Smiles may still be present but the hard work is now starting for FNC futsal players.
Scores of the region’s junior and seniors are enjoying tough training sessions every Friday night at Goonellabah’s Sports and Aquatic Centre (GSAC).
The sessions, which are split into different age groups, are preparing players for competitions later this year featuring opponents from across Australia and the world.
FNC NSW Futsal administrator Tanya Bond said the sessions, which aim to develop players’ skills in all aspects of the sport, were necessarily tough. “The kids have come a long way,” she said.
“We used to train once a month but if you go to state titles you might come up against kids who are training 30 hours a week. We are in such a small area that you have to make the effort and prepare well to play against these guys. “It is hard work but they are doing well.”
Forthcoming tournaments include October’s Byron Bay International Challenge, which will see teams from across [Note the article cut off at this point]
The region’s juniors will also face national opponents at a carnival at the centre later this year, while also taking on rivals from the Sunshine State in the Queensland Premier League. While action is deadly serious, Bond said participants were having plenty of fun as well.
“In one sense, it is very serious,” she said. “The guys have huge expectations and the sessions are competitive. The bonus is the guys can still laugh and have fun while they play. They have found that balance which is great.”
Teams and players can still register for the ongoing winter futsal season at GSAC. Matches are on Wednesday nights.