Recognised by football’s world governing body FIFA as being the “fastest growing indoor sport in the world”, now’s a good a time as any to get involved in futsal – and the Pro Futsal Academy is on hand to provide the community’s youngsters with just that.
Set up by Jon Kurrant last October, since its inception it has grown from 20-120 players, aged between 7-16-years-old – 85 percent of whom are Jewish – and will also now have a team participating in next season’s National Futsal League South.
Explaining how the Academy came into fruition, Kurrant says: “When I was coaching for London Lions in 2014, a few of the drills I put on, along with the coaching principles, derived from futsal. Some of the parents requested I put on some futsal provision, but due to time constraints it was only after the success of the European Maccabi Games in 2015 when the U16s, U18s and open team all won gold that I felt for the first time, futsal was pulling the punches and football was beginning to take a back-seat. I knew then there was a need and want for futsal.”
Comparing football and futsal, he says: “Due to a lack of playing space in futsal, clever movement and technique takes precedence over physicality. The transition from futsal to football is enormous and it’s interesting that the opposite way round doesn’t necessarily mean a good football player makes a good futsal player. I don’t though think it will get anywhere near to toppling football in the mainstream world due to the fanbase established already and the amount of money involved.”
Despite maybe not usurping football, the sport plainly has a lot going for it in its own right. Describing what he feels futsal has to offer, Kurrant says: “The game sells itself, it’s a disciplined game that is fast, intense and creates great independent decision-makers. There is always something happening, the skill level is high and you are constantly moving. Watching high level futsal is fantastic and you appreciate how quick the game is played at.”
Taking who strides in less than a year, the Academy will be taking part in the National Futsal League next season, as well as sending a team to take part in the World Futsal Cup, and a trip to Barcelona’s Nou Camp. Delighted with how it’s progressing – and continuing to grow, he said: “We’re extremely excited about entering the league, it’s testament to the hard work of our coaches Charlie Hyman and Jordan Davidson, as well as officials in the club such as Laurence Myers and Phil Caplin.
“We’ve created a futsal family of our own and have worked extremely hard to have a pathway from players between the ages of 7-18 and now higher to compete at a very good level.
“Our level is only going to grow and our infrastructure is only going to progress, these are exciting times!”