The ACT Men’s Open team is confident ahead of the Football Federation Australia National Futsal Championships to be played here on home soil in Canberra from January 6th to January 10th 2009.
The defending champions believe they’ve compiled the strongest team in five years for the nationals with a good combination of experience and exuberance.
“This year there’s a few young kids come through that are really going to show their worth this year,” ACT team member and national player, Trent Flanigan said.
“It’s great to have a few young boys come through.”
“We’ll be depending on the young boys a little bit more this year so hopefully they’ll come good, not much has changed since this year’s nationals’.”
“We’ve got plenty of experience and we go in confident.”
The ACT has always punched above its weight when it comes to Nationals’ with the Men’s Open side claiming eight titles in the past ten years despite being the smallest state/territory to compete at the championships.
“I don’t understand it because we don’t have the depth [New South Wales] has, they’ve got very strong 50 or 100 players but our top 20 or 30 individually are considered the cream of the crop in Australia,” Flanigan said.
“We’ve obviously got some formula that works and we’re certainly not complaining.”
“It’s a chance for ACT players to pit themselves against the rest of Australia but while we’re only a small territory when the championships around we’ve got a point to prove.”
The ACT Men’s team is made up predominantly of current or former national Futsalroo players but many of whom are coming to the end of their careers with either work or family commitments becoming a priority.
“There are a lot of us who are coming to the end of our tether but it’s certainly in good hands after a few of us are done.”
“Every year the older players come out and are the best players at these nationals but you have kids and there’s a few of them in that situation.”
“I guess it hard to let go so every year you say it might be your last but you win it again and then you get hungry come December to defend your title.”
Since Australia’s move from Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation there’s more at stake than just a national title with selection for the Futsalroos a possibility for those who stand out at the week-long championships.
“We’ve got the Kuala Lumpur 5’s in March, then the ASEAN Championships and then the Asian Cup,” Flanigan said.
“Since we’ve joined Asian we’re now traveling to five or six tournaments a year so really January is the only time to prove yourself as a player.”
Source : Capital Football