Dural Warriors coach Rob Varela stops by for a chat about the upcoming 2012 hummel F-League
F-League: In 2011 you came a little short in the F-League losing in a semifinal to eventual champions Maccabi Hakoah, how did you find season one?
RV: It was very good with the most consistent team deservedly winning the competition.
It was really interesting coming up against different styles of play and players we had not seen before.
F-League: What are you most looking forward to in the 2012 hummel F-League?
RV: Once again we intend to give most of our younger players some decent court time; I am looking forward to seeing how they perform against some very good teams.
I really like the idea of playing stop-the-clock; it will test the fitness and recovery powers of the players and the ability to of the coaches to strike a balance between making use of their stronger players without burning them out; 3 games each week end will be a very good test of technique, tactical knowledge and physical capabilities
F-League: How do you see NSW Futsal at the moment?
RV: The quality of some of the players in the elite competitions, Premier and Super League, continue to improve.
There are a couple of areas where improvement is needed: coaching education needs to be looked at closely. The qualifications currently required to coach at the elite level are very basic and that has an impact on the general quality of coaching which in turn impacts greatly on the rate of improvement in playing standards.
Playing stop-the-clock for Open Men and Women is a must in the Premier and Super Leagues if we are serious about helping our senior players be competitive at International level.
Ideally, Futsal needs to be part of the sports curriculum across the school system. That is the key, in my opinion, to ensure an ongoing and sustainable level of growth in terms of numbers. This growth in numbers, coupled with improved coaching, will lead to an increase in the playing standard across the board.
I also believe that there is a need to implement an age-specific Futsal coaching curriculum to be implemented across the board in not just NSW but all across the country. I know that there are some models out and about but they have never been looked at seriously.
A better relationship between players, coaches and referees is also needed. Referees have a very difficult task to perform and, at times, they are not helped by the actions and attitudes of some of us coaches and players. However, I believe that better people skills on both sides and more consistency in the decision making process by the officials would go a long way to improving this situation.
F-League: How do you see Futsal currently in Australia, do you think the hummel F-League will help lift the profile of the game in this country?
RV: Futsal in Australia has suffered from a real lack of exposure in the last few years.
Everyone involved in the sport knows that we have a great game: entertaining to watch and fun to play; however, few people outside the sport know much about Futsal and we all can and should play a very big part in rectifying that anomaly.
The FLeague needs to be showcased as the shining light at the elite level of the sport
F-League: Who are the players in the Warriors squad that fans of the hummel F-League should keep an eye out for?
RV: I believe we have a fairly solid squad which will play a team oriented style of game. There is a core of experienced players that I know will perform well week in week out, but as I said before, I am really looking forward to the performances of our younger brigade.
All the players know what their role is within our team and what my expectations of each one of them is. Coaches and fans have very different opinions of players and how they play and their value to a team’s performance.
F-League: How do you think the Warriors will fare in the 2012 hummel F-League?
RV: We know that we will be against excellent opposition and we are not under any illusion of how competitive the league will be.
We will concentrate on playing to our strengths, aiming to make it difficult for other teams to beat us.
We will need to be much more consistent than what we were in last year’s league since the first-past-the-post format does not allow for inconsistent performances and results
F-League: With Series to be held in interstate, what are your thoughts about playing in different states?
RV: It is very exciting. It brings back memories of the old “James Hardie National Indoor Soccer League”! Some of the current players might not even know what I am referring to.
The 2012 hummel F-league is the precursor to a fully-fledged National League and, as such, it is fantastic to be able to be part of it.
F-League: As you are the Assistant Futsalroos coach, how have preparations for the 2012 AFC Championships going?
RV: We are doing all we can with the resources available to us. The players are working very hard, and that is all we can ask of them.
F-League: Do you think we will see more Futsalroos playing in the 2012 hummel F-League?
RV: I am not privy to other teams’ playing rosters but we have a few players who are in the current Futsalroos training squad ourselves.
What is really exciting is that we may be seeing some Futsalroos of the future in the 2012 hummel F-league. Only time will tell.
F-League: Thanks for your time and Good Luck in in the 2012 hummel F-League?
RV: Thank you and best of luck to all the teams and referees involved in the 2012 hummel F-league.