England Futsal launches new development programme

Thursday 13 Aug 2015
England's record Futsal goalscorer Luke Ballinger

The FA has announced changes to the England Futsal Performance Programme for next season in the quest to enhance England’s future standings in world Futsal.  

The England senior team have made significant strides over recent seasons, climbing from 127th in the world in 2007 to a much more respectable 57th.

In order to maintain that progress, The FA has sought to ease a player's transition from the grassroots game into the elite level, by expanding its development squad to an Under-23s side with an Under-19s side feeding into it.

England Futsal line-up ahead of their second meeting with Sweden in two days

The England Futsal squad will now have two development teams feeding into it

The U23s squad will be led by Mike Skubala, the assistant coach of the senior squad, while the U19s – featuring the nation's best 16-19-year-olds – will be led by former England international Pete Vallance, plus Mark Dick and Ben Tadmor. 

The existing Regional Centres of Futsal Excellence programme will also enjoy a makeover.  

The current eight regions will be reduced to three regional centres of excellence (North, Midlands and South) with a focus on increasing the quality of player involved at this level.  

The Centres will continue to target the most talented 16-19-year-olds, with the best of these players being selected for the England U19s squad.

The lead for Futsal within The FA, Simon Walker, reflected on these changes, explaining: "The England Futsal team has made some real progress over recent years, and we’re becoming a competitive side on the international level.  

"However, it is important that we don’t rest on our laurels; whilst we can be very proud of the progress and success that we have had, as an England team we have to harbour aspirations of competing at the very highest levels of Futsal.  

"We know this will not happen overnight, we have developed a long-term plan that will put us on the right path to develop high quality players and coaches that will help us to challenge the top Futsal nations.  

"The changes that we have made to the talent pathway for the season ahead are important steps in helping us to realise this long-term vision."

By FA Staff