It is with huge regret that Carlisle Futsal Club today announce their resignation from the FA Futsal Super League with immediate effect.
The 2015/16 season promised to be a great one for the Club with the announcement that the FA had included Carlisle amongst the 8 most impressive Clubs in the North. Few could have argued against this when assessing the off court structure of the Club. However had the assessment criteria been based purely on results and Futsal competition experience Carlisle would have been competing in Division 2.
Selecting Clubs for a place in the top flight was undoubtedly a difficult task for the FA but given assurances from our Club on plans to develop, our financial position and the dedication of the squad, along with our unbeaten finish to 2015, we were able to satisfy them that our first team was in a good place and deserving of a place in the top flight.
The first team was supposed to be the pinnacle of the Clubs player pathway and was in place to provide our 100 player strong academy programme with the inspiration to progress to the highest levels of the sport. The first team squad were provided with everything they needed to be able to learn Futsal and develop into a side that could progress and eventually compete with the best in the country.
The ambition for the 2015/16 season was to provide the squad of players assembled with the knowledge they needed to compete, non came from a Futsal background. Frank Chiarella was appointed head coach and was doing a superb job in this regard. The results so far this season were as we expected – a narrow defeat to Sheffield and a heavy defeat to an impressive Birmingham United. Playing against the very best gave the players exposure to the level they need to be at and would fast track their learning and development. It is worth pointing out that the group we had would have been capable of taking points from a few of the Clubs in the division and would have competed for the title in division 2 even with their current level of Futsal kowledge but that is not where this Club aims to be, the aim was to compete with the very best within 2 or 3 seasons. For this season that ambition was to survive, work hard and learn. This progress would rely on great application from the players. However the reality is that whilst as a Club we were able to manage things so that we can provide the players with everything they need to be great and to go on and achieve great things, it is impossible to manage a players will and desire and that is where the project has failed.
Ultimately the disbanding of the Clubs first team is down to the realisation that it is not possible to create a Futsal team capable of competing in the top flight of the English Futsal League from the footballer player pool in Carlisle. Geographical and population size restrictions mean that identifying enough players who demonstrate the necessary technical capability AND desire to learn a new sport is just not possible.
So instead we will be taking a long term view on the Carlisle Futsal Club project. Our focus is now on creating our own generation of Cumbrian Futsal players via our hugely popular and successful academy programme. All of the money ploughed into the first team will now be invested in providing our academy players with the best opportunities to develop and when the time is right our first team will be re-launched with these players going on to represent the Club and able to compete at the highest levels.
We would like to thank Frank Chiarella for the time he dedicated to the Club, we have huge respect for him not only as a coach but also as a person. The knowledge passed to us will live on through our academy programme and will be invaluable in developing a generation of Futsal players.
We would also like to apologise to the FA and the other National League Clubs, we appreciate the damage this does to the sport and the decision to withdraw was not taken lightly.
As a Club we can say that we tried and gave everything to the first team project. We are now extremely excited to be able to concentrate on our youth academy and whilst we have temporarily shut this down we are busy working on a re-launch which will include a full fixture calendar and trips across the country to compete.