Futsal continues to thrive around the country
Primarily an indoor game using a weighted ball, this condensed form of football challenges players speed of thought and freedom of expression in a game played 5v5 in close quarters. One only had to view the skills at the recent UEFA Futsal Euro 2018 to see how the game has become so popular around Europe.
It guarantees games being played in months where pitches often fall foul of the weather. It's an excellent way to ensure this game grows, not to mention the fun, fast-paced nature that ensures children and adults alike love it.
FAI Futsal events happen in all counties of the country with club team modules run in conjunction with local authorities and or Schoolboy/Schoolgirl Leagues, in most cases. From Donegal to Dublin, Clare to Cork to Limerick, Wicklow to Waterford there are now pockets of Futsal taking place weekly.
Clare has six different venues, through development officer Denis Hynes. Will Doyle and the Wicklow Schoolboys League have been pushing Futsal for a number of years as has Shane Barr in Donegal. The west is active with Futsal through the efforts of Nigel Keady and John Russell, and Limerick has developed a considerable program through their network of Development Officers. Athlone has also been one of the pioneers of Futsal going back a number of years.
In Dublin, through Gormanston Park and venues in Swords through the efforts of FAI/Fingal CC Development Officers Paul Keogh and Mick Pender, Futsal has really taken off. Thousands of kids are getting to experience the game at first hand with huge support from a progressive sports department of Fingal CC who see the benefits of keeping children active all year round.
The DDSL, through Mick Kennedy and Paddy Dempsey have embraced Futsal massively incorporating it into their season plan for clubs for the last number of years utilising the impressive National Indoor Arena on the National Sports Campus.
Gerry Reardon, FAI Grassroots Development Manager who has viewed and assisted the events at the National Indoor Arena added;
“With the onset of the calendar season, Futsal fits perfectly within the new off-season, offering further valuable contact hours for our younger players. Ideally I hope we can expand the programme to fit all underage sections.”
The FAI now offers a number of Futsal coach education courses for coaches/volunteers and for more information contact your local FAI/Local Authority Development officer for futsal activity in your county.