Carlisle Futsal Club have today announced the appointment of former British Lions Futsal and Scottish National Futsal Team Men’s head coach Stephen Chatila as the organisation’s first technical director.
Perth based Chatila, 50, has a wealth of Football and Futsal experience having played professionally abroad and taken up coaching upon retirement coaching Futsal from youth to full international levels.
“We are very excited to have Steve as the Technical Director of Carlisle Futsal Club,” said Chairman Al Tindall. “He is a highly accomplished coach with the experience and knowledge to advance the quality of Futsal being played in the Carlisle and Cumbria. Steve has been at the forefront of Scottish Futsal for over 15 years and has had spells as the Scottish Futsal National Team head coach and has UEFA Futsal Cup experience as Head Coach of Perth Saltires. We have a big problem in Cumbria in that there is a knowledge gap between the level of Futsal being played and the level of Futsal that we need to be playing to drive the game forward and Steves appointment is a step towards bridging that gap. We look forward to the leadership he will provide in developing Futsal coaches and players in the area. Its a real coup for us to have him on board.”
Chatila will develop a Coach Education program and has been charged with defining ‘the way we play’ Carlisle Futsal Clubs playing philosophy which will run through the academy programme into the first team.
Chatila is looking forward to the challenge ‘I’m pleased to accept the offer put forward to me by Carlisle Futsal Club. I consider myself very lucky to be involved in Futsal, as it’s a sport mainly full of nice people. I have made so many great friends from around the world through the sport. Top class coaches in Futsal are very happy to speak to me and pass on their knowledge and experience, something that never happened during my football coaching years. I am looking forward to being able to share this with the Club and drive the standard of play forward.”
Chatila not only has a superb coaching CV but was also the driving force behind Scotlands most successful Futsal Club Perth Youth Saltires. Chatila got involved in Scottish Futsal in 1998 when he agreed to help a fledgling six team summer league develop in Perth. Having played a form of Futsal during his professional football career he was already aware of the benefits of the sport. Chatila said “I had just returned from a trip to Argentina visiting family and had seen the likes of Boca Juniors and River Plate youth teams play Futsal in packed arenas, and I knew that this was the ideal way to develop the skills of young players in this country.”
The Scottish league soon expanded to twelve teams and changed it from a summer league to a regular season league, from August to May. The ‘Scottish Futsal Federation’ was formed. Having seen the benefits of youth Futsal Chatila was able to convince his colleagues to begin youth sessions, guaranteeing a conveyor belt of new players into the expanding league. The plan worked well and soon there was a league of eighteen teams playing competitive Futsal which then embarked upon trips around Europe to gain knowledge and experience.
Chatila said “It was around this time, in winter 2001, that the Scottish Football Association became interested in our activities and decided to become the first of the home nation’s football associations to recognise and acknowledge Futsal. As a result, we were able to form a league select team to represent Scotland and participated in home nation’s tournaments in Ireland and England. To their credit, our players acquitted themselves very well and posted some good results.”
A major disagreement about the way forward then led to the breakup of the Scottish Futsal Federation in August 2002. Chatila decided to form Perth Youth Futsal in November 2002 keen to focus on producing young Futsal players of a good standard.
Chatila explains “In 2004 we succeeded in Perth Youth Futsal gaining charitable status, a feat which helped us secure much-needed funding and enabled us to make substantial progress, with up to tweny five teams participating in our youth leagues and coaching sessions. As well as playing futsal, youths are educated about life issues such as anti-social behaviour and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The success of the project enabled us to form two squads to play in the adult league, with coaches playing alongside youngsters on the court and helping in their Futsal development. This strategy proved a success and so we soon started touring around the UK, Belgium and Spain, playing mainly youth players against top teams in an effort to advance the skills and the experience of the youngsters. To their credit they performed admirably well and held English champions of the time, Doncaster College and Ipswich Wolves, to draws in tournament play. They also won an U16 tournament in Barcelona. Some of those players are now player-coaches and play in our top adult team, Perth Saltires, who won the national league and cup double in 2010/11 and 2011/12 and competed in the UEFA Futsal Cup.”
Carlisle Futsal Club assistant coach Neil Walker is delighted “Chatilas experience in developing an outstanding youth programme and implementing it successfully, his contacts in the game and leadership qualities make this a really exciting appointment for the Club.’