Futsal to kick off in Wagga for first time (NSW)

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The introduction of Futsal to Wagga is aimed at expanding the growth of soccer in the city, according to competition chief organiser Chris Ayton.

Futsal is a five-a-side indoor soccer competition which is primarily played between October and March in Australia.

Two weeks out from the start of Wagga’s Futsal revolution, Ayton hopes the fast-paced sport will take off in Wagga, mirroring his image world-wide.

ACTION STATIONS: Gearing up for the start of the Futsal competition in Wagga, Chris Ayton practices ball skills under the watchful eye of Riverina Football coaching and development manager Blaise Fagan at Bolton Park Stadium. Picture: Alastair Brook

ACTION STATIONS: Gearing up for the start of the Futsal competition in Wagga, Chris Ayton practices ball skills under the watchful eye of Riverina Football coaching and development manager Blaise Fagan at Bolton Park Stadium. Picture: Alastair Brook

Ayton believes Futsal can play an important role in developing and expanding soccer in Wagga.

“By playing indoors we are allowing our younger players to continue the vital development stages that they currently miss out on due to the season here in Wagga,” Ayton said.

“We also face a problem here in Wagga where there are not enough sports grounds to cater year-round for some sports, forcing us to play football and cricket on the same fields in some cases.”

Ayton said Futsal is the only official FIFA sanctioned indoor competition in Australia.

“If you think about the critical aspect of skill acquisition, and retention, then Futsal is the key,” he said.

“Futsal promotes the need for quality touch to control and play the ball.”

Ayton is adamant Futsal is safe sport for players of all ages.

“Futsal is a great tool for our young footballers,” he said.

“In many South American, European and an increasing number of Asian countries children do not play competition football on outside grass pitches until they turn 16.

“It’s all Futsal.”

Ayton said two weeks remain for teams to nominate for the start of Futsal competition at Bolton Park Stadium on October 28.

He added that Futsal will continue over winter to “supplement outdoor” soccer played under the Football Wagga brand.

Futsal will be played on the basketball courts at Bolton Park Stadium, using a smaller and heavier ball than in outdoor soccer.

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