WELLINGTON – The ASB Futsal Girls and Women’s Tournament kicks off this weekend with fifteen teams descending on the ASB Indoor Sports Centre in Wellington.
Mainland Futsal return to defend their title in the Open Women’s Grade but will face stiff opposition in an expanded competition in 2013.
The federation celebrated an inaugural win in the ASB Women’s League a week ago and will be keen to add another trophy to the cabinet – which also includes the ASB Women’s Knockout Cup won by Coastal Spirit earlier this year.
Six of the seven federations of New Zealand Football will be represented at the tournament, which has an added international flavour with the inclusion of New Caledonia NPS, a representative team from the Northern Province of the French Territory.
NZF Futsal Development Manager Dave Payne expects the tournament to be the extremely competitive due to the increase in the technical standard of futsal nationwide since the popular five-a-side game was included in NZ Football’s ‘Whole of Football Plan’ in 2010.
“Futsal continues to go from strength to strength in this country. In women’s futsal we have more players than ever playing the game and this tournament presents us with a great opportunity to see how far we’ve come since last year’s tournament, which itself was a fantastic success”, said Payne.
Key figures in women’s Futsal will be in attendance, as well as Futsal Whites coach Scott Gilligan and other members of the men’s national team technical staff.
“The two-day competition also gives the coaches who attended the recent FIFA Futsal Coaching Course in Christchurch a chance to put some of their newly acquired skills and knowledge into practice. That course was very much geared towards the development of women’s futsal”, he said.
Payne also stressed the importance of trying to create the same opportunities in futsal for females on the global stage as women’s football in New Zealand rides the crest of a wave of popularity following the positive results by the Football Ferns in 2013.
“At present there is no FIFA Futsal Women’s World Cup, and tournaments like this are part of a worldwide movement to increase the profile and credibility of women’s futsal.
“We would love to position New Zealand at the forefront of such a movement and this weekend is a vital part of the pathway we are building for the women futsal players, coaches, referees and administrators of the future”, he said.
The ASB Futsal Girls and Women’s Tournament commences this Saturday with ten teams in the Open Women’s Division and five in the U-15 grade.
You can keep up to date with the results and statistics through the following links: