Fast and furious futsal taking off (NZ)

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The fast footwork frenzy that is futsal could soon be a regular sight around South Canterbury.

The indoor soccer game, created in Uruguay, involves teams of five, and has been described as basketball with your feet.

Chief executive of Vikings Futsal NZ Paul Wadsworth is hoping to establish a Futsal league in South Canterbury next term.

A league could draw in more players to the South Canterbury senior mens’ and youth team and see them playing regular games on their home turf.

He hoped to target players finishing the football season who wanted to keep kicking a ball around.

“It’s complementary to football.”

Thomas Clarkson, who is one of two South Canterbury players in the New Zealand Vikings team said a league would give futsal players more game opportunities.

He stumbled across futsal while looking on the internet for an indoor soccer tournament. He went to a tournament and fell in love with the game.

He enjoyed the fast paced game that had more strategy than indoor soccer.

The New Zealand men’s and women’s Vikings teams were training in Timaru at the weekend for the Vikings Futsal International Cup.

The cup will be played in Christchurch next month with teams from Australia, the Philippines and China competing.

Wadsworth was trying to drum up interest in the sport while the team trained in Timaru.

Futsal is starting to get a foothold in New Zealand.

“It started in 2004 with nothing, now there’s about 500 odd teams and 3500 players.”

He said the game is a lot more involved than football. In a game of football a player may only touch the ball five or six times in a game but on average a futsal player touches the ball every 29 seconds.

He was looking forward to promoting the game in South Canterbury.

Source : Stuff.co.nz
Published : 14/7/2008

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