As 2019 comes to a close First Team Head Coach Al Tindall shares his thoughts on a successful year and plans for 2020 for both the senior team and Academy programme.
It feels like we are now well and truly into the ‘new era’ that we all talked about at the start of this season.
The return of the mens team has injected a new level of motivation into our academy players and staff. I can sense a real buzz around the Club. And whilst the National League season has been a bit stop start, due to the scheduling, it is about to explode with a quick succession of important league and Cup games in January that will shape our path into the business end of the season. We are currently sitting top of the table and that is where we plan on staying.
The Leeds home game was a real highlight of 2019. After 3 years without a mens team you could feel the anticipation in the atmosphere ahead of kick off. When the goals started flying in, the celebration and interaction between spectators and players was special to see. I know it meant a lot to the players to have that fantastic support but it also meant a huge amount to me personally and the whole event team that works hard to put on a show. I was nervous that we wouldn’t be able to replicate what we had delivered back in 2015 but it was bigger and better. We will continue to put on a big matchday event and make this free for our academy players. I think its fair to say the home games are something all players, staff and supporters now look forward to with eager anticipation and this has been reflected in the ticket sales so far. We will be inviting the academy teams to be mascots and walk out with the players in 2020 which we hope will give them a taste for being the main part of the matchday event and inspire them to work hard to become the Carlisle Futsal Club first team players of the future. We are already seeing evidence of this with several of our u15 players being offered the opportunity to train with the first team recently and doing very well.
Without theAFL.uk to play in this season we have had to work hard to get games for our Academy squads. Its not as easy as it once was. We recognise the need to address this. Futsal participation has grown a lot in recent years and whilst you might expect that this would mean its easier to get games its actually had the opposite affect for us. A lot of the Futsal Clubs we used to travel to in the North West are now playing regular local Futsal leaving less time/opportunity to host travelling teams like ours. Our challenge now is to replicate this in Cumbria with football teams and help educate them in Futsal so that we get at least monthly competitive games for all age groups. Competition is an important part of the players development and putting a local competition framework in place, working with the County FA, that will include leagues and tournaments will be our big focus for 2020. Our work has already started with our first tournament on 22nd December at Penrith for u10 and u11 with all 16 places filling up within 48 hours. The demand is there but the availability and cost of suitable venues will continue to be the biggest obstacle we face. If we can get this right then these events in time will provide a good level of competition, provide a focus for the players and coaches in training and be great fun for all on a matchday – especially parents.
In terms of Academy programme growth we will continue to focus on organic growth in 2020. Our North Cumbria Performance Centre in Carlisle has recently formed an u6 training group with Mike Wood and Carl Judge leading the training sessions. Our u5s will launch in January 2020 and we will grow this over the year. Our South Cumbria Performance Centre Head Coach Michael Devitt has recently expanded adding an u9/10s section and our West Cumbria Performance Centre led by Dan Tyer and Dean Vaughan has split the mixed age u10/11 group into two separate training squads and added new players. Incredible work from our volunteers leading those Performance Centres in getting more and more children playing Futsal to a high standard by following our own coaching curriculum.
2020 will be the year of competition for our mens team and for our Academy teams.
I am pleased to say that in 2019 we obtained our FA Charter Standard status again, recognition that we are doing things the right way and have all the necessary safeguarding measures in place.
For those not competing at the Sunderland Xmas Tournament I hope you all relax and enjoy the well earned Christmas break. For those who are playing please remember we aren’t interested in the result just that we are playing the CFC way and applying what has been covered in training.
I would just like to say thank you to everyone involved in the Club – players, parents, committee members, our events team, our sponsors GW Auto Repairs and our coaches for your hard work this year. The Club does not exist without you. You are incredible!
Finally, don’t forget to get your tickets early for our home games in January, they will sell out and we want you all to be there.
Merry Christmas Christmas and a very Happy New Year!