UK based Futsal Focus shares a good article from Australian Futsalroo Fernando
Futsal Focus would like to thank Fernando de Moraes and wish him and the Australian National Futsal team success at this years 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand this November.
My name is Fernando de Moraes and I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil but currently I live and work in Melbourne-Australia. I started to play futsal when I was only four years old and since then I have never stopped. I played for a few clubs at a young age, but when I was 17 years old I moved to Corinthians where I stayed until I was 22 years old, playing from the youth levels through to the first team. However I later decided to move to Australia to play football but it’s in the off season when I enjoy playing futsal for VIC VIPERS FC, a local Melbourne club. I’ve been part of the club for almost eight years now and I really enjoy it.
Futsal in Australia is unfortunately not professional but its popularity is growing, there are a few leagues running around the country. Some are run by the Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) state federations, however there is not a lot of support from this organisation to make Futsal more professional, maybe because there is not enough money or sponsors to help it. Looking to the future I believe once Futsal is an Olympic sport the transition from amateur to professional will become easier especially if the Australia National Futsal team are successful. One of the leagues here is called the F-League which has been around for about three years, it is the “National League” but players and clubs have to find money/sponsors to survive, pay for the fees and trips. In 90% of the cases the players have to pay themselves for the trips, only a few clubs can survive with the sponsors and funds they raise.
The private leagues are also well run, the league I participate in, in Melbourne is called the “Nike V-League Premiership” at Futsal Oz and it has been around for many years and it is getting the attention of a few sponsors and becoming very popular around Melbourne. Most of the players participating in the league come from an eleven a- side football background and try to adapt to futsal, but it’s very hard. In my opinion, I believe it is easier for a futsal player to move to football than a football player to move to futsal. But I see a lot of passion and commitment from them which is great to see. I’m not aware of any Socceroos players that started at futsal, I don’t think it has happened yet, but the next generation will surely have been influenced by the sport. Only at the A-League youth teams where I have coached and used futsal have they got very good technique and skills which may give them a step ahead of the others.
I started at Futsal Oz as a coach about four years ago, developing the futsal academy coaching kids from the ages of four to sixteen year of age then I started to get involved with all the other programmes that Futsal Oz has to offer, most of the programmes develop young players who are coached by Brazilian coaches and people that love the sport.
Futsal Oz started in early 2006 at the Gardiner Street Stadium which was one futsal court at the time (It is now known as court 3) by two ambitious Futsal players and lovers of the game. Their business started with fun social competitions booming on the back of the World Cup and the Socceroos success, giving indoor football the platform to take off in Victoria. From social competitions with numerous children attending to watching mum and dad play, the focus turned to the juniors who instantly built an affinity with the exciting nature of the sport. Saturday Clinics were formed, with no contracts or committments which was appealing to the casual participant. It wasn’t long until both the Social Leagues and Saturday Clinics grew out of control and that foundations were layed for a bigger, better Futsal experience.Throughout the formative years of Futsal Oz there was also a need for an elite league to cater for the wealth of talent dominating the social leagues. And it was then that the V-League was created.
After outgrowing the Gardiner Street Stadium, the Victoria Street Stadium was created to cater for the futsal fanatics that had taken to the sport. Social Competitions continued to thrive, and the (Saturday Clinics) were over flowing with keen and eager kids wanting to get a taste of futsal. The regulars that had mastered the Saturday clinics needed more training and more games to cope with the futsal demand. It was then that Inner City FC was created, adevelopment program, players could train twice a week just like any other sporting club and play one competitive league game. This was huge to the overall picture, developing young futsal players, like their outdoor counterparts with better coaches and a better environment to develop, with futsal, the game that developed the world’s best players such as Cristano Ronadlo, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi.The V-League went from strength to strength and the need for a second division was evident, so the Sunday State League was created to groom and prepare V-league enthusiasts for the big picture. The football town show was created to televise and provide coverage for Victoria’s ELITE futsal competition and FUTSAL OZ TV so that the players could watch their games and goals online. It wasn’t long until the juniors could do the same. The centre has around 20 different leagues and divisions, from Junior’s to Men’s including girls. The most popular leagues are our Junior league, FAFL Cup and the V-League. The FAFL Cup and the V-League games are recorded and every game with interviews and highlights are posted on our youtube channel and our website. At the moment I’m involved with retail, running a NIKE shop at the center, but still I am still coaching.
I’ve been a part of the Futsalroos (Australian National Futsal team) (http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/news-display/Qantas-Futsalroos-make-it-two-from-two-against-Futsal-Whites/49330) since 2008, we have a good team, very strong physically and defensively, which doesn’t suit me very much, but here I learned this part of Futsal which is also very important apart from skills and knowledge of the game.
Greg Giovenali is our captain and is one of our best players, he played in Italy for a few years at a good level, and Peter Spathis is our GoalKeeper, he is small, quick and crazy. Some of the coaching staff are new but there are people who have been involved for many years in futsal such as our coach Steven Knight who was part of the national team a few years ago. Steven is a very good coach with a lot of knowledge of the game and I am looking forward to the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand.
I see futsal in Australia continuing to grow and I hope the organising bodies come together one day to make the sport more important and more professional, and I really hope that the sport will be recognized by the Olympic International Committee one day, which will see it finally getting the world recognition it should have.