Head Coach Peter Sturgess speaks ahead of this weekend's Futsal Four Nations Tournament in Loughborough.
The FA Futsal Four Nations Tournament
England, Libya, Lithuania, Republic of Ireland
Sir David Wallace Building, Loughborough University
19- 21 December 2008
England return to Futsal action this weekend, when Loughborough University hosts a Four Nations Tournament.
The Three Lions will take on Libya, Lithuania and the Republic Of Ireland over three days in what are their first games on home shores since their historic games against Greece last December.
That saw England pick up their first ever international Futsal win and new Head Coach Peter Sturgess sees the next three games as an important part of his squad’s further development.
Sturgess has selected a squad for the Tournament with several new faces involved and he is hoping that they can continue their learning curve in front of a supportive home crowd.
“The squad that I have selected for this Tournament is a mixture of experienced players, combined with some very promising newcomers,” said Sturgess, ahead of Friday’s Tournament opener against Ireland.
“It can be challenging when embarking upon the development of a new squad of players and this, in effect, is what is taking place.
“Exciting young players who are new to international Futsal will be given their chance to stake a claim for a permanent place in the squad and this ferocious competitiveness for places will, I believe, move the squad forward.”
Sturgess first took charge of England in October when the squad headed over to France for a similar tournament, which saw games against the Netherlands and France. Whilst they both ended in defeat, Sturgess saw numerous positives to build upon and knows what he wants to see from his team.
“I don’t want the players to think too much about winning,” he added. “But I do want them focused upon ‘winning behaviours.’
“This approach during our preparation for the Tournament is part of a longer term plan that is designed to develop the kind of winning mentality that is so important at this level of competition.
“There is no pressure from me other than they display those winning behaviours, remember our game plans and give everything for the shirt they are wearing.”
With a total of six International Futsal games over the weekend, along with a further six matches involving English Futsal teams, Sturgess is also hopeful that there will be plenty of people in attendance to witness the fast and flowing style of the game.
“I know we will gain valuable experience participating in this event and, just as importantly, the Tournament is an opportunity to get a wider public audience talking about Futsal again,” he said.
“This can only be good for the growth of the game in this country.”
Friday 19 December
Libya v Lithuania (4pm)
Lindsey School & Community Arts College v FC Enfield (6pm)
Team United v Wellingborough Diamonds FC (6.30pm)
England v Republic of Ireland (7.30pm)
Saturday 20 December
Republic of Ireland v Libya (2.30pm)
Leicestershire & Rutland v Northampton Futsal Club (4.30pm)
Leicestershire & Rutland v Brentford FC Community Sports Trust (5pm)
England v Lithuania (6pm)
Sunday 21 December
Republic of Ireland v Lithuania (12.30pm)
FC Barsa U14s v FC Barsa U13s (2.30pm)
Tibberton United v University of Teesside (3pm)
England v Libya (4pm)
Fans can watch all of the games, with tickets costing £5 for a three-day pass whilst all students and U16s go free. Call the ticket hotline now on 0161 743 3515 for more details.