Manchester Futsal Club

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Football Foundation grant

by Aaron Russell

Manchester Futsal Club has been awarded a grant from the Football Foundation in order to improve the already high standard of commitment towards our flourishing youth development programme.

By the end of the three year grant period, the Club aims to have established under-14s, 15s and 16s teams who can then make seamless transitions into the under-21s programme, before being fast-tracked to the first team set-up.

“The Football Foundation run a funding scheme called Grow The Game and we were aware that in the last funding round they were welcoming applications from futsal clubs,” said Chairman Simon Wright. “The aim of the programme is to create new teams with the funding support provided over the three year grant period.

“The talent and interest is out there; we just have to facilitate the opportunities and that is what the funding will support. We’ll look to set-up some recruitment events. All professional football clubs have to as part of their responsibility for the released players provide a quality exit route; we feel that futsal can fulfil this.”

Manchester has a fine recent history of producing players off the ‘conveyer belt’, in particular this campaign where Aidan Hilditch, Danny Stapleton, Abdallah Mohamed, Jordan Edge, Ben Seol and Giles Collier have all made their impression on the first team.

Now, with the promise of even more funding from the Football Foundation, there’s no reason why more youngsters can’t make the step into the MFC squad.

“The award from the Football Foundation will enable us to further some development work with 14-16 year-olds,” continued Wright. “It’s the most challenging group and the funding will help us to do some focussed recruitment, coaching and talent development.

“We need to create some more contact time with the young players of this age to show them the pathways in youth futsal. Connecting with local secondary schools and grassroots football clubs will be a priority, as well as looking for those opportunities to re-engage players that may have been released from academy football from professional football clubs in the North West.”

As well as the Football Foundation grant, MFC has been nominated for Club of the Year 2015 by Manchester FA, having narrowly missed out on being named North West Club of the Year in 2014 during Manchester City Council’s awards.

“This is a separate award from the one we won last year from Manchester City Council,” said Wright. “We have been shortlisted by the Manchester FA Grassroots Awards as a finalist for the Club of the Year category; the awards are to celebrate the achievements of grassroots volunteers, coaches and clubs. It is the first time that an awards ceremony of this kind has been run by Manchester FA.

“Manchester FA requested nominations to be submitted for a range of categories. Given the success that the Club has achieved over the last twelve months on the court but also the new community projects that we have delivered off the court we felt we were well positioned to put our nomination forward to the Manchester FA panel.”

Written by @ChrisWildgoose
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