Futsal force in the making (QLD)

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The Queensland Times

HIGH HOPES: St Peter Claver College’s futsal team are eyeing success at the Oceania championships. Picture by Claudia Baxter

A unique, but fast-growing sport could yet be the game Ipswich becomes renowned for.

A group of St Peter Claver College (SPC) students will be contesting the indoor soccer (Futsal) Oceanic titles on the Gold Coast next month.

The SPC senior team made the tournament after reaching the Queensland school futsal grand final, even beating renowned soccer school Ipswich Grammar along the way.

Futsal is played on a basketball- sized court surrounded by nets with five players per side, compared to outdoor soccer’s 11.

The fast-paced game is immensely popular in Brazil where a professional league attracts large crowds and television ratings.

SPC is best known for its rugby league program, but SPC’s futsal coach, Dallas Murphy, said he hoped his boys’ achievements would see the school become known as a futsal powerhouse.

“We’re confident that we will go far in the tournament,” Murphy said.

“We have fast, skilful players and that’s what the game is based on.

“You have to be quite courageous at times as well. Because the ball can be flying at you from a short distance and our guys get in front of the ball well. It hits them hard, but they stand there and take the turnover.”

It does not hurt SPC that their mentor and former head coach, Greg Farrell, is the Queensland futsal coach. Farrell coached the boys through the first half of the year before taking on a role at another school.

“Greg did great work with the boys and even though he’s moved on he still comes back and helps out when he can,” Murphy said.

“We have a few potential Queensland and Australian players here and a lot of that is due to Greg helping us so much.”

The tournament will be played at Runaway Bay from October 22-24.

It features the best two high school teams from each state in Australia and the best two New Zealand high school teams.

“The guys will be in camp together for the weekend so I’m glad it’s not near Surfer’s Paradise.”

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