Bring up Futsal in Australia among Futsal enthusiasts and prepare yourself for a heated debate. However Futsal developments are happening and Futsal Focus got in contact with the Western Australia Futsal League owner El Abrahams to learn more about his business and what opportunities they are providing for Futsal enthusiasts;
The WA State Futsal League (SFL) is what I started back in 2006. It was set up to create competitive games for our State Futsal players. We’ve developed eight Futsal specific clubs within this league. The structure of the league currently is eight SFL clubs with a reserves team also, for the Draft League (a team to develop their players and bring them through their system). Furthermore the clubs now have a women’s team (which led us to create the WSFL last year) and a junior team (JSFL, only recently started for the U12’s).
The league prompted me to open up the first and only Futsal centre in Western Australia (The WA State Futsal Centre). What we offer through our newly opened venue is somewhere for the clubs to develop themselves and their players. Each club gets 1 hour training session per week plus uniforms and training kits for free plus the use of our Gymnasium; all this just for playing in our league. Our goal is to continue to create and support Futsal clubs that want to be big enough and strong enough to play and compete in any tournament and competition anywhere in the world. I want them to be able to create opportunities for all their players. I also assisted in the launch of a Futsal League 2 years ago for the Football Federation in Western Australia (Football West) so that the governing body would have a Futsal League in our State. The competition has been won by teams from our State Futsal League the last four times (twice by Fremantle Muita Calma and twice by Daniel Cappellaro’s Club, Cambio Cumbre). This year is the first year none of our teams will compete as they believe the SFL has the best players, strongest competition and obviously more to offer. The standard unfortunately is not good enough for the teams from the SFL to want to compete in.
The SFL is run independently for the elite players in WA, almost like Super League in Rugby and IPL in Cricket. The winning clubs from the SFL, WSFL and JSFL get sent overseas or interstate to compete in competitions, which is why I’m always on the lookout for new tournaments for the teams to compete in. This year we have teams travelling to Adelaide and Melbourne in Australia plus Japan, USA and Spain later in the year. It’s what I’m trying to give back to the sport and the players who I believe have so much talent but just aren’t being given the opportunity.
A little bit of my history; In 1995 I represented the Football Federations of Australia; Futsalroos and played in Brazil. I also played in and managed the Australian team for the Australian Futsal Federation, formerly known as Vikings Futsal. These are the two Futsal Associations in Australia, who unfortunately will not work with each other to develop the sport of Futsal so we have decided to be independent so that clubs can do whichever they want. We support the governing body of Football in Australia and also their competitor which is the Australian Futsal Association (Vikings). All our players and teams can register for whichever they prefer, that is up to them.
Most of the International talent we have prefer to play in the SFL only because of the opportunities to travel and all that is free. The better Australian players want to learn from the foreigners so they too want to play with them. We have players from Brazil, Colombia, Italy and Malaysia that have played at the highest level in their countries. The talent we have developed has gained the attention of the current Futsalroo coach and we had four player’s under 23 years of age invited to the Australian Futsal Training Camp last year.
Futsal Oz in Melbourne is one of our biggest supporters and are also doing something similar and who we work very closely with as they are also independent and able to offer more to the players and clubs. We know what we are doing is working due to the opportunity Daniel Cappellaro has been given in Spain and also that other people in WA have tried to replicate us.
In the end only Futsal can win, then so do we.