The warm up for World Cup qualification begins this week as England face Andorra in Bath.
England v Andorra
7pm Monday 29 October 2007 & 5.30pm Tuesday 30 October 2007
English Institute Of Sport, Bath.
The England Futsal team are in action this week, when they face a double date with Andorra at the English Institute Of Sport in Bath on Monday and Tuesday.
With England making their first venture into the FIFA Futsal World Cup with qualifiers early next year, the game is all part of the preparation for the squad, who remain one of the least established in the Futsal world but are constantly working hard on improving things.
England Coach Graeme Dell knows that to many people in the country, Futsal remains a new game and whilst Andorra may be a smaller nation in terms of size and stature, in the world of Futsal they have been playing for longer and are subsequently more established.
“We’re still in our infancy at Futsal and as we take the team on the road at home, it remains very new to so many people and these two games will be no different,” revealed Dell.
“Andorra will be formidable opponents, despite being such a small nation and that in its own right is a sobering thought for us here in England.”
The players face a trip to Hungary in February for the UEFA qualification group for the World Cup, which takes place in Brazil next summer.
With games against Hungary, Poland and Macedonia, Dell knows it will be hard but is hopeful that his squad can have a good go at reaching their first ever World Cup and learn from it in the process.
“With 11 of the top 20 teams in the world coming from Europe, six of which are in the top 10, our chances of qualification are slim but will nonetheless give us valuable experience for the future,” explained Dell.
“We’ve been drawn against Hungary, Poland and Macedonia in a group to be hosted in Budapest.
“As for Andorra, they are a ‘pot two team’ which reflects their international ranking and will travel to Italy to play the hosts along with Cyprus and Kazakhstan.”
Futsal is certainly an exciting and entertaining sport to watch, with some splendid techniques and skills on show and with the games both taking place at the impressive £21m facility within the University Of Bath, Dell is encouraging anyone within the local area to come along and support the team.
“I’m a Futsal convert and I’ve noticed an increasing number of people who get to see Futsal walk away from it totally enthused,” he added.
“I’m yet to come across people who don’t get a buzz from what they see when it’s played properly and I hope that these two games are no different.”