids really seemed to enjoy that and http:// www.buryfccommunitytr the weight of the ball as well. So when the Page 18


Play-off Round up

Above Eduardo Betancor dictates the pace of the game, Left Stuart Cook looks for a gap in the Oxford defence

GAME 1 - Gung-ho approach proves costly for battling Manchester...

Manchester having the best of possession for the vast majority of the contest.

OXFORD Lions showed why they are the Midlands champions with an impressive display to overcome Manchester in the opening game at the 2012 Futsal Grand Finals.

The only difference between the two sides was Manchester’s decision to employ the fly ‘keeper tactic after falling 2-0 down after seven minutes, a tactic that ultimately left the goal exposed.

Hat-tricks from captain Emilio Torres and Luke Ballinger, added to by Lucas Totti Ferras, Bruno Gibin and goalkeeper Roni Machado were enough to see the Lions win 9-4 at SportHouse. But the game was closer than the score line suggests, with

Despite the increased pressure on Oxford’s goal, Leon’s team were unable to find a way though. Dan Haralambous came close with a fierce shot that rattled the crossbar, and Sam Richardson tested Machado.

It looked inevitable that Manchester would make the breakthrough, but it was Oxford who found the next goal through Torres just three minutes before the break. The poor start seemed to have cost the Northern champions dearly, but with just 20 seconds gone in the second period Sam Richardson turned in a Stuart Cook cross to put his side back in contention. Two minutes later Cook was the provider again as he laid the ball on a plate for Eduardo Betancor, who duly rifled home a terrific shot from range. Page 19

MANCHESTER FUTSAL CLUB Chances were few and far between as Manchester continued to pile on the pressure, and they were eventually rewarded when Dan Haralambous’ shot took a slight deflection of the defender and spiralled into the bottom corner. It was a deserved equaliser for the battling FA Futsal Cup holders who were now favourites to go on and claim all three points. But the sucker-punch came just three minutes

later when Torres picked up a loose pass and found the net from range with the fly ‘keeper out of position. That goal opened the floodgates and one minute later Machado opted to try his luck from his own area and, despite Cook’s best acrobatic attempts, made it 5-3

netted a scant consolation for Manchester. There was still time for the fly ‘keeper to be exposed once more as Ballinger completed his hat-trick with a long range effort to seal victory for Oxford.

with seven minutes remaining. Goals from Gibin, Ballinger and Torres in quick succession made it 8-3 before Ilya Ovechkin

sumptuous through It was Manchester who ball to slot the ball made the perfect start as past the oncoming Dan Haralambous reacted goalkeeper and put MANCHESTER’S FA quickest to follow up his Manchester in pole National Futsal Grand initial shot to chip home position. Final dream was the opener inside the first extinguished despite a minute. The Northern 7-3 victory over Genesis, champions continued who also crashed out of to apply pressure and the Sam tournament. Richardson almost made The it 3-0 within scenario a matter of was simple. moments, but Win by his shot was eight or tipped around more goals the post. to qualify, anything Genesis less meant gradually elimination. made their For way into the Genesis, game and they needed saw a number to avoid defeat in order to Just five minutes later, of efforts bounce off the Stuart Cook latched onto frame of the goal before keep their campaign Eduardo Betancor’s alive. Richardson slammed the

Despite the result, there were lots of positives to take out of the game for Manchester. The tournament is by no means over and there is plenty to play for in the next few hours.working with the team.”

GAME 2 - Impressive victory not enough as Manchester crash out...

ball home after a quick break. Chances came and went in a frantic opening to the second half, with Dan Haralambous, Paul Thompson and Ilya Ovechkin coming close. Those misses proved to be costly as Genesis struck against the run of play through Sergio, with the tiring Manchester backline finally breached.

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Action from Manchester v Genesis

The FA Futsal Cup holders hit back almost immediately as Richardson claimed his second of the game with a fine finish into the bottom corner. Richardson hit the post and then saw his rebound almost squirm under the goalkeeper as Manchester continued to apply all the pressure. With three minutes to go, Thompson ran onto Cook’s slide-rule pass to slip the ball beyond

the onrushing goalkeeper to put Manchester 5-1 up.

