Futsal Escocia Youth Teams and the First Team are set up as a non-profit group with everyone being volunteers.
The teams were set up to provide players with the opportunity to play games and to provide a futsal pathway from the youth game into adulthood.
This year we completed our male pathway with the creation of a First team that competed in the SFL Edinburgh.
As there is currently no youth futsal leagues governed by the SFA or SYFA we have been reliant on running our own leagues.
This winter our team will participate in the Futsal Escocia Youth Winter Leagues with around 15 teams over the following age groups and leagues:
The leagues are fantastic as they provide the opportunity for players to play games and to play with players from different football clubs and areas.
On top of our internal leagues, we will have a first team competing in the SFL. We are unsure if we will be competing in Edinburgh, Perth or the Super League as the SFL is currently in a period of transition with new members just elected to the committee last Monday.
Just focusing on futsal here, it was great to see 15 players and 2 coaches represent IFA Scotland at the IFA World Cup in Spain. The tournament provided the players and coaches with the opportunity to experience futsal in it's true form on an international size court and with stop clock conditions.
The response since Spain has been amazing and you can see the increased levels of excitement from players and parents. They have experienced what makes you fall in love with futsal.
THE FIRST TEAM
As a club we are slightly different from the Academy structure. Player development will remain our key priority but as the club develops there will be an emphasis on creating a winning First Team that competes at the highest level of futsal in Scotland and has aspirations to compete on the European stage.
In the future I would like to see the youth teams continue playing regular futsal and a creation of a B team that will play in Edinburgh or Perth. All the teams will follow the ethos of our First Team and the focus from the B team and below will be to develop better players and ultimately players that can go on to play for the First Team. Results at these levels are not a priority.
Once the First Team is established, we have a 5-year plan to competing to win qualification to the UEFA Champions League. Ideally our First Team will be made up of players from our Youth Teams and Academy but at first, we will likely require the support of a few experienced players to play around them.
If we are successful in our aspirations to play in the Super League, we will be looking to add a training night for 1st team and B team squad players and add programmes to develop the players physically.
Fees for the Youth Team are currently at £11 a month for Futsal Escocia Academy players and £20 a month for non-Academy players. The reason for the difference in price is because the youth teams use all the Academy equipment, website and coach services that the Academy players ultimately pay for. We were also finding that non academy players weren't showing the same level of commitment and it was impacting on team numbers for matches. This has improved a lot since the changes were made.
We have always tried to keep the Team fees as low as possible because most parents already have Academy fees, football fees and other sports/club fees to juggle at a time that is challenging for most financially.
The fees just cover everything we currently do but we couldn't afford to renew our Veo cameras as they are around £65 a month per camera. Around 70-80% of our annual fees are spent over the winter months for participation in the winter leagues and the SFL.
FUNDRAISING AND SPONSPORHIP
Going forward this is an area that we have the ability to improve. This year we are thankful to Paul Gartshore, Lesley Currie, Cathy Husband for their funding from their workplaces and they were vital in us completing our male pathway and setting up the First Team.
If you would like to be involved in a new fundraising committee or have any ideas of how we can increase our funds, please let me know.
In the future we would like to see the teams being run like a football club with an annual awards night and bringing everyone together in one place. This will require greater assistance from parents and other volunteers.
Player development will remain key but there will be a focus on not just developing football players but also futsal ones. I have no doubt that if some of our current players continue to play futsal, they will have the opportunity to play Champions League futsal and have an opportunity to represent their county at UEFA and FIFA events. As a club we should be looking to help as many as possible achieve that and to take great pride in doing so.
We will look to develop our players with entering tournaments or training camps abroad and will be supportive of players inclusion in IFA events.
If it is possible, we will try to employ players involved in the adult structure through the Academy and help bring through the next lot of talent.
Finally, the biggest obstacle we have for growth of the game is facilities. We do not have one facility in Fife that meets the requirements for an international size futsal court. If we can get a strong group of parents behind the club structure and our vision for the future, we are in a far better position with taking things to Fife Council in terms of facilities. Imagine a full-size court with seating for spectators and a venue we can call home!!
Please let me know if you would like involved.