Here at Manchester Futsal Club we’re passionate about futsal, and believe that it is a sport with massive, unexploited potential in our country.
What is your first memory of futsal?
The first thing remember is my football manager asking me to go down and try out a game of futsal against a team from Wigan when I was 15. I decided that I would try it out as I’d never heard of the game, and my friends were trying it out as well. As soon as I started playing I realised that this was my type of game. I still love football but playing my first game of futsal, having the ball a lot more and having a more fast-paced game was my style. It made me want to play more and more.
When did you first play the sport?
I’ve only been in the game for just over 18 months now. I started playing with Manchester U21s and training with the first team when I was 15. I remember having to wait to make my debut as I wasn't 16 yet, but I played for the first team a week or two after my 16th birthday.
Do you have a football background?
I started playing football at the age of four for a local team called Matthiola, and I was involved with them until the age of 15. In between my time there I’ve been at numerous academies, including Crewe, Wigan, Macclesfield, Manchester United and Blackburn. Unfortunately didn't make it in football, but I wouldn't have come across futsal if I did, so I’m glad in a way.
Why is futsal better than football?
It’s very fast paced and there is always something to do even if you are not on the ball, because the court is much more smaller. In football you may not touch the ball for a long time, but in futsal you are always involved and there are many touches of the ball in such a short amount of time.
What is the future of futsal?
The future is definitely bright for futsal especially in England. There are so many teams trying their best to promote the sport in this country and I bet other countries are trying to do the exact same, as the sport deserves the recognition and the players need to be noticed at a higher level. The future will be futsal progressing on to a professional level, but that will come in time with hard work. But the clubs and teams need to develop younger players.
Can England ever win the Futsal World Cup?
At the moment you would have to say no to them winning the World Cup but everyone would love it if they did! The development and publicity here will need to increase for that to become possible. Short-term England need to aim to be a team that will secure a place in the World Cup and challenge against the teams that are higher ranked than us at the moment.
What is your favourite futsal memory?
Becoming the youngest player to score in the semi-final of the FA Futsal Cup against Genesis, which we won 5-2, was a great moment because my confidence at the time wasn't very high. I knew it was a big moment for us all to get to the final, and with me being a very new, young player I didn't want to mess up, so to score the final goal of the game really boosted my confidence. Also, I can't leave out the time I got a call-up to the England U19's camp at St George's Park. That was a big moment for me, especially as it was a chance to show the people at the top what I could do and I will be working hard to get those chances again.
Why do you love futsal?
I love futsal because the speed and tempo of the game is much quicker and the play you have to make has to be really creative. Skill and confidence is needed to show off what you’re made of, especially with the players that I play with at Manchester, and that is exactly what I want to do. I am in the correct environment to push myself on and aim to higher levels, and playing professional is not out of my reach. The opportunities are endless and it will just get better as the sport grows and grows.