March 26, 2010
AUCKLAND – Futsal’s place in New Zealand’s football landscape is set to increase with the launch of national Futsal programme at the New Zealand Football Futsal workshop in Auckland on Saturday.
The FIFA-approved form of indoor football has been played in New Zealand since the 1980s and while teams from New Zealand have entered international competitions since then, the selection process for future national teams will be improved.
A new national competition structure, with four tournaments a year, will be introduced for NZF-affiliated futsal providers with players from these clubs eligible to represent New Zealand at OFC Futsal Championships and FIFA Futsal World Cups.
Recently appointed NZF Futsal Development Manager Dave Payne acknowledges the alignment of local and regional leagues is an important step but says the alignment and integration of futsal into NZF’s development strategy is what really excites him.
“Futsal has such an important role to play,” Payne said.
“At the very broadest sense it’s another doorway to football, attracting new players to the game and giving traditional 11-a-side players another structured avenue to play the sport they love all year round.”
“But when you get down to the detail, and look at the way futsal has shaped the development of some of the great players around the world and has been incorporated into the strategy of associations all over the globe it makes perfect sense to fuse it into our own development plans.”
“There are obvious similarities to 11-a-side football but there are useful differences too, as the smaller, weighted ball and the smaller playing area fosters creativity, greater ball control and sharper decision making.”
At tomorrow’s one -day workshop, Payne will introduce NZF’s vision for the sport to a group consisting of current and potential providers, representatives from OFC and FIFA, Regional Sports Trusts, City Councils and NZF commercial partners who will help shape the strategy for the next few years.
Starter packs will be available for prospective clubs, and the roadmap for futsal coaches, futsal referees and the introduction of futsal into schools will also be on the agenda.
An exhibition match between New Zealand champions East City Blue and Tahiti’s club champions will also showcase the game and workshop participants will get a practical introduction to the sport midway through the day.
Development Advisory Group Workshop
Saturday 27 March, 9am-4.30pm
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