This Sunday, 28th of January, Manchester Futsal Development host Durham Futsal Development at the Belle Vue Leisure Centre.
Both teams come into this game in decent form, with Durham currently two games unbeaten and Manchester now seven league games without a loss but the side did get knocked out of the FA Futsal Cup on the weekend.
Development team coach, Russell Fryer says Durham have got a young team who started slow this season, but in recent weeks have proved they are a quality team.
“They had a slow start, picking up only one point from their first four games, but I imagine that was them putting a side together and they must have had some success, as the reverse fixtures against Billingham and league leaders Bolton will testify,” Fryer said.
“I love what Chris and the rest of the guys up there are doing right now. They have a good set-up and promote youth extensively, with a number of their boys in the England system already and more to follow I am sure. The reason I like what they are doing is because they follow the same philosophy as myself with introducing young players to the National League and letting them flourish.”
There is some team news for Manchester, with Jonny starting in goal again, after a superb performance last week.
Elliott Fenton will also return, after making his debut for the first team in last week's game against London City, in which he scored, as well as this, two new players join the squad, Scott and Sam who are both 16 years old.
“Jonny’s sterling performance last week against Bolton, earned him an invite to both first team training sessions this week. The two new players joining the squad have impressed in their first week in training and will keep our average age down around the 17-year-old mark,” Fryer said.
As Manchester is currently sitting in second place on the table it would be reasonable to start discussing a title run, but Fryer prefers to not talk about the team’s success, rather how much the players have developed over the course of the season.
“You know, we always say this, but we genuinely do not go into games discussing the table. My mindset has always been that our objective is to make your players better than they were before, whatever level they are at and the rest happens as a by-product.”
“We have seen so much progression under these boys that where we are in the league is a result of their dedication and willingness to learn. We want to keep everyone focussed on improving as players as our priority is to produce future players for the first team,” Fryer said.
Development team captain Ryan Williams, said he’s expecting a tough game from Durham.
“They have been on good form recently, drawing with Bolton, beating Billingham, so I’ll be expecting a tough game but despite coming off the back of a loss last week we are still feeling confident of continuing the unbeaten league form.”
Williams agrees with his coach when it comes to winning the league, he believes developing the players is more important than winning trophies at this stage.
“Obviously it’s not our main objective as we are a development club, but it would always be an achievement to get promotion to North Division 1,” Williams said.
It seems clear that throughout the entirety of the team, players and coaching staff, that the focus is on growth and development and any success that comes off the back of that is just an added bonus!
Be sure to check the team in action on Sunday, kick off is 4:30, straight after the men’s teams big match against London Helveica.