Just moments later, cue Sam Richardson’s hat-trick and 100th Manchester goal in all competitions to put his side within a few goals of the final. But Manchester’s hopes were all but eradicated when Genesis were first to react to the loose ball after being denied, once more, by the frame of the goal. Genesis added a late third as they too saw their play-offs dream fading fast before Richardson rounded off the scoring in the dying moments as the fate of both teams was finally sealed. Page 21


Play-off reaction; Marcos Leon DESPITE coming unstuck in the group stages at the weekend, Marcos Leon insists that his side showed evidence as to why they are the FA National Futsal League North champions. Defeat to Oxford Lions in the opening game meant qualification was always going to be an uphill task, with goal difference proving to be an even tougher obstacle. “It was disappointing to lose the first game knowing that the team in we played was not better than us, but sometimes these things happen,” said Leon.

“In the second match the team showed what kind of futsal have been playing throughout the

season, an organized team that was strong in defence. We didn’t underestimate to Genesis, who had a good team and great individual quality of players.”

The Group ‘B’ winners went on to win the National Championships for the fifth time as they continued their domination of English futsal.

But despite the Southern champions being the overwhelming favourites, Victory several spectators against believed that Manchester Genesis meant may have had the quality that the to beat them in the final. Southern runners-up “I’m sure we have got a were also team to make it difficult eliminated for them. Being crowned from the National Champions five competition, times does not come by meaning luck. People talk too Oxford much about Manchester. progressed to face What we really need to Helvecia in Sunday’s do is win it on the court. final.

“The weekend filled me with positivity, knowing of all the work we have done. But there is still room for improvement.” Next season is just a few months away and no doubt Leon is making the necessary preparations for the upcoming campaign, and he believes Manchester have the ability to win back to back titles. “I don’t know what is going to happen next season. Officially this season has finished for us and everyone has done a great job. I’m sure that players will be back next season with the aim to retain their league title.”

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Countdown to kick-off; Sam Richardson LAST SEASON’S top scorer Sam Richardson is positive that the team’s lack of preseason friendlies will not hinder the champions’ title defence.

“Rafik [Tarahoui] is more specifically strength and conditioning. We’re in the process of getting individual programs built by him for us to “We haven’t played as improve certain many friendlies as we’d aspects, and his have liked, primarily circuit drills have down to injuries and been absolute that’s disappointing,” said killers. Richardson. “They’re really specific “In the last few weeks to futsal and I think we’ll there’s been an see the results soon.” improvement in understanding and fitness, With a few new faces at so we’re as ready as the the training ground, circumstances have Manchester have added allowed.” depth to the squad following the departures “I think we’ll need a few of Mark Thompson and league games to get close Tomeu Mellian, and to our potential.” Richardson believes they can have a great impact. With the new season just five days away, “They’ve all come in and Manchester have been shown their qualities and working tirelessly on proven they can be part strength and conditioning of the squad. to ensure they are as fit as possible for Sunday’s “It will take time to season opener. create a synergy between our existing style and “Javier [Manzerano] what they can bring, but I helps with our warm ups think once we do we and specific exercises to should be able to add a help our flexibility, much improved counter predominantly. I think attacking threat.” he’ll be really useful on Manchester travel to match days, closest to Liverpool on Sunday to Daniel [Berdejo-delbegin their title defence Fresno]’s heir, if you like, and it is worth noting that and be a help to Marcos Richardson and co have [Leon] on the sidelines. won every encounter

against their Merseyside counterparts. “We will always go to win. They’ve strengthened with experienced players and got a win behind them. “If we play to our potential and ability and, most importantly, defend as we should, we should be favourites to take the three points. “I think they’ll have an influential say in the league this season. It will be much tougher than past results suggest. “Sheffield and Middlesbrough [will be the main challengers]. I’m not too sure of how the other teams have strengthened but those two are the most consistent and having a strong base is key.”

Finals with five goals, but he admits that he would rather see the goals spread out more this season. “We have more players who have a goal threat this season, so I’d expect a great spread. I managed to score against all the teams we played, get my 100th goal in national competitions for the club and win the Golden Boot at the Grand Finals. “Goal-wise, it couldn’t have been better, but we didn’t win the National Finals, and winning the National Finals is the ultimate goal. “So I focus all my efforts on achieving that and those personal achievements are a by product.”

Richardson won the Golden Boot at the Grand Page 23


Countdown to kick-off; Marcos Magalhaes MANCHESTER will begin their title defence away at early pace setters Liverpool, who secured a 7-2 victory over Hull City in their opening game on Sunday. A win by six or more goals will see Manchester leapfrog their Merseyside counterparts in what could be a perfect start to the new campaign. “Liverpool is going to be an interesting match,” said goalkeeper Marcos Magalhaes. “Everyone knows about the Manchester-Liverpool rivalry so, as I said, it’s going to be an interesting match.

