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.