Youngsters in Dorset have been given the chance to try out Futsal for the first time thanks to funding from The Football Association (The FA).
In June, The FA made £300,000 available to County Football Associations, FA-affiliated clubs, youth and adult football leagues who wished to develop either one or two new Futsal leagues, as they ramped up efforts to encourage more people to play the sport in England.
The scheme, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, awarded grants of £1,500 to applicants per league created, with money being used towards associated costs of facility hire, equipment, referees and FA-affiliated courses.
Futsal is the UEFA and FIFA recognised format of five- a- side football but it differs from the version that we know in this country. It is played on a firm indoor pitch, with Hockey sized goals. It is played to lines rather than walls or boards and the ball differs in being slightly smaller and with a reduced bounce.
Taken together these differences lead to a game that is fast, skilful and tactical. For these reason Futsal is being adopted as a game in its own right as well as useful development experience for young footballers.
A number of football’s biggest names credit Futsal as playing a significant role in their professional football development, with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi Hernandez and Ronaldinho having all played the sport in their younger years.
Greg Partridge the U10s Dexters Dorset League Chairman said: “Setting up a local youth Futsal league has always been a personal pipe dream of mine. To enable us to give players exposure to the personal technical development benefits they will experience from playing Futsal is invaluable. The grant received from the Football Foundation will help us provide this at an affordable rate that encourages maximum participation. I extend a huge personal thank you to the Football Foundation.”