The squad has been named for the KL World 5's Tournament which takes place this month.
England’s Futsal Head Coach Graeme Dell has today named his 12 man squad for the upcoming KL World 5’s Futsal Tournament in Malaysia at the end of January.
Dell’s young Lions have been drawn in Pool A, along with south American experts Argentina, Asian newcomers China and hosts Malaysia, who will all be tested by Oceania’s best, Australia. The draw means they all avoid the might of Brazil and Europe’s other representatives Holland.
The squad includes many of the players who ended 2007 on such a high after gaining their first ever Futsal win against Greece in Birmingham, following on from four much improved performances against Andorra and Georgia.
Team Bath’s Marc Canham adds to his tally of 30 appearances as England’s most capped Futsal player, while Gloucester City’s Alex Sykes is not far behind him and that experience will be much needed in Kuala Lumpur.
With various factors limiting the players available to travel, Dell’s hopes of an identical squad being used for both this tournament and the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Hungary next month have been hampered.
However, there is a first call up for Derby’s Leigh Holbrook, who will earn his first cap under Dell at this level, but otherwise the group contains some meaningful experience.
In announcing the squad, Dell told TheFA.com: “This squad is about as good as I can get, given player availability, and whilst I would have liked to take the same players to both KL and Budapest for consistency, that may not ultimately be possible and that’s just the way it is.
“Everyone in this squad has a chance to learn a bit more and prove their worth ahead of Hungary and I have no doubt they will all rise to that challenge and my confidence in them typifies the people they are.
“This is a magnificent opportunity to play in one of the biggest Futsal tournaments in the World, with matches televised live to over 350million viewers throughout Asia.
“These players will all benefit from that exposure, which I hope will improve their Futsal education and allow us to prepare suitably ahead of the World Cup qualifiers”