They may have opened their FIFA Futsal World Cup Tour by defeating the Thailand National Team but that didn’t stop the Qantas Futsalroos from making a host of new friends when they held a coaching clinic during their visit making the front page of Matichon, one of the leading Thai language newspapers, in the process.
Taking a breather from their intensive training program ahead of their FIFA Futsal World Cup opener against Italy on Friday 2nd November, the team travelled to Patumkongka School where they put students from the school and near-neighbours Surasakmontree School through their paces with a series of drills.
Goalkeeping trio Peter Spathis, Gavin O’Brien and Angelo Konstantinou proved especially popular with the children running through their goalkeeper specific warm-up drills with the eager youngsters and raising a cheer, or three, when making some quick-fire reflex stops.
Lachlan Wright took time out from terrorising opposing defenders with his physical tackling to demonstrate just what makes him such a feared opponent on the court whilst the silky skills of Aaron Cimitile, Daniel Fogarty, Fernando De Moraes and Keenan Duimpies had the crowd watching on in appreciation.
The trip, organised in conjunction with the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, ended with a small match between the Qantas Futsalroos and a selection of students from both Patumkongka and Surasakmontree schools with the Australians given more than a run from their money. The Thai youngsters showed plenty of application, raw skill and appreciation for the nuances of the sport and are sure to make a name for themselves in the future.
The biggest roar was reserved for ‘keeper Konstantinou who took time out from his goalkeeping duties to dribble down the court and finish with the panache of an out-an-out goalscorer!
“It’s great to come to these sorts of events and promote the team at the same time,” Head Coach Steven Knight commented.
“It’s important for the sport that we do these sorts of things and the kids all had a great time. The boys did a great job out there and we are hopeful that we can do this sort of thing again.”
A traditional exchange of gifts concluded the 80 minute session with each player presented with a memento of the occasion. Given the amount of skill on show it wouldn’t be surprising if one or two of the Thai youngsters were pulling on the national shirt of Thailand in a full international in the next four or five years. Qantas Futsalroos – you have been warned!