“With it being our first game I can’t see what’s going to happen. I believe they’re going to be much stronger this year, but I doubt we will lose this game.” Magalhaes and co completed the double over Liverpool last season and scored 26 goals in the process, but the Brazilian stopped insists it is all in the past.

“We need to forget about last year and focus on this year, train as hard as we can, keep focused on the game and do what we do best, which is play futsal and try to win every game that comes.” Manchester suffered heartache at the Grand Finals in May after failing to qualify from the group stage, and it is an experience that Magalhaes believes will make the team stronger.

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MANCHESTER FUTSAL CLUB “I think we were very unlucky not to reach the final, but the team is more mature now. Everyone is friends and we play as a team.

Futsal League North, and Magalhaes is certain that opposing teams will have to up their game if they are to beat the champions.

“Everyone has got ambition to win and that is what we’re here for, to keep moving forward and to win the National League. “Everyone’s come back from their holidays and doing nothing to doing a lot of running and fitness training. It’s been hard, but good because we’ve got prepared for the start of the season.”

over the reigns as “I have nothing against strength and conditioning Daniel, much the coaches at the club. contrary. He was a very good person, he helped us “Rafik is more intense, in a lot, but I think Rafik has some ways. He knows got a lot to give and we, what he’s doing; he as players, can benefit a shows that he wants to be lot from him.”

“I think we are favourites to win. Obviously the league hasn’t started for us yet, but we are the ones that currently hold the title. So if anyone wants to take it away from us they’re going to have to work hard. “I believe Sheffield [will pose the biggest threat] with all the players they have and, obviously,

Tarahoui and Manzerano are not the only additions to the team in pre-season, with three new players arriving to help bolster the squad in order to add depth following the departures of Mark Thompson and Tomeu Melian.

Since Daniel Berdejodel-Fresno departed for his new post as Head Coach at Sheffield, Rafik Tarahoui and Javier Manzerano have taken

committed to the club. I find that he wants to get involved and he wants this club to move forward.

“I think they’re good players individually. Obviously they need to get to know the current players in the squad. We, as a team, play very well together, we communicate a lot and I think we can all benefit from the new signings.” Manchester head into the new season as favourites to win the FA National

Daniel is the coach so he knows how our team plays. So I think they will be the biggest threat to us. “Leeds will have a good squad this year, and we can’t forget about Middlesbrough. They’re always competing for the title against the big clubs, so it’ll be another interesting season again.” Page 25


Countdown to kick-off; Marcos Leon WITH THE new season just seven days away, Manchester Futsal Club are preparing their title defence after a sensational 2011/12 campaign. The champions scored an incredible 118 goals and conceded just 27 en route to securing their first FA National Futsal League North championship. “Last season could not have been better,” said manager Marcos Leon. “We won the league title, which was the first league title for the

club. It was a great reward for everyone at Manchester Futsal Club. “Winning the title last year gave the team fantastic belief. We scored late goals against the top teams and we scored lots of goals throughout the season to put us top. Obviously we can win the title again, but to go for it we need to work hard and make physical sacrifices. “But last season ended months ago, and we cannot be thinking about it. The new season is just around the corner and we kept most of the same group of

players as well as adding to the squad in pre-season. “My expectations for this season are nothing more than achieving the goals we have set last season, as long as we keep our feet on the ground, keep working in the same way that we have been doing and continue to take each game as it comes. We need to be focused from the start and set the foundations for our campaign.” Tranmere Victoria and Team Northumbria are no longer in the league and have been replaced by Derby Willows and Leeds and Wakefield. Page 26


“There will be no easy games this season. After winning the league last year there will be even more incentive to try and beat us.

to their maximum potential.”

The champions have also made some new additions, with Sean Bynoe coming in from “The teams that have Crewsadors being the been in the division for most stand out arrival at several years are the most the club. dangerous, although we must not underestimate “I'm quite happy with the newly promoted teams new additions, they have from the second division; gelled fast and they are we must treat all of them working as well as the with the utmost respect. rest of their teammates. They are totally complete “All the teams have players, which is what the strengthened their squads team was looking for.” in pre-season and have improved. That is all we Last season, Manchester know about the other fell short at the Grand teams, but it is not a Finals and Leon believes problem. We will that the team still needs concentrate on our squad to make improvement and ensure that they play

before they can join Europe’s elite.

it, starting with next week against Liverpool.”

