The numbers we have participating in our leagues and Academy sessions this winter are higher than ever and things normally drop off with our leagues in particular over the summer months.
A lot of teams are involved in winter leagues to guarantee games over a period where outdoor matches are prohibited or when the weather is unpredictable or not enjoyable to play in.
On my visit to Rio last August, a big difference between there and here was that futsal is part of the players and teams curriculum all year round. Abd they have far better temperatures and weather. At the young age groups futsal is prioritised over football. They do not play futsal or beach soccer because of the weather, they do it for enjoyment and for player development.
I have to say, there was also a big difference in the quality of players. The Brazilians I watched train and play were technically better, fitter and more tactically aware than most of our elite pro players.
Futsal has shown great growth with youth futsal in Scotland thanks to the work ourselves, Joga Futsal, Strathaven Dynamo, Perth Youth Futsal, Dundee Futsal, EH Futsal, Aberdeen Futsal Academy and others are doing across the country.
We are heading in the right direction but the next stage is changing mindsets that futsal is a winter sport and just something to do during the winter football break. It should be more about lets play futsal because our kids enjoy it and because it helps develop our players.
Is there a way to have futsal working alongside football all year round? I believe there is.
Futsal Escocia and the other academies mentioned above offer futsal sessions all year round and we provide fortnightly summer league matches at various age groups on a Sunday night not to clash with football commitments. External teams involved outside our futsal structure are minimal though.
I would love to see boys and girls national u15 and u17 leagues, and regional leagues across the country from 3v3 upwards, all year round.
I'd be interested to hear what coaches and football/futsal clubs think could work to further develop the sport of futsal and to further develop our kids.
Look out for details on how to register for our summer leagues soon.