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FFA Futsal National Championships Start Today

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goalweekly.com.au

Logo - FFA FutsalThe 2013 FFA Futsal National Championships will bring together some of the best players in the indoor game to grace the courts of the Nations’ Capital, Canberra, as the respective states will go head-to-head in an attempt to be the one left standing at the end of what is a gruelling week of fast-paced, high-octane action with the opening match between ACT and NSW at 3:45pm following the Opening Ceremony this afternoon at 3:00pm.

This year there’s a slight tweak to the Championships with each State only allowed to enter one team per age group. This means the days of Thunder and Lightning from New South Wales and Cobras and Colts from the hometown ACT, have gone. This doesn’t mean that the standard of play will be any less and we can look forward to a truly representative competition with each state playing more inter-state matches than before. Changes aren’t made in this instance for changes sake. Following consultation with member Federations the decision was made due to low numbers and a lack of adequate depth in many Federations, preventing them from fielding a team in many age groups. The changes are therefore designed to ensure more Federations are able to enter teams in all age groups, hopefully improving the competition for everyone. Despite these changes we can expect NSW to be as powerful as ever. Amalgamating the Thunder and Lightning into one squad should provide a squad with quality throughout. The same can be said for the ACT and these two states will, as ever, be there or thereabouts come finals day at the end of the week.The sport of Futsal is on a high at the moment as the FFA Futsal National Championships comes off the back of a highly successful FIFA Futsal World Cup held in Thailand. The Futsalroos did themselves, and the sport of Futsal in Australia, proud in their three matches and recorded a superb 3-1 win over Mexico to notch up what was only the country’s third ever success at the FIFA tournament. Some of those players who represented Australia with such distinction both on and off the court may well be on show this week, work commitments and selection notwithstanding.

We shouldn’t forget our match officials in this instance as well with Scott Kidson, a regular attendee at the FFA Futsal National Championships, enjoying an excellent FIFA World Cup. The officials who we will see this week in Canberra are striving to reach the same level as Kidson and put themselves in the frame for potential international honours in later years with the ultimate goal of FIFA World Cup selection a reality.

Futsal is a fast and exciting sport. Played on a Basketball sized court with smaller goals it is, to the uninitiated, like Handball with your feet. It promotes technique, pace and ability over physicality and the long-ball game and had been the breeding ground for many World Class talents. Central Coast Mariners young sensation, and now Socceroo international, Tom Rogic is a graduate of Futsal and joins a pantheon of greats who recognise the part that the small-sided game has played in their development as a player.

Players such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are Futsal graduates and learnt their formative skills on a Futsal court. Who knows whether you may see this week a future Futsalroo, Socceroo or World superstar playing at the venues around Canberra? Whatever happens over the next week we can expect goals, skills, tricks and excitement. Each year brings something unique and new talent shining through. Whose turn is it in 2013?

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