The University of Nottingham’s Futsal Club has been accepted into the FA National Futsal Super League North for the 2015/16 season, the country’s premier competition.
A league restructure allowed the club, who finished second in the Northern Second Division this season, to earn promotion for the inaugural season of the new system and compete against the very best the country has to offer, including Loughborough FC and league powerhouse Manchester Futsal Club.
The old system featured three premier leagues, Northern, Midlands and Southern but has now become two, Premier North and South, with an end of season NBA style play-off system determining the overall winner.
Super League applications were not judged on team performance alone, with club structure, sustainability, facilities, potential player base and financial backing being crucial to the club’s bid. Clubs had to also convince the FA that they would be one of the best teams to help push Futsal on throughout the country and hopefully make the sport attractive to TV companies such as Sky and BT in the future. The FA adjudged UoN to excel across the board a deserving of a spot in the Super League.
It is a remarkable achievement for a club that was founded by student Daniel Slater just three years ago. Slater himself ran the application and was delighted with the outcome. “There has been a lot of time and effort put in to building a great club, and Super League acceptance is the icing on the cake.” The current President added, “we know how tough this is going to be playing against players of international standard but this sets us on our way to our long-term goal of becoming one of the largest clubs in the UK. But the first step is to perform this season!”
Clubs had to convince the FA that they would be one of the best teams to help push Futsal on throughout the country and hopefully make the sport attractive to TV companies such as Sky and BT in the future
After a disappointing end to the season, with the 1st and 2nd teams both narrowly missing out on BUCS promotion, as well as a desperately unlucky 7-6 Varsity defeat to Trent, the news of Super League success was more than welcomed at the club. President-elect Nick Pritchard said, “It’s unbelievable to realise the long term dream of the club. The hard work can’t stop now though, we need to work hard pre-season to ensure that we maintain our Super League status and hopefully push on for a Champions League spot over the next few years. Credit must go to founders Dan and Martin Ware (coach), and club ambassador Moe Maghrbi.”
The club have also recently appointed Daniel Smith as the Academy Director to help secure the long-term aspirations of the club and will oversee the implementation of under 14s and under 16s squad for next season. The Academy was key to the success of the club’s bid, alongside the development of the £40 million David Ross Sports Centre, which gave the club a secure long-term home.
Attention will now turn to ensuring a successful first season in the Super League, in which they not only hope to establish themselves in the league, but also to push on and challenge for the play-offs.
Image courtesy of UoN Futsal