England coach Graeme Dell looks back on 2006 and picks out his favourite game and goal from a busy year.
On the day he named his squad for the this month's UEFA European Championship pre-qualification clashes with Romania, Latvia and Bulgaria, Graeme Dell looked back on a busy 2006.
Here are his thoughts on last year...
What is your highlight from 2006?
Probably the World Cup. It’s always a spectacular event and the Germans really showcased it with great stadia and organisation. As a football fan you can't fail to be impressed and addicted to such a showcase. I was also lucky enough to be in Melbourne with Team England for the Commonwealth Games and that was an awesome Games from which I was able to learn a great deal from working alongside other sports.What was your favourite game from 2006?
There were a number. The FA Cup Final was one of the best in memory but so too was the World Cup game between Argentina v Serbia & Montenegro in Gelsenkirchen which Argentina won 6-0 in a very impressive manner. The Argentinians showed the benefits of having coordinated youth, Olympic and senior programmes with this young squad who had spent a lot of time over recent years playing as a team and they were unfortunate not to progress further. I think they will be a team for the future.What was your favourite goal from 2006?
There were a number in the 11-a-side game but my favourite Futsal goal was one scored against us recently by Lithuania which demonstrated the one touch and spatial awareness which is developed by Futsal (click on the above link to see the goal).What are your hopes for 2007?
To keep improving with the team and as a coach. Even when you’re coaching at an international level you can never know too much, especially as the international scene is very different to the domestic one. You have to keep pushing the boundaries and finding new ways to get the edge with new innovations in coaching so that you can help the players improve and educate them along the way.Players/teams to look out for in 2007?
Futsal has such a long way to go in England before we can be confident that we can compete seriously either domestically or internationally. There are lots of new players arriving on the scene daily but getting to see them or know more about them is the challenge.
I have been very excited by Darren Budd of Bognor Regis Town who we introduced into the national team recently and he is one for the future of our programme. He typifies the type of skilful and intelligent player I am looking for, someone who has grown up in the professional game but was considered physically too small to survive at that level but his attributes are ideally suited to Futsal.New Year’s resolution?
I hate breaking promises so try not to make too many resolutions! However, I want to concentrate on promoting this fascinating game and improving awareness, understanding and respect for what Futsal has to offer as a player development tool at all levels.