On the 30th June 2023, 14 players aged 11-14 from the Clubs academy programme departed from Leeds Bradford Airport to take part in the 3 day Valencia Futsal Cup in Blanes, Costa Brava, Spain. For many it was the first chance to experience playing Futsal abroad against Clubs primarily from across Spain but there were also Clubs in attendance from Italy, France and even Australia.
Due to the way the Spanish age categories work (year of birth) it meant that our u12 and u13 squads had to effectively play up a year and two years (and in the case of our U12 goalkeeper three years) but this was a trip that was all about learning and challenging themselves against some of the best junior futsal teams.
The group stages of the competition were tough with the players having to quickly adjust to their surroundings whilst facing some incredibly experienced, high quality futsal teams including the Infantil Champions of Catalonia Covisa Manresa FS and it was reflected in the results on day one. Coach Al Tindall was positive though observing that it was only Manresa that had dominated us and that it had been our own errors costing us goals in the other games. The challenge for the players was to improve every game throughout the tournament and on day 2 we began to see evidence of nerves subsiding and improved team work resulting in a growing confidence. The players grew into the tournament developing a solid defensive counter attacking style which provided an excellent platform for them to progress all the way through the knockout stages of the tournament, culminating in a final against Covisa Manresa FS who once again proved to just be too strong.
Coach Al Tindall was really impressed with the attitude of the players ‘This trip was always going to be about how we came together as a team and it was a real pleasure to see the bonds that were formed. The highlight for me was in the semi final when we were holding onto a 4-1 lead against the fly keeper and one of our players made a mistake in the defensive system which resulted in a goal. The reaction of the the other 4 players was to put their arm around him and debate how to correct it. That was a real pleasure to see because we have players self coaching, recognising mistakes, communicating the right way and problem solving themselves on court in the middle of an intense game at such a young age. As a coach you cant ask for any more than that. The attitude and effort from every player given the level of opposition, the emotion, the heat, the fact they were all playing up as well, it was just incredible to see. I could not be prouder. They did their parents, the Club and the City of Carlisle proud.’
The players will now return to their regular training programme taking their experiences from the Vsport Futsal Cup into their training in readiness for another trip abroad in the near future.
Any one interested in joining Carlisle Futsal Club should contact Al Tindall on Mobile/Whatsapp 07484162456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.