Autumn tests scheduled for England's Futsal squad

Tuesday 28 Jul 2015
The England line up for their last game in March, a 7-3 victory over Sweden
The FA has announced the new autumn fixture programme for the England Futsal team as they build up to the FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifiers in Israel during October.  

In preparation for those qualifiers, the England team will head to Tallinn to play two friendly matches against Estonia on 16 and 17 October.  

This is quickly followed by the World Cup qualifiers, where England will face the hosts Israel, Wales and Denmark in Tel-Aviv between the 22 and 25 October.  

England Futsal head coach Peter Sturgess instructs his side from the sidelines.

Peter Sturgess is taking his side into the World Cup Qualifiers in October

Poland then visit the Three Lions’ den at St. George’s Park the following month for two friendly matches on the 14 and 15 November.

Peter Sturgess’s side have high ambitions for this autumn’s qualifiers and will be hoping to top the group and head through to the Main Round in December in Hungary.

But success in Israel is very much dependent on the quality of their preparation in September and October to ensure the England players are firing on all cylinders when they arrive in Tel-Aviv.  

The squad have a number of training camps during the early stages of the season before they face Estonia.  

Estonia may be ranked 94th in the World Futsal Rankings, but the last time the two nations faced each other in the UEFA Futsal Euros in 2011, Estonia gave England a fright.  

England Futsal

Goalkeeper James Dalton has moved to Australia, so will no longer be available for England

On that day in Macedonia, the Estonian underdogs took a two-goal lead against the run of play and it took all of the resolve of a young England team to bounce back to claim a 3-2 victory.  

Some of the older heads in the England dressing room who played on that occasion will remind the younger players of the threat which Estonia will pose.

Following the World Cup qualifiers, England will welcome a tough Polish team to SGP. 

The Poles are an established Futsal nation and ranked 20 places above England, so this will not be for the faint-hearted.  

Poland are a strong and physical side, who are ruthless in front of goal but England gave the Poles a run for their money the last time the two countries met in Newcastle in 2013, narrowly losing 2-1 and leaving the court feeling rather hard-done-by.  

The England team will know that nations of the calibre of Poland are beginning to come into their sight, and that they have the ability to win these games against the big nations.

Luke Ballinger darts past Simon Chekroun

England's Luke Ballinger in action against Sweden earlier this year

The last time England played was at home to Sweden in February, where the Three Lions stormed to a 7-3 victory against a strong Swedish side.  

England will be hoping that they can rediscover this momentum during the busy autumn period, although the absence of senior players will not necessarily help them.

Captain Ben Mortlock is out for the season with a cruciate ligament injury, goalkeeper James Dalton has moved to Australia and Will Rooke is facing a lengthy spell on the touch line with injury.  

It will certainly test the strength in depth of the England programme and it will present opportunities for some young players to come through and challenge for a place in the senior team.  

An interesting few months lie ahead for the England Futsal Team.

By FA Staff