“I think Europe is a step too far at the moment. Before we can make that step the club needs to be constantly winning the league, then you can start talking about next goal being Europe. “But that is not on our mind at the moment. There are lot things to do before we do

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Countdown to kick-off; Ant Haralambous AFTER MISSING vast parts of the last two seasons through injury, Ant Haralambous is champing at the bit to get back into action in three days’ time.

Tarahoui at the club, strength and conditioning sessions during training have become much more intense.

“I’m really looking forward to the new season,” admitted the 28year-old. “Although we had a good campaign last year I know we’re improving all the time so it’s exciting to see what we can achieve this year.

Players are close to having personalised fitness schedules, and Haralambous believes he will reap the rewards for the forthcoming campaign.

“On a personal level, I’m hoping to put my injury problems of the last couple of years behind me and play the full season, hopefully reaping the benefits of my fitness and performance that come from playing regular games.

“It’s been great having Javier and Rafik at training, they both take a lot of time to help me stretch and make sure I’m doing the right things to stay injury free.

“They tell me specific things I should and shouldn’t be doing and also do some fantastic “It’s been a very sessions to make sure frustrating past two we’re all going to be at seasons for me. I miss not peak fitness. training regularly and it’s very annoying to be in “Combining that and the stands watching week some excellent sports in, week out. massage I’ve been getting from Ron Cook [Stuart “I was forced to watch Cook’s father], I will the FA [Futsal] Cup and hopefully be playing I’ve more or less missed more regularly this year.” the past two play-offs due to injury. These are the There will be a healthy events we really look competition for places forward to and why we this season, with the club compete.” bringing in new faces to replace those who left in Since the arrival of Javier the close season, the most Manzerano and Rafik notable the arrival of

former Crewsadors man Sean Bynoe. “We’ve lost a couple of very good players but we’ve gained new players, all with real quality. Add to that the improvement I see in all our existing squad and I’m sure we’ll be stronger than last season. “If I’m being honest, I know everyone is really aiming to win the playoffs, that’s not to say we’re taking the North league for granted because I’m sure teams like Middlesbrough and Sheffield will have only improved as well, but I’m very confident for the coming season. “I definitely think winning the play-off is a realistic aim. It’s the natural progression for our team having won the FA [Futsal] Cup and the North league over the last couple of seasons.

“We’ve shown that we can beat the best in the country and I think we were very unlucky not to make the play-off final last season.” Manchester finished two points clear of Middlesbrough last season to claim a first FA National Futsal League North title, and Haralambous is confident that his side will mount another championship bid this campaign. “It’s hard to see beyond ourselves, Middlesbrough and Sheffield challenging for the league. Those are the three teams that have been there or thereabouts over the last three years. “Our record against ‘Boro hasn’t been the best over the last few years. That’s something we’ll look to rectify this year.

Page 28

MANCHESTER FUTSAL CLUB “Their counter attacking style of play has caught us out in the past but hopefully we’ve learnt our lessons now. “It’s always a good atmosphere and a tight game when we meet, and it’s a fixture we all look forward to. “Obviously we’ll have a better idea about the strength of all the other teams after a few games of the season.” One team who will already know a lot about Manchester is Sheffield, now coached by former strength and conditioning coach Daniel Berdejo-delFresno.

“I think Daniel will do well at Sheffield. Though he doesn’t have a playing background, I saw him pick up a lot in a very short space of time with us.

“He’s a very methodical coach and he’ll ensure his team are well drilled and fit. I enjoyed training with him and wish him the best for the new season.”

Manchester and Liverpool and they have a few good players that used to play for us, who I’m sure would like nothing better than to beat us.”

Manchester travel to Merseyside on Sunday to face Liverpool, who eased to a 7-2 victory over Hull last weekend.

Victory at the weekend would give the champions the perfect start to their title defence, but Haralambous is playing down the idea of an ‘invincibles’ season.

The current league leaders will be looking to secure back-to-back wins and Haralambous feels his side are in for a tough encounter. “We got a great result there last season, but we know a lot can change in a year. Liverpool away is never going to be easy. “Obviously there’s the great historic rivalry between clubs from

“Let’s make no mistake, it would be very tough to go the whole season unbeaten and it would be a real achievement for any team. “One bad game and we’ll more than likely be punished in this league. Having said that, we go into every game confident that we can win, so it’s not beyond us.” Page 29


Countdown to kick-off; Stuart Cook With the new season just two days away, Manchester are making the final preparations for their opening fixture.

