It is therefore exciting to see a number of youth football leagues across the country beginning to embrace this format of the game, and offer opportunities for young players to benefit from the technical merits that Futsal offers.
30 FA Charter Standard Youth Leagues have received small funding grants from The FA to help them develop and embed Futsal provision into their league programme.
This has provided an opportunity for over 10,500 boys and girls to benefit from playing Futsal on a regular basis this season in 775 clubs across the country.
The FA funding has also helped provide opportunities for 535 grassroots coaches to attend FA Futsal coaching courses, ensuring that young players are being provided with appropriate guidance and support to reap the technical benefits from Futsal.
Futsal has been delivered by youth leagues in a variety of different ways, but in the majority of cases it has been organised for young players during the winter period as leagues have seen the opportunity that playing Futsal indoors can offer their clubs and young players.
In recent years there have been a number of harsh winters with snow, floods and other weather conditions affecting the amount of football being played.
Of course this affects all participants of the game, adult as much as youth, but for young players learning the game and developing their skills and love for football, these long absences during the winter months can be particularly detrimental.
Forward-thinking youth leagues have therefore countered the traditional harsh English conditions by introducing indoor Futsal into their league programmes.
“For some time we have recognised the value Futsal can have in supporting the development of young players,” revealed Simon Walker, The FA’s national development manager, who leads on Futsal.
“Initiatives like this can help inspire a cultural change in the football landscape to encourage leagues and clubs across the country to embed Futsal into their plans.
“There is a growing awareness in this country of the benefits of Futsal, and it is a huge step that so many large youth leagues have embraced the game as it will result in their clubs, coaches and players benefiting from this format.”
The FA have produced a guide explaining in greater detail the work that they have undertaken with FA Charter Standard Youth Leagues to develop Futsal over the past season, highlighting a number of examples of good practice within these leagues. This resource can be downloaded by clicking here.