The Rise of Futsal - Scotland
Futsal originated in South America in the 1930’s, however, until recently the sport was unknown in the UK.
Over the last few years, the awareness of futsal has increased with teams, leagues and coaching organisations popping up all over the country.
Like most 30+ year olds, I spent almost every day of my childhood playing football, whether it was at school, at my football club or on the streets. It pains me to go passed all of those places I frequented as a child and see them empty. I could drive or walk around my home town most days of the week and not see one person out playing with a football.
In January 2015, I started Futsal Escocia as a hobby with the intention of offering my son and a small group of local children the opportunity to play and experience futsal. I hoped that futsal would give those children the same sense of fun and enjoyment that I had as a child and I wasn’t disappointed. It is fair to say that since then, I have fallen in love with futsal and everything that it brings. The ever increasing popularity of our sessions and leagues shows that the children feel exactly the same.
In Fife alone, Futsal Escocia has continued to grow and now has up to 140 children doing futsal coaching sessions on a weekly basis. In 2015/16 we had 48 teams involved in youth winter leagues. This increased to 91 teams (boys and girls) in 2016/17. Coaches and parents are seeing the benefits.
Through the futsal coaching and leagues, I have seen the difference in the development of children and teams playing futsal.
Over the winter, I used my son as a guinea pig to establish the difference between futsal and 7 a side football. Using a device in his sock I was able to establish how many passes he makes and how often he walks, runs or sprints a game.
The differences in passes of the ball in particular are massive.
- In a 40 minute game of futsal (5 a side) he is on the court for about 25 minutes. During that time he averages between 55-70 passes of the ball.
- In a 50 minute game of 7 a side football he is on the pitch for about 40 minutes. During that time he averages about 40 passes of the ball.
The game of futsal encourages players to get on the ball, to be creative and to think for themselves. More touches, more shots, more goals and more saves ultimately means more enjoyment and accelerated development.
Futsal Escocia has their own ‘Developing the Player’ programme which has been carefully designed to develop every aspect of a child’s game for futsal or football. The programme is separated into 6 week blocks covering:
- Control, Technique and Awareness
- Ball Retention
- Tactical Awareness (fun week for younger groups)
Every session has 15 minutes of matches at the end.
Participants are actively encouraged to be creative and to express themselves with sessions designed for the children to do the thinking and not the coach.
I am not aware of any other coaching programme that is designed to work on all areas of a players game. In futsal, you have to be competent in all of the above areas. You are not just an attacker, a midfielder or defender, you are everything all rolled into one.
The future?... I would love to see futsal in Scotland to continue to grow both as a development tool for football and as a sport in its own right. Children should have the opportunity to play football, futsal or a combination of both. Personally, I feel that schools are the perfect place to introduce futsal and the younger they do so the better.
Futsal Escocia is a member of the Scottish Youth Futsal Federation, a group that was set up to further develop youth futsal across the country. Hopefully the Scottish Youth Football Association and Scottish Football Association will share the groups ambition and support them in doing so.
If you would like further information on Futsal Escocia and where we operate please have a look at our website and follow us on social media.
Futsal Escocia - All about DEVELOPMENT and FUN.