Search

FOOTBALL: Young stars kick off in style

PUBLISHED: 12:50 18 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:42 06 July 2010

WORLD Cup fever hit Lowestoft as a special England football day was organised by Suffolk FA.

Last month, county football development officer Phil Woolnough oversaw a futsal awareness evening for all Norfolk & Suffolk Youth league teams.

WORLD Cup fever hit Lowestoft as a special England football day was organised by Suffolk FA.

Last month, county football development officer Phil Woolnough oversaw a futsal awareness evening for all Norfolk & Suffolk Youth league teams. Two U9 youth teams, who had no previous experience of futsal, then played for 20 minutes before coaches and managers were then able to have a go for themselves.

And after this, clubs were invited to enter teams into the Futsal festival, which took part in town as part of the England Football Day events that were planned to kick off England's World Cup campaign on Saturday .

A day of “Brazilliant” futsal followed as the Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League/Suffolk FA Festival at the Denes High School was hailed as a success.

Five clubs, fielding 19 teams featuring 120 youngsters from the Lowestoft, Beccles, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Pakefield area, took part from U7 to U13 age groups.

Each team represented either England or the USA in the games, with each taking it in turns to wear the three lions. At the end of the festival these results were to be added together and a predication for the evening's game made from 35 matches in all.

U7 teams from Kirkley & Pakefield and St Benets Wasps got their first taste of futsal in the hall, with FA/Tesco Skills team leader and England International Futsal player Jamie Godbold coaching the action.

Outside U9 teams from Waveney Youth and St Benets Wasps set the pace on the Denes all-weather turf guided by SCFA Football Development Officer Phil Woolnough and referee Alan Anderson.

U10, U11 and U12 teams then took part in the action, followed by the six U13 teams who saw the festival to its conclusion with a wonderful display of power, skill and goals galore.

With futsal being the five-a-side game that the rest of the world plays, it is fast, skilful and demands player discipline and decision making of the highest order, Futsal has taken a strong hold in local schools.

The FA Eastern Regional Futsal finals were also held last Saturday and saw no less than four local schools, Harris Middle, Kirkley High, Denes High and Benjamin Britten High all competing for the regional title and the chance to play at the national finals in July. Congratulations to Benjamin Britten U15 boys and Denes High School U14 girls, for whom this will be their second appearance at the FA National Futsal finals.

The organisers would like to thank Kevin and his team at the Denes, FA/Tesco Skills team leader Jamie Godbold, Shaun Platten and Peter Hannant from the Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League, Alan for helping out with refereeing duties and particularly the generosity of Tesco (Lowestoft, Leisure Way) and Tesco (Stowmarket) for the player giveaways.

“In all, it was a great day and start to the World Cup,” Woolnough said. “The final game results were England 14 wins, USA 11 wins and five games drawn.”

Delighteed with their youngsters for taking part, Simon Harper from Kirkley & Pakefield U10s - who entered two teams - said: “Even though futsal has apparently been going since the 1930's, myself and my team have only very recently heard about it. With the more weighted ball, it really helps with ball control and helps to develop skills too.

“It's always played at a very fast pace especially when you only get four seconds to kick the ball back into play - I will defiantly introduce this into my training sessions from now on.”

Tony Wood, from Waveney Youth entered three U13 teams, and said: “The Futsal ball brought a new dimension to the game with it being played more on the deck and the four second rule kept the boys alert and on their toes.

“All the lads seemed to improve through the tournament with no coaching from the sidelines. It's almost like the futsal game allowed the lads to blossom themselves with more tricks emerging and confidence showing in all areas.”

If you would like to find out more about Futsal, please contact Phil Woolnough at Suffolk FA on 01449 776311 or e-mail phil.woolnough@suffolkfa.com


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Lowestoft Journal. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal