They go together like coffee and cream…
The recent saga surrounding Usain Bolt’s attempt to become a professional footballer for the A-League’s Central Coast Mariners has raised a number of important issues in relation to what is required to play football at the highest level. The key issue surrounding Bolt’s footballing ambitions is this – does his star power outweigh his lack of footballing ability?
The general consensus amongst the broader football community is that the notion of a track athlete transforming into a professional footballer almost overnight is an offensive concept for the great majority of footballers who, despite honing their skills on the training pitch for countless hours throughout their lives, never get the chance to play football professionally.
Anyone involved in the Beautiful Game understands that in order to play football professionally, players must be able to combine many different elements of ability that can only be developed from years and years of training, analysis and understanding. If a young player doesn’t learn and practice the technical fundamentals of football (touch, passing, body position, etc.) from an early age, it will make it almost impossible for he or she to develop into a top-level player. The idea of becoming a professional footballer without having mastered the technical fundamentals of football is akin to building a palace on quicksand.
This is why Futsal is so beneficial for developing the next generation of footballers in Australia. Futsal condenses the elements of football into a smaller space and a smaller time period. The average Futsal player has possession of the ball around 3 or 4 times more often than they would playing full-sized outdoor football. That means there are 3 to 4 times more opportunities per game to hone technique in receiving the ball, analysing the situation, and then distributing, carrying the ball or shooting effectively.
What’s more, the nature of modern football requires players to be able to keep possession of the ball for their team, even when under significant pressure from their opponents. The ability to play in tight spaces is rooted in the same type of situation faced repeatedly by players in a Futsal match. How often do we see a central defender, fullback, wide and central midfielders gathered together close to their own corner flag, playing short passes between themselves to escape the opponent’s press – Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea are two teams that come to mind from the English Premier League.
Take a look at the video below – a compilation of Sarri’s outstanding Napoli side playing short passing football to relieve pressure. Many of the scenarios in the video closely mimic the optics and structure of a Futsal match, and the principles of passing and triangular positioning are essentially the same!
So, playing Futsal from an early age, in combination with regular full-sized football, is an ideal combination for the developing footballer. The two formats go together like coffee and cream, like Netflix and Chill, like Xavi and Iniesta. But perhaps the most important thing about Futsal is that it is simply an extremely fun game to play. Players aren’t confined to playing in a certain position where they may not be getting the ball – we all know the frustrating feeling. In Futsal, players can roam around and pick the ball up anywhere on the court, and are able to affect the game on their own far more easily than in football.
At Brisbane Central Futsal, we offer kids of all ages fun and engaging training programs that develop the very core elements of football. For the very little ones, this may be just the feeling of kicking a ball – after all, this is where it all begins! For the older kids, we are able to start fine-tuning technical elements such as ball control. For the older players, we look to improve their game understanding and look to iron out any weak spots.
So if you, your kids, or anyone else you know wants to improve their Futsal (or Football!) game and have a great time doing so, sign up for Brisbane Central Futsal’s Euro Futsal Academy today! We offer various training programs for all age groups, and are able to conduct 1-on-1 sessions that really hone in on specific areas of your game.
Until next time, Happy Futsal!