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Vikings Futsal NSW in turmoil

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Vikings Futsal NSW is again in turmoil after the sudden departure of its NSW Manager, Phil Dolton, after only 5 months in the role.

Despite their formidable presence in QLD and NNSW, Vikings have struggled to establish clubs and build playing numbers in NSW. The appointment of Dolton, one of the most experienced Futsal administrators in this state, was seen by many as a strategic move to either gain a stronger foot hold in NSW or unify the sport & integrate the Vikings club into the FNSW structure.

When contacted, Dolton declined to comment on the reasons behind the split except to say that “it was a mutual decision and I wish Vikings all the best in their future endeavours to grow the sport.” He went on to say that he “hoped to continue his involvement with the sport at both state and local level”.

It would appear the continuing decline in registrations, the cancellation of the NSW State titles, and the inability to attract new clubs was primarily the reason behind the decision.

The PCYC’s decision to terminate its contract with Vikings at the end of the 2009/10 season and move all its Futsal operations across to FNSW has had the biggest impact on registration numbers in NSW, virtually halving the 2009/10 figures.

Despite numerous attempts, Vikings have been unable to establish elite competitions in Sydney due to the strength of the FNSW Futsal Premier League. Now in its 5th season this competition has gone from strength to strength and is now considered the best Futsal league in Australia for both males & females.

Having failed in its bid to establish elite competitions, Vikings then turned their attentions to establishing a presence at the grassroots level. Unfortunately with limited facilities and an abundance of established Futsal clubs in and around Sydney, many of whom have direct links to outdoor clubs and associations, this has also been a near impossible task.

As in QLD, Vikings are now turning their attentions to modified forms of the sport, attempting to utilize outdoors pitches (grass or synthetic) in an effort to get some form of foothold in the region. Unfortunately, again this is proving difficult.

Few clubs, Futsal or outdoor, have been willing to risk their link with the “official” form of the sport (FFA /FIFA) and affiliate with what is essentially an independent operator of the sport in direct opposition to FNSW.

The PCYC’s decision to terminate its contract with Vikings may have been, in part, due to this conflict of interests between its futsal and outdoor operations.

With 2010/11 registrations expected to be down around 2,500, a far cry from the 5,000+ registrations of only a couple of seasons ago, the long term viability of Vikings NSW operations must be a major concern for the Vikings Futsal National CEO, Alistair Miller.

It is hoped that Vikings can turn this slump around as healthy competition, both on and off the court, is essential if the sport is to continue moving forward.

Comments 8

  1. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more comment on this one. I guess that (Metro) NSW will still have a fair few teams at the Vikings Nationals in Sydney but would they have the same number of teams if the tournament was held Interstate?

  2. Is this the biggest load of rubbish I have ever read? Yes it is!

    Lets be serious and admit that vikings is offering a product that is on par with anything australia wide and stop being ridiculous.

  3. falcao did you even read the article? in NSW Vikings are NOT able to offer a product on par with anything in australia. If they did, they wouldn’t be having the problems listed above, and pcyc wouldn’t have left them.

    vikings are strong elsewhere in australia and nz and good on them for that but don’t blindly say this is rubbish when to us here in sydney it is completely true. if you were in sydney you would see this for yourself.

    the article is spot on.

  4. “Falcao”- you are obviously not from NSW. Kay’s article is about NSW not Vikings in general. There’s no argument that Vikings appear to be doing a good job in other states. But the facts & figures in NSW speak for themselves.

    Vikings NSW don’t have an elite league. I tried to get one running and got one (1) expression of interest and that came from a FNSW club that wanted to play both sides of the fence. Nothing from any of the so called “Vikings people”.

    There are no Vikings NSW State Titles this year and the majority of teams that are entering the Nationals under “NSW” are not “select” teams (with the exception of some Illawarra teams). They are local club teams or FNSW players who put together a group of mates that either weren’t picked or don’t want to travel to Canberra for the FFA Nationals. Some players are actually planning to play in both National titles.

    Most “NSW Vikings” players will register with Vikings just for the Nationals. They don’t play for Vikings except at the Nationals. Almost half the Vikings Aust Womens team that contested the recent “Vikings World Cup” came from NSW and yet none of them play locally for Vikings, they all play in the FNSW Futsal Premier Leagues.

    Lets be honest, elite players will skim the cream of whenever & where ever they can, and good luck to them, but at a grass roots level Vikings has 3-4 clubs/venues in Sydney (St Clair, Homebush, Miller?, Illawarra) compared to how many FNSW venues 30-40?
    There are local FNSW “Clubs” that have more registered players than all of Vikings NSW put together.

    Sorry “falcao” but all emotions aside, the FACTS & FIGURES speak for themselves.

  5. “I’m surprised there hasn’t been more comment on this one.”

    It’s because in Sydney its been obvious for some time. The FNSW Futsal Premier/Super League is a great thing for the sport in general.

  6. I made that comment because in the past such an article would have been roundly criticised by all the Vikings supporters on here.

    I think that Phil has explained the situation to a tee !!!

  7. Well by reading that response by Phil it looks like the reasons are that the Vikings employees in NSW are not doing their job well enough and getting across what Vikings offers properly. The same things are in all states and the employees work hard to get teams in and players in. Futsal is not for the elite, it is for everyone and if you understood this than you may have been a better employee I am guessing. I don’t know you but reading the above suggests this.

  8. Hi “Falcao”, your right you don’t know me or the internal operations of Vikings Futsal (unless your a past or present employee??).

    I have said before & i will say it again, I think Vikings do some things very well and some things very poorly (as with all companies) & I think they are an important part of futsal in Aust.

    Your comment that “futsal is not for the elite, it is for everyone” is exactly what my former manager used to say however …. actions don’t seem to balance with this. The recent focus for the organisation seems to be on the elite players. For example

    – get in as many “state” teams as possible for the nationals regardless of where they come from. ( I was advised by my manager that I could enter local teams from NSW & call them ? Nthn Territory? whatever I wanted)
    – World Club Titles, Vikings World Cup, World School Tiles
    – Projects in Wales, NZ, Asia

    None of these projects are aimed at grassroots. At a local level we struggled to get approval for local advertising for comps. Advertising, tournaments etc we were advised to use family, friends, volunteers etc.

    “.. Vikings employees in NSW are not doing their job well enough..”

    Basically your right to say that, I didn’t get the results and paid the price ?? No different to any other company or industry but…

    I am not going to go into specifics in an open forum but my only other comment to that is, that the current structure at Vikings means that responsibility & accountability in the states far exceeds the authority and power that those employees are given.

    To say that individual employees are entirely the problem would be a bit niaive though. The numbers have been steadily sliding over a lot longer period than what I, or the remaining employee, were in the roles so I think the cause is deeper than the individual in the role.

    But we all have our own opinions so thanks for your feedback.

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