World Cup bound Futsalroo captain Greg Giovenali chats with the F-League
F-League: Greg congratulations on captaining the Futsalroos to the FIFA 2012 Futsal World Cup, can you describe what you are feeling right now?
GG: Unbelievable, to achieve the success we have with limited preparation against teams of full time professionals and other nations who have spent weeks in training camps around the world is a true testament to the boys work ethic and belief we have in ourselves. I can’t thank the players and coaching staff enough for the unseen work that goes into every campaign.
F-League: Personally you have had a great tournament at the AFC Futsal Championships, how do you think you and the team have performed?
GG: The team have performed admirably and we have made the futsal world take note, I’ve had messages sent from Europe and South America congratulating us on our success. Personally, I feel I have played well, would have liked to have scored a few more goals, but happy none the less.
F-League: You have a close relationship with Futsalroos assistant coach Rob Varela as he has coached you for a number of years at Dural, how was it to share the experience with him and fellow team mate Tobias Seeto?
GG: Rob and Tony Chan were my coach’s since I have been at Dural when I joined at 12 years old, it’s a great to be able to share the experience with him as he deserves all the accolades for the hard work and preparation he puts into every session, he is a tactical mastermind. I have been playing with Toby for years as well at Dural, he is a great player and a close friend and its an honour to share the court with such a smart player.
F-League: What are you most looking forward to in the 2012 hummel F-League?
GG: The regular competition verse high quality players. The sport needs all the exposure possible and the high quality the hummel f-league provides is a great show case for the players and spectators. Also, playing against players from other states with different qualities and tactics ensures it’s a tough competition, it’s always fun to test yourself against the best players in the country and this gives everyone a chance to do it regularly.
F-League: How do you see Futsal currently in Australia, do you think qualifying for the FIFA Futsal World Cup and the newly created hummel F-League will help lift the profile of the game in this country?
GG: The amount of people who have supported us through this campaign is amazing. It shows there are so many futsal fans out there that love this sport and want to see the game grow, and the hummel f-league is the first step towards a true national league, and ideally more television and newspaper coverage.
F-League: You have played professionally overseas what are the differences between Futsal in the Australian leagues you have played in and those you have played aboard?
GG: Obviously, the level of professionalism, training every day makes a big difference in the quality. The biggest difference is the speed in which they are played at; Overseas you rarely get a chance to take a second touch before you are getting tackled. In Australia, a lot of people see futsal as a way to keep fit in the off season for soccer, in Europe it’s seen as a legitimate career path which means the players often want to stay and succeed in futsal.
F-League: For people outside of NSW what can you tell us about the Dural Warriors?
GG: Dural Warriors is a club that is based on developing players at a young age to provide players the men’s team from within the club. From our squad last year that won the Premier League all but 2 players had come through the younger ages at the club, which is a true honour for the club. It’s heavily reliant on younger players each week in every age, and the coaching style is one based on ball movement and team work.
F-League: How do you think the Warriors will fair in the 2012 hummel F-League?
GG: We are going there with a young squad, with the aim of developing these boys. It gives them a chance to show everyone what they can do, we will go there to do our best, but with no pressure.
F-League: What’s your most memorable moment on a Futsal court?
GG: I would have to say now that it is qualifying for the world cup, it’s every boys dream to go to a world cup and now thanks to our hard work we have achieved that. Also, captaining your country is an honour for anyone, and every time we walk on the court I’m proud to do it and of the boys behind me.
F-League: Who is a team mate that the fans of the F-League should keep an eye on?
GG: I’d have to say my 2 brothers, Rhys and Wade, as they have the ability to undo any defence in a second, but also a few of the younger boys, particularly Nathan Niski and Blake Rosier, both have been at Dural for years and are clear stars of the game, they will definitely cause headaches for any team, and are often game winners on their own.
F-League: Describe what is like to play Futsal with your Brothers (Rhys and Wade), are there any rivalries that we should know about?
GG: Haha, its always great to play with your brothers, we do understand each other on the field without looking, yet we often get stuck into each other on the field cause we are all so competitive and just want to win. The competition is more between them as they both are very skilful attack minded players who love to score, I’m normally at the back just yelling at them!
F-League: Thanks for your time and a big congratulations to you and the Futsalroos on your recent achievement and Good Luck in in the 2012 hummel F-League?
GG: Thank you and all the fans for your support, we have been shocked every day at the amount of messages we received. THANK YOU!