Futsal is taking the world by storm, and thanks to the new courts at club coffs, the mid north coast is getting in on the action. we catch up with ashley collins from vikings futsal to find out more about the sport and the new facilities.
What is Futsal?
Futsal is a game of 5 verses 5 and is played on similar dimensions to a netball court, and unlike indoor soccer, it has boundaries where play is stopped. Futsal began in South America during the 1930s, when players turned to basketball courts to play football because of the lack of football pitches.
Closer to home though, Futsal was introduced to Australia in 1972 thanks to a wet season of football. The game accommodates divisions for all players, ranging in skill and age; it is played at a fast pace, with a good opportunity to show off some skills and share a fun experience with friends.
> Tell us about Vikings Futsal and its presence on the Coffs Coast.
Vikings Futsal is beginning to make its presence felt here on the Coffs Coast, with successful competitions being played in Port Macquarie, Grafton, Yamba and Lismore.
It was only natural that Coffs Harbour was to follow. For over 12 months Sportz Central was very accommodating, but with lack of space, Club Coffs was the obvious choice.
The school system is very strong on the Coffs Coast, and we are now hoping we can incorporate this strength in the Club system.
> Club Coffs have recently opened Futsal courts. How are they constructed?
Yes, a few weeks were spent on constructing these courts. They are made of high quality artificial grass, with around 4 tonnes of sand thrown over the courts as a base for the courts that helps with drainage and then a top layer of rubber clippings to aid grip and help the grass stand up.
> Tell us about your partnership with Club Coffs.
We lease the facility off them, and together we are trying to build a partnership that sees Club Coffs turn into a true sports club for the whole community. For every player over 18 that registers, they also get a Club Coffs membership.
It also makes for a good night out, with families having the chance to play some sport then share a couple of drinks and dinner at either The Terrace Café or their Chinese Restaurant, Master Woks.
Both Vikings Futsal and Club Coffs are striving to make it a community based venue where we are there for our patrons.
> Aside from the obvious, what are the differences between Futsal and regular soccer?
The length of the game at representative level are 25-minute halves and at club level are 20-minute halves, as opposed to outdoor soccer running for 45-minute halves.
While both forms of the game use a round ball, a Futsal ball is specifically made to minimise bounce. When the ball goes out, instead of a throw in, you have a kick in. You also have unlimited substitutions.
While most sports have an off and on season, Futsal can be played all 12 months of the year, and our one off registration makes that easier for our players also.
> What sort of training is involved?
Training is not compulsory for grass roots Futsal. Once players are selected for representative teams, they are trained for up to 16 hours per competition, depending on the level of competition – that can range from regional, state to national, with most of the training focused on improving the structure, formation and ideas behind what the team’s focus will be on for that upcoming tournament.
There is an element of fitness behind training, but it is not the focus. We also select many players to go on international tours, where they get high-level training from top of the range coaches such as Mauricio Marques, who is a FIFA instructor and Coordinator of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF – Brazil’s national governing body for football).
> What comps are coming up in 2011?
Locally, there will be competitions running for players aged 7 up to seniors on various afternoons from 4.20pm (7s and 9s Monday, 11s and 13s Tuesday and 15s on Wednesday) and seniors will kick off from 6.20pm (Mixed Social on Monday night, Men on Wednesday night and Women on Thursday night).
Competitions will run all year round, with the summer season comprising Term 1 and Term 4 and the winter season being Terms 2 and 3. Registrations are $40 for juniors and $45 for seniors and last for 12 months.
In terms of representative competitions during 2011, January kicks off with a bang, as National Club is held in Sydney, with 7 teams from NNSW representing our state.
Then Junior regionals are held over the first weekend of the Easter holidays, where our teams are selected from Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Yamba to compete against South Queensland regions, far North Coast and Mid North Coast.
Then senior regional titles will take place in December. For schools, they have the chance to get involved in our Regional School titles, to have the chance to progress to our State and Australasian School titles.
> How can people get involved in the sport locally?
To get involved in the sport, simply contact Ashley Collins via phone, which is 0458 201 132, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me in person either during business hours at Club Coffs on West High St in my office next to the courts – or any afternoon / night that a competition is on, feel free to drop on by.
If I am out of the office, just see the lovely staff at the front counter of Club Coffs, and they will pass on contact details to arrange a better time. You can also keep up to date by visiting the website: http://www.nnswfutsal.com and selecting the Coffs Coast Venue for updates.
> Thank you Ashley.