The University of Nottingham‘s futsal programme has earned a reputation as one of the most popular and exciting clubs on our campus.
This has been highlighted by their large student engagement, significant attendances at fixtures and hosting the largest domestic futsal match in the UK during Varsity last year.
During the past 12 months, the team has earned their first BUCS Premier promotion in the university’s history, become the highest ranked Russell Group university in the country and currently sit top of the table in the FA National Futsal League.
“Futsal is an exciting, enjoyable and entertaining game with the constraints of the sport essential for skill development, demanding high levels of decision making, technical proficiency and team cohesion.” – Marc Forrest, Head of UoN’s men’s futsal.
What is Futsal?
Futsal is an enthralling, fast-paced, small-sided invasion game, officially recognised by UEFA and FIFA, that originates from South America and is widely played across the world. The nature of the game places a large emphasis on technical skill and ability in situations of high pressure due to the confines of the pitch. Games are played over 20 minute halves with a stop clock similar to basketball with timeouts permitted.
Unlike football, it is played on a hard surface, uses a smaller ball with 30% less bounce, and the goals are just 3m wide x 2m high. It is also played to lines and not walls and follows the FIFA Futsal Laws of the game.
Many of the world’s top class footballers played futsal in their youth and credit it with supporting their footballing development as well as it being an international sport in its own right.
“Futsal is a fantastic sport and way to develop footballers and the one-on-one attacking duels give the players a real opportunity to express themselves and players thoroughly enjoy the involvement of Futsal.” – Becky Langley, Head of UoN’s women’s football and futsal.
About UoN Futsal
High Performance Zone gym sessions are delivered by full-time professional staff, with players and coaches being able to monitor their training and progress through TeamBuildr, a comprehensive online strength and conditioning training platform accessible on any device which is used by the FA and some professional football clubs such as Burnley FC.
The team also uses the video analysis platform, In-Play Online, for match day analysis. The platform provides an online area where the squad can review team and individual clips, along with player specific match statistics.
PulseRoll UK sponsor the University of Nottingham‘s futsal programme, providing the first team with high-quality foam rollers as part of the squad’s recovery strategies, in addition to the hydrotherapy pool and physiotherapy support.
Sixteen year-old Zak Brunt, who played for the University of Nottingham Futsal National League squad in July, earned a two year scholarship with Sheffield United FC and has already featured for their Under-23 squad.
Ten University of Nottingham futsal players have been selected for a range of international teams since the introduction of the new performance programme last season which aimed to develop home-grown talent.
“Football has become such a quick game that the art of making quick decisions and the importance of having ball mastery is key to building a successful programme. Our current system that we are using in the men’s first team is based on futsal concepts.” – Nick Tester, Head of UoN’s men’s football.
Ones to Watch
Jonathan Alvarez Olieff is a highly-rated scholar studying for a Clinical and Molecular Microbiology Masters. The England Under-23 international is looking better than ever and has featured for a number of years for the National League team and is now taking a step up this season as he will be the BUCS first team captain.
Joe Kenny, former England futsal senior national team player, has impressed since joining the club last season following a break from the sport. Kenny is an influential player who is excelling as part of our squad and is undoubtedly still one of the most exciting young English talents in the country.
“Futsal is a sport for all, whether you want to play internationally, recreationally or develop your football.” – Marc Forrest, Head of UoN men’s futsal.
This exciting sport has opportunities for all abilities and is on the up. The club’s philosophy is “developing well rounded players and people, providing challenge and opportunity for all”, which encompasses the University of Nottingham’s model for sport: engage, inspire and excel.
If you want to see what all the fuss is about, the next home game is on 4th November against Liverpool and will be one not to miss!
Featured image courtesy of Marc Forrest.
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Nice article, but futsal is played to lines, and not walls, as suggested here.