Futsal Teams Crowned National Champions

Last weekend (25th June) futsal teams from across the country travelled to Birmingham to take part in the FA’s national futsal competitions – with Surrey well represented, having 7 teams across the tournament.

Four of these teams, AFC Wimbledon Ladies U14s, Crystal Palace Ladies U16s and Go4Goal U14’s & U16s, were crowned champions, contributing to a wonderful day for Surrey futsal.

Below are the accounts from the winning managers on the day, all understandably ecstatic at their team’s achievements.

Debbie Francis, AFC Wimbledon U14s Manager:

“The girls arrived excited at the opportunity to play at such a prestigious event. They were in a group of 4 for the qualifiers and breezed through winning all 3 games.”

“The semi- final was a close game, which they won 1-0 but again, playing some great football.”

“Although the girls had been amazing all day, they left the best until last, winning 5-0 in the final. The way they passed the ball around so quickly and accurately was nothing short of phenomenal.”

“Myself and my coach, Nick Bolt, were extremely proud of the girls. They have had an amazing season and to top it off with this one was nothing less than they deserved. The day was extremely well organised and ran perfectly to time. Thanks to all involved in the organisation.”

Rickie Lockett, Crystal Palace Ladies U16:

The girls started their Futsal National Finals campaign with a 5-3 loss to St. Albans City Youth, which wasn't ideal. This meant that the squad could afford no more hiccups, and they responded superbly by finishing second in the group to St Albans.

This set up a knock-out game against the top team from the other division, Allerdale Girls. Crystal Palace proved too strong for them and won 3-1 to set up a final against St Albans and a chance to avenge the league lost earlier in the day.

With a few tactical switches from the first encounter, Palace proved to be a different opposition, and St Albans struggled to break through the hard-working midfield. Going forward Mia Lockett was causing St Albans problems, and she set up Elle Johnson, who fired in from an acute angle with a goal worthy of winning the cup.

St Albans tried their best to grab an equaliser but found the stubborn Palace girls tough to break down, and with the clock running down the girls celebrated becoming National Futsal champions.

Yet again this group of girls showed the ability and desire to achieve their goals and help increase the profile of Crystal Palace Ladies FC.

Andy Maciel and Paul Jones from Go4Goal:

Go4Goal were crowned national futsal champions in two age groups, having qualified unbeaten through local and regional events. This was the third time in four years of coaching futsal that we had reached the national finals, with both 2017 winning squads narrowly missing out on glory two years ago.

The event kicked off with the U14s, who breezed through their group winning all three games, scoring 16 goals and conceding just two. A 3-1 victory saw them into the final, where they came up against a strong CM Futsal Academy. The Go4Goal team showed determination to bury their final woes from two years ago and win the final 4-1.

The U16’s campaign unfolded in similar fashion, with Go4Goal winning all their games to qualify for the semi-final, in which they edged passed Bolton Futsal Club 1-0 thanks to a penalty late on. The final pitted them against Eastbury Community School, who were unable to break down a well-organised side, with Go4Goal eventually winning 2-0 to complete the double.

“It’s a testament to two truly excellent squads who play futsal with such dedication and an incredible understanding of the skill and technique required for success”, said director Paul Jones.

John O’Malley, Football Development Officer for Surrey FA and county lead for Futsal, was full of praise for all of the finalists. “The achievement for all of today’s seven teams to reach the national futsal finals is fantastic, and is a credit to the clubs for the hard work they put in. To have four winners is unbelievable, and highlights the good work that we are doing in futsal around the county”.

Honorable mention also goes to Inspire Futsal Academy, London Elite and Crystal Palace Ladies U12, each of whom did brilliantly to reach the national finals.

If you’d like to know more about futsal, head to http://www.surreyfa.com/players/futsal or contact John O’Malley (john.omalley@surreyfa.com | 01372 384 193)

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