WOMEN’S FUTSAL may well be in its infancy but Pro Brazil Futsal Academy is leading the charge to see the game develop into a mainstream sport.
The club is based in the Maypark/Donnycarney area of north Dublin but the club is open for any budding female players to join their ranks and help grow the sport.
And, the Athletic Union League who currently run the men’s Futsal league for amateur adults is keen to welcome new clubs who would like to affiliate and start a women’s only league.
AUL Futsal Liaison officer Tony Martin is very positive about the potential of the league and would love to hear from clubs who would like to help form a division.
“Futsal is a brilliant game and we are delighted to promote the sport. Our top club, Blue Magic FC, recently represented the FAI in the UEFA Futsal Champions League in Montenegro and it’s an indicator of the rewards for the top teams in the sport,” says Martin.
“We’re only too happy to include a women’s division and if there is sufficient interest, we will put the necessary structures in place to ensure a smooth running of all competitions which fall under our jurisdiction.”
Out in Mercy College in Coolock Pro Brazil players are being put through their paces by Fred Santos and his coaching staff and a mix of Irish and Brazilian players are showing their skills to good effect and shooting practice shows some have serious fire power in their boots.
And the training comes free of charge for the players and last month the club organised a mini tournament which attracted 11 teams. Over 100 girls were involved in the competition which ran for four hours and there was a genuine ‘feel good factor’ for all participants and for many of the novices, it simply whetted their appetite for more of the same.
Such was the positive vibes that emanated from the inaugural tournament the Athletic Union League has agreed to supervise and provide structure to any league that emanates from current discussions.
Say Brazilian native Lia Santos: “Our goal is to help the girls develop their skills and improve as futsal players. The sport is really popular worldwide and we want to promote the game here in Ireland.”
Pro Brazil started with girls as young as four years of age up to 13 and now have commenced a senior section which has seen club numbers jump to 140. But there is room for more and anyone who would like to join is welcome to make contact with the club for more information.
Initial discussions have been held with the Football Association of Ireland and the hope is that further engagement will increase support and engagement with the national association. November 6 is the next scheduled date for a Women’s Futsal Tournament at the AUL Complex and any individual or club who would like to take part can do so by making contact with the AUL at the listed contacts below.
Says Lia Santos: “Regardless of ability we would like to hear from anyone. We had a great tournament at Raheny United’s all-weather last time out and we are very excited about the upcoming event at the AUL Complex in Clonshaugh.”
Lots of enthusiasm and plenty of support is beginning to fill the sails of women’s futsal and it augurs well as the sport looks to establish itself alongside traditional small-sided and 11-a-side competitions.
“Unless you try it, you’ll never know but it is popular the world over and so many of the top stars all say that futsal really helped their career,” says Lia.
“Here’s an opportunity to help develop your skills and meet new friends and you never know where the journey will take you.”