Carlisle Futsal Club: FA National Futsal League Club
The FA announced today the structure of the FA National Futsal League for the 2014/15 season which kicks-off in September.
There were several notable changes, particularly the introduction of seven new clubs into Division 2, six clubs promoted into Division 1, and a revamp of the FA National Futsal Super Leagues. But the biggest news for anyone connected with Carlisle was the inclusion of Carlisle Futsal Club in FA National Futsal League Division 2 North.
Back in 2012 the clubs first steering group formulated a strategy and action plan to achieve one sole objective – create a club capable of representing Carlisle in the FA National Futsal leagues. Today that was achieved.
Over the last 24 months the Club has achieved FA charter standard status boasting a full club strucutre including an 80 strong junior academy. Other successes along the way include increasing adult participation locally to over 400 people playing on a weekly basis and the implimentation of a facilitiy enhancement programme, including the donation of 4 sets of official Futsal goals to community facilities in Carlisle. The club has enjoyed success on the court winning the Northern Futsal Carlisle District League and FA Cup qualification league, whilst finishing runners up in the Boro Futsal Cup in 2013. Forming partnerships has also been important and the club work closely with Carlisle United Football in the Community, Carlisle Youth Zone and Raffles Community Reach. Our profile locally has been raised through social media, the launch of CFTV the clubs dedicated youtube channel and word of mouth. In our recent FA Cup games held at the Sands Centre we sold out both fixtures and created a fantastic event wioth DJ music, lighting and PA announcers.
The 2014/15 season will hold some fresh challenges. If our on court achievements match the off court achievements we will be able to position the club amongst the best in the country but the task is a huge one. Every year the playing standard amongst the countries elite develops, the bar gets higher. None the less the club will be setting some ambitions targets for the coming season and will do everything possible to ensure they are achieved.
The changes elsewhere in the FA National League structure saw Southern Division’s Maccabi Futsal Club, Carlisle toughest FA cup opponents, being promoted after a glorious season in Division 2 with Kaunas being relegated from Division 1. But the big change in the South is the influx of four new clubs into Division 2 making it a 10 team division. Sussex, Barking, MDU London and Zappsport Futsal Clubs were all selected by The FA to join the National Futsal League for next season making the Southern Division even more competitive.
There have been wholesale changes to the North Division 1. Struggling with only six teams in the top tier this season, The FA have promoted three clubs and relegated FS Derby Willows who finished bottom of the league for the second consecutive season to make eight teams in Division 1. Champions of Division 2 North, Teesside Futsal Club are promoted alongside Stockport and the University of York Futsal Clubs. Carlisle are the new boys welcomed into the Division 2 North for next season.
Division 1 Midlands have similarly been increased to eight teams, with Gloucester University and Reading Futsal Clubs both being promoted after strong seasons in Division 2. University of Plymouth who struggled in Division 1 are relegated. The other significant change in Division 1 is the name change of the University of Bath Futsal Club, one of the founding members of the FA National Futsal League, to Bristol City Futsal Club. The club is now working in conjunction with Bristol City Football Club.
Division 2 Midlands welcomes Coventry Futsal Club and IFA Loughborough Futsal Club to the FA National Futsal League.
The FA also announced that next season’s FA National Futsal Super League, which has been another tremendous success this year in its second season since its introduction, will be revamped and expanded in the 2014/15 season. Currently the Super League welcomes the top four clubs from each of the three regional leagues and divides them into four small groups to play home and away matches. Next season will still see the top 12 clubs from the three top divisions proceed into the Super League stages, but rather than be divided into four groups the clubs will compete in two larger groups of six teams with the winners progressing onto the Grand Finals.
This new approach to the Super League will enable more competitive opportunities for the country’s top clubs to play each other, helping to challenge both the clubs and the players to raise their game improving the quality of Futsal in England. This new structure to the Super League also potentially acts as a stepping stone for The FA and the clubs in making the transition to one full National League at some point in the near future.
The good news for the people of Cumbria is that they now have a team to support in the countries elite competition and there are some really exciting times ahead.