England Futsal squad announced for Euro qualifiers

Friday 24 Jan 2020
England head to Moldova with the aim of earning a place in the main round of qualifying

England Futsal head coach Mike Skubala has named his squad for the upcoming UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 qualifiers in Moldova. 

The Futsal Lions travel to take part in the preliminary round with the aim of securing a place in the main qualifying round, which is played in 2021. 

And, much to Skubala's pleasure, his team has an increased chance of a first-ever finals appearance thanks to a new format, which sees the nine group runners-up and five best third-placed teams enter a qualifying play-off stage in April. 

England, currently ranked 54th in the world, will face hosts Moldova, who are five places higher, on Saturday 1 February and 83rd-ranked Israel the previous day. 

"It used to be the case that only the group winners go through, so the new format is great because it gives us another bite at the cherry," said Skubala. 

"For developing nations – it feels weird to call us that, but that is what we are in futsal – it is really challenging to get through the pre-qualifiers. 

"Now our chances of going through and developing the game are greatly increased. so I think it's brilliant.

"Moldova are currently ranked higher than us in the world, which might surprise a lot of people but they take it really seriously out in Europe. 

"We are seeded second in our group so we should go through. We just need to make sure that we beat Israel to make sure we get a spot in the play-offs. 

"But I also think that if we play well we could win the group. That would be great for us."

England's Futsal team won the Home Nations Tournament title in 2019 for a third successive year

The most notable absentee from the squad is Stuart Cook, who suffered an ACL injury last year and is sidelined for the rest of the season, while goalkeeper Jonny Sim is also out with a broken wrist.

Jared Rand earns his first senior call up while Jordan Edge and Jordan Deer both keep their places having progressed through the youth system. 

And Skubala is optimistic that a blend of youth and experience will be enough to get his side over the line in Moldova.  

"Losing Stuart Cook is a big blow – that's like Harry Kane getting injured. He is one of our best players but suffered a bad injury at the start of the year so he won't be fit," added Skubala.  

"Will Wallace and Liam Palfreeman both play professionally out in Italy so that is great for us and will add a lot of experience. 

"The squad hasn't changed dramatically but we have brought a few under-21s in to replace a few of the senior members."

England squad for UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 qualifiers: 

Robbie Bettson (Durham University Futsal Club)
Myles Chadwick (York Futsal Club)
Mark Croft (Loughborough Students Futsal Club)
Nathan Davis (Loughborough Students Futsal Club)
Jordan Deer (Bolton Futsal Club)
Jordan Edge (Manchester Futsal Club)
Russell Goldstein (Pro Futsal London)
Raoni Medina (London Helvecia Futsal Club)
Matt Overton (Bolton Futsal Club)
Liam Palfreeman (ASD Olimpus Roma)
Joe Payne (Bolton Futsal Club)
Jared Rand (Pro Futsal London)
Doug Reed (London Helvecia Futsal Club)
William Wallace (ASD Lubrisol Futsal Regalbuto)
Richard Ward (Pro Futsal London)
James Webb (Gambette Futsal Club)

By Tom Dean