Futsal is a sport on the rise, and Tasmania has embraced it with yet another Australian representative.
Devonport’s Matt Smith impressed selectors so much at the recent national titles in Sydney that he was selected in the under 19 Australian team to travel to America later this year.
“I’m absolutely stoked once I got the letter,” Smith said.
Being a state representative in the bigger form of the game – soccer – futsal was easy to get his teeth into.
Smith only took up futsal at the start of the 2008 season when he and a group of friends entered a tournament in Burnie.
“We used to play in the school gym with one of those big tennis balls and we decided one day to enter this tournament,” Smith said.
“At the tournament there was a scout there who picked our whole team as the state team and I have just gone on from there,” he said.
Smith recently quit playing the big version of the game to take up playing football for East Devonport.
“I’m moving to Hobart … to study, play futsal … but since I have made the Australian team I might have to take normal soccer back up again to get my skills up.”
For his achievements in making the Australian futsal team, Smith is this week’s The Advocate-IGA Sports Star of the Week.