“The usual suspects will occupy the top two again I think this season. Sheffield, Middlesbrough and ourselves. “I know ‘Boro have lost a few players but Damon [Shaw] has some good youngsters and a couple of experienced lads who should keep them competitive throughout the season.

The FA National Futsal League North champions travel to Liverpool on Sunday and are hoping to get the new campaign off to a flyer. “Every team wants to get points on the board as soon as possible,” said Stuart Cook. “Liverpool did that back into competitive last week and will be on a futsal. We’ve not had a high going into the game. great pre-season for various reasons; it would have been nice to have “I have a soft spot for had a few games and get Liverpool as it was my the competitive edge. first club and I keep in touch with a lot of the “But the core of the lads involved. I think squad has been together they will be pushing for for a good 18 months and the top four this season. I think we’re good to go “It will be a tough game on Sunday and set our but if we perform how we standards high for the rest of the season.” can, we should be notching up our first Players have come and win.” gone over the summer break, the most notable England international Cook has kept himself in departure that of Eduardo top condition during pre- Betancor who was hailed as the best player in the season with Curzon league by Marcos Leon Ashton, who are in the Evo-Stik First Division. last season. But Cook is confident “Having played a lot of that the champions will 11-a-side in the close season, I can’t wait to get still have their edge this

I think Sheffield will be back to their best this season with a few campaign. “The additions players returning, and I to the squad should give know Daniel will have us a better pool of players been putting them to use on a match day. through their paces. They will be the main threat to “Obviously losing Wayo our title. [Betancor] is a big loss. He has plenty of “Having said that, I think experience and is a the title is ours to lose. calming influence on the We expect to be in the court. play-offs as a minimum, but we’d like to go as “However, it gives new champions again.” players and some existing players a chance to stake Manchester came undone a claim for more court at last season’s play-offs time. Time will tell after losing their opening whether we have group game 9-4 against improved as a club.” Oxford Lions. Liverpool currently lead the way after easing past Hull at the weekend, but Cook can only see three teams challenging for the league title this season.

Victory against Genesis was not enough to see the North champions progress to the final, something Cook believes was down to inexperience.

Page 30


“Trying to play two games in one day can be tricky. I think we tried to

Progression through the group stages would have seen Manchester paired with Helvecia in the final, a team with a proven pedigree at the Grand Finals.

capital, attracts the better players in general.

“We were all disappointed with the

“They have improved again over the summer. Byron Andrews is a quality addition and a friend of mine from the England set-up a few years ago.

“We need to get that conserve energy in our “Helvecia have a great winning first game against Oxford mentality and spirit. They mentality and paid the price with a have the best players throughout the season sloppy start. I don’t think around, they attract the and then perform to our we’ll make that mistake best players in London maximum at the playagain.” and London, being the offs.

Oxford result and, in my opinion, were the biggest threat to Helvecia. But it wasn’t to be.”

Page 31


Countdown to kick-off; Ilya Ovechkin the start of the season. “But our training sessions have been intense enough to replicate game scenarios, so I don’t think we’ll be worrying about it too much.” MANCHESTER WILL insists that is not going to particular we would like begin their title defence be the case this time to do better in front of with a visit to Liverpool. around. goal. “We created a lot of Our Merseyside hosts “I guess they would want chances but didn’t put already have a win under to improve from the past many of them away, so their belts, but Ilya results. I believe they I’d like to see us score a Ovechkin plans to stop have improved the squad few more goals this them in their tracks. and it will be harder for season. us to beat them. “It’s always important to “We have worked on start the campaign with a “But I’d prefer to different aspects of our positive result,” said the concentrate on ourselves game in pre-season and Russian. “It sets that and get the three points finishing has been part of winning mentality from on the board on Sunday.” those training sessions.” the beginning. We can then build on that and The team criticised With no pre-season move to the next game. themselves last season for friendlies played, few not being clinical enough could blame Manchester “We will be going for a in front of goal, despite for looking rusty for their win, for sure. It won’t be finding the net 118 times. season opener on Sunday, an easy game but we will but Ovechkin feels that have to be prepared and I However, this season, his side will be raring to am sure we will be going Ovechkin is determined go come kick-off. into the game with the that Manchester start to right attitude.” punish teams in order to “I don’t think it will have fire themselves into the a massive effect on the Past results suggest that Grand Finals come May. team. Ideally it would this is one of the more have been good to have at straightforward fixtures “We would like to least two or three on Manchester’s improve in all our aspects friendlies prior against schedule, but Ovechkin of the game, but in strong opposition prior to

