Futsal Continues To Inspire As AFC Wimbledon Win Nationals
Last month, the AFC Wimbledon U14’s triumphed at the National Futsal Championships in Birmingham, winning the title whilst representing Surrey.
We caught up with Coach Abdoullah Kheir on how he and his team found the day, and talking points from their success.
Hi Abdoullah - How did the National Futsal Final go for you?
We were really impressed with the set up and organisation of the day; it was very impressive to see that many teams on the day all being dealt with expertly.
We looked at the tournament set up and fixtures and thought the times of games were too long between each game, but they worked out perfectly and actually it felt like we came off and came on shortly after.
The girls qualified playing in our county futsal tournament in Surrey, beating Crystal Palace in the final. We then travelled to Chichester University to play in the regionals, winning the final against Denham and heading to the nationals in Birmingham.
How proud are you of your team in achieving this – and what does it mean to be National Futsal Champions?
Having only taken the team on at the beginning of last season, I’m very proud at what they’ve achieved especially it being Futsal, something I’m very passionate about.
The girls have enjoyed all three tournaments they entered and are already asking when the next tournament will be. They’ve really seen the benefits of playing Futsal and how much it has improved their technical ability in 11-a-side. They’ve been proud champions of Futsal and gloating to their friends on social media, which for me I like as they are very appreciative of what they have achieved and were not showing off about it; very gracious.
What would you say to a team considering thinking about taking up futsal? What are its benefits?
I’d very much be an advocate for it! I’m very passionate about the game and can see the huge benefits of it.
I would say if you’re thinking about introducing it or beginning it, do it. Futsal can really reap many rewards, from the technical aspects through to its tactical outcomes.
What’s next up for you and the team?
We’ll be training and using Futsal as a base during one of our training days next season.
We will then be Futsal training twice a week when it gets to winter time, as I feel we’ll gain so much more inside playing Futsal rather than being outside in the cold and rain!