Players from three of the more dominant Futsal teams of the 1990s put their old rivalries aside to combine to win the Asia-Pacific Masters Futsal 30+ division last weekend at Carrara Stadium on Queensland’s Gold Coast. BLAST FC stamped their authority on the final days of procedures with commanding Semi Final and Grand Final victories.
The team featured 10 players, all former Australian and State representatives (including three former Futsalroos Captains), who were formerly members of 1990s stalwart club Futsal teams Brisbane Blast, Sydney Falcons and the Campbelltown Quake. These three teams featured regularly in the final stages of every National Club Title in the 1990s with all three at some stage contesting the National Club Final. The three teams back then were littered with Australian, Queensland and New South Wales representatives and played in some of the 1990’s biggest Futsal clashes, many against each other.
The current BLAST FC Masters team featured former Brisbane Blast boys John Kowtan, Enzo Dagostino, Ryan Lonergan, Justin Morrison and Paul McKarzel, former Falcons Brett Hewit, Adam Confoy, former Quake boys Simon Keith and Rob McKay as well as former Dynamo Marty Calvert.
Team Manager Paul McKarzel explained how the current links within the team occurred:
“All the Queensland Blast boys have played together for 20 years. I was a team mate of NSW players Simon, Rob and Brett on a Futsal tour to Brasil in 1996, while Adam and Marty were NSW regulars who the Blast boys played against many times while representing Queensland. We were all great rivals at Club and State level, but we decided this weekend it was time to call a QLD-NSW truce and play together and we were surprised how easily we gelled together as a team”.
The team had some big wins in the early rounds, including 22-1 and 16-4 victories, received a wake-up call with a 5-5 draw in a later preliminarily, but stormed home in the semi final (6-1) and final (9-3) to take the ASPAC Gold Medal for the 30+ Futsal Category.
McKarzel laughed when he was asked how much everyone enjoyed the weekend:
“It was a great weekend for our team and for all the Futsal teams present. There were many old faces around and a lot of old stories being told. Some of the stories have grown legs since the 1990s, but that’s what I guess the Masters is all about, isn’t it? I can tell you there are a lot of blokes who can still play a bit, but their biggest worry these days appears to be how to back up after a night out on the Gold Coast”.
The team went its separate ways this week, but a reunion is on the cards for the NZ Masters next year and, of course, the next ASPAC Masters in 2012.