Another tough campaign lies ahead for the champions, who finished two points clear of Middlesbrough to clinch their first FA National Futsal League North crown last season. Ovechkin has been with the club since its inception six years ago, and he has identified the teams that will be fighting for the championship this time around. “I think Sheffield will be one of the main ones that will challenge us for the title. Obviously, Middlesbrough are always up there. “There could also be some surprises on the way. We will have to see after a few games into the season.”

Page 32


Game Day - Round 1

Above Ilya Ovechkin threads a pass through the Liverpool defence Left Sam Richardson through on goal

MANCHESTER FUTSAL Club began their title defence with a comfortable 13-5 victory over Liverpool. Both sides missed gilt-edged chances in the opening exchanges before Stuart Cook broke the deadlock with four minutes gone. It was not long before the visitors doubled their lead through Ross Bond, who had hit the post moments earlier. But, cue a Liverpool fight back. Two goals in 13 seconds from Kyle Ferguson and Alex Ayala gave the hosts momentum and

Mattone Awang gave Liverpool the lead for the first time with just ten minutes gone.

adding another just two minutes later to put the visitors in front in a topsy-turvy first half.

The crazy two minutes prompted Manchester manager Marcos Leon to call for a time out in order to stabilise the normally watertight defence.

Haralambous and Cook both bagged their hat-trick goals to put Manchester 7-4 up, before last season’s top goal scorer Sam Richardson netted his first of the campaign.

Cook then bagged his second of the game straight after the time out, but the hosts restored their lead as Ferguson’s flicked header bamboozled Marcos Magalhaes. Dan Haralambous prodded Manchester level again within seconds of falling behind, before

Goal of the day came next as Cook volleyed home Haralambous’ low cross-court pass. The England international scored his fifth of the game just before the interval as he slammed home a penalty to give the champions a healthy 10-4 lead.

Page 33


Action from Liverpool v Manchester

Manchester flew out of the blocks in the second half and extended their lead when Sean Bynoe’s long range free-kick hit the post but bounced in off the back of Eliot Brown.

far between as the visitors retained possession for vast periods of the half.

Unfortunately, neither side could maintain the high tempo and chances were few and

The hosts rounded off the scoring when Karl Gornell raced clear to slot beyond half-time substitute Mizha Hererra.

Paul Thompson was left with a simple tap in after Sam Richardson won the ball back in the Liverpool area, and Haralambous added his fourth following a quick counter attack.

Page 34


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Head of Media, Manchester Futsal Club and general observer of life in the twittersphere. U18’s coach and club legend. MFC’s number 1 and captain. Small but stylish! #thompsonstyle

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MFC legend, goalkeeper and kit designer! MFC first teamer and future England international. Founder member, current first team and general club dynamo, has a hand in everything MFC! MFC first teamer and member of the England

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development squad. Former MFC legend, now stateside exporting #thompsonstyle to the US. Fomer MFC player now playing pro in Croatia for Uspinjaca Zagreb and an England International.

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MFC FIXTURES & RESULTS 2012/13 23/09/2012 14/10/2012 21/10/2012 28/10/2012 18/11/2012 25/11/2012 02/12/2012 09/12/2012 16/12/2012 13/01/2013 20/01/2013 10/02/2013 17/02/2013 24/02/2013

Liverpool Leeds & Wakefield Derby Leeds CYDC Middlesbrough Hull Hull Sheffield CYDC Leeds Liverpool Derby Leeds & Wakefield Sheffield Middlesbrough

Won Away Home Home Away Away Home Home Away Home Away Home Away Home

13-5 1.30pm 3.00pm 3.00pm 1.30pm 1.30pm 5.00pm 5.00pm 1.30pm 5.00pm 1.30pm 5.00pm 2.30pm 1.30pm

*Please note fixtures and kick off times are subject to change the above are correct at the time of going to press but check for any changes Page 36

MFC Review Issue 1  

MFC Review Issue 1 bringing you all the news both on and off the court from Manchester Futsal Club

MFC Review Issue 1  

MFC Review Issue 1 bringing you all the news both on and off the court from Manchester Futsal Club