The Growth of Futsal

Last night was probably one of the most satisfying and important days for Futsal Escocia as our 15/16 year olds made the transition from our youth structure into the adult game in the Scottish Futsal League – Edinburgh. In one moment it provided those players with an opportunity to continue playing structured futsal for for the next 20 years or so!! It provides our younger players with something to aspire to and provides Futsal Escocia with new aims and ambitions.

With over 200 children involved in futsal in Fife every week and up to 1000 a week involved over the winter months, Fife is a great example of how futsal can grow and with over 70 players progressing to pro football academies, it is also an example of how futsal can develop better football players. I believe there’s a way to combine both.

We have ambitions to further develop futsal in Fife by introducing futsal in schools and creating S1/S2, S3/S4 and S5/S6 teams and leagues for boys and girls. We also have ambitions as a club to continue to develop our players and for them to qualify for the UEFA Champions League and to receive international recognition. All our ambitions are achievable but to do so we face a number of challenges. Today I am just going to focus on facilities.

FACILITIES

We have a fantastic relationship with Fife Sport and Leisure Trust and Community Use Schools and we spend over £40k a year on hall hire at facilities across Fife. We use 9 different courts across the year and of those, only 1 (Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre) has permanent futsal line markings and none are an international futsal court size (40m x 20m). We have supplied 2 schools with futsal goals, Michael Woods Leisure Centre purchased a set and at others we make use of indoor hockey goals. We are making best use of what we have available but for futsal to continue to develop as a sport we require facilities and equipment that is fit for purpose.

A few months ago I provided Community Use schools with information on how an international futsal court with viewing gallery at one of the new schools in West Fife would be massive for futsal not just in Fife but Scotland as a whole. An international court would result in an adult futsal league in Fife and provide opportunities to host regional, national and international events. It would also help other indoor sports that face similar issues.

I have seen basketball (St Columbus) and football clubs (Dalgety Bay) get exclusive access to courts and pitches and without access to fit and proper facilities, futsal would not exist.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with Active Fife and the SFA about futsal in Fife and to fight our corner for futsal with regards to facilities that will be included in the new super school in Dunfermline and the new high school in Rosyth. For me futsal markings and futsal goals in every high schools and sports halls in Fife is a must and we have to do what we can to have an international sized futsal court in the region. If we do this we will see futsal grow, the standard improve and you never know, Scotland might actually develop a world class footballer on the way!!

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