This week, 10 teams from the Capital Football region will join another 49 teams from around New Zealand at the 2017 New Zealand Football National Youth Futsal Championships in Palmerston North.
With more than 700 players competing, the seventh edition of Youth Futsal Champions highlights the growth in futsal as it has become immersed in Federation development pathways.
This year, more than ever, the tournament has become an important part of player development pathways with New Zealand U18 boys’ and girls’ sides, and the Futsal Ferns, being selected after the tournament for the first time. Todd Bryant, Capital Football’s Futsal Development Officer, is excited by these developments,
I believe the talent will be better than ever in 2017, and I know that many of our young players from Capital have set goals to impress the selectors.
While teams from the Capital Football Federation have a tradition of success at the National Championships, the continued growth of the Capital Futsal programme – from the pool of players to select from and coaching knowledge, to training schedules and facilities – has Bryant feeling confident. As he explains,
There is certainly some young talent coming through the Futsal pathway here in the capital and this year’s sides have the chance to build on the success we saw in 2016.
At that tournament, eight teams represented Capital Football with the U12 and U14 boys taking away the silverware, and the U19 girls’ team finishing a close second.
That U19 girls’ team could be one to watch in this year’s edition with 2016 MVP, Denise Gumabay, returning alongside Chelsea Empson, Jemma Hall, and Ella Vincent Hyde. Coach Dani Calautti has set high standards again for the side and they’ll be looking to take the title off Mainland’s hands.
Among the boys’ teams, the Capital U16 Boys coached by Futsal White Luc Saker has a number of young talented players who Bryant expects to impress, with the likes of Emerik Wallace, Grant Baker, and Sean Lane-Turnbull leading the way.
The teams playing under the Capital Futsal banner have a simple set of goals for the tournament, founded on making the most of the opportunity offered by the tournament, on and off the court.
NZF Futsal National Youth Championships
Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North
Friday 14 July to Sunday 16 July
LIVE streaming of selected games is available here
To follow all the action please visit NZF Futsal on Facebook