Futsal has come a long way since the sport first began to take shape in 1971 at the South Bankstown YMCA in Revesby where Dawn Gilligan, mother of Scott Gilligan, took her son’s Under-10 outdoor team indoors during a wet season.
Since the birth of Futsal on that cold and wet day in 1971, Scott had little idea how the sport would grow to become so large nor did he ever imagine that it would see him travel the world as both a player and a coach.
“My mother used to work at the YMCA at Revesby and she just decided to bring the kids inside for a kick around cause we were sick and tired of not playing because of the rain,” Scott Gilligan said.
“The following week, a gentleman brought his team in just to give us a game because football was again rained out.”
“So my mother and the YMCA manager, Joe Brent, decided to write to England requesting the rules of the game.”
Back then it was ‘rebound’ indoor soccer until 1983 when the governing body of Futsal, FIFUSA, approached Brent’s Australian Indoor Soccer Association, about converting to Futsal.
In 2009, the sport will celebrate a significant milestone with the National Futsal Championships celebrating its 30th anniversary in Canberra as the region hosts the week long tournament for the 21st time.
The first indoor national’s took place in Melbourne, Victoria in 1980 before moving to Broken Hill, NSW in 1981 where women played for the first time before returned to its perpetual home in Revesby, NSW in 1982.
The ACT then hosted twenty of the 27 proceeding national’s with the exception of South Australia (1985), Moe, Victoria (1988), Queensland (1991, 2006) and Homebush, NSW (2002,2003).
More recently, the FFA’s National Futsal Championships has welcomed international teams including a return of the Solomon Islands with a team while New Caledonia will be making their debut at this year’s tournament.
Hopefully we can expect plenty more international visitors in the years to come with the former Futsalroo’s coach, Gillian, recently taking up a new role as the Futsal Development Officer with the Oceania Football Confederation.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to pass on some knowledge to people who want to learn something about the game and progress it to help to establish league’s in their own countries.”
“With Brian Codrington and the help of the Oceania Football Confederation, we’ve organized a program where we’ll start academies in each of these countries, they’ll train every week and each of these academies will hopefully have the opportunity to come to Australia to play in our nationals.”
“By 2010 we’re hoping that every country will be able to come to the Nationals”
“It would be a great opportunity for these countries to get involved.”
Source : Capital Football
Published : 8/1/2009