Futsal Feature

FUTSAL FEATURE: How Futsal can help shape more well-rounded individuals.

Mastering football is a difficult beast. Most of you taking the time to read this article will be more than aware of that. You might be a young player just beginning in the game, a gnarled veteran of many an on-field battle, a fresh-faced eager coach filled with exuberance and new ideas, or a grizzled old war-horse who has been around the blocks and absorbed an extortionate amount of knowledge. 

Whichever it may be, you’re more than likely still learning. And that’s because that’s what football does. It continually teaches and is always evolving. What’s new and innovative today will, no doubt be superseded by some other school of thinking and analysis tomorrow. 

But there does seem to be one constant throughout the last decade, and one that some areas seem reluctant to embrace. The role of Futsal in developing more rounded individuals. Edwin Chan, President of the ANU Futsal Club, and in his 4th Year of studying Commerce, obviously agrees.

“I played a lot of outdoor in High School but moved into Futsal as it’s a higher intensity game and you get a lot more of the ball,” Chan commented. “It’s a lot of anaerobic fitness compared to aerobic fitness outside. It’s a different use of your respiratory system. Your touch improves a lot playing Futsal, and you get a better technique by playing the game.”

Chan was joined in our conversation by Club Treasurer Ryan Kallmier, a 5th Year Law and Security Studies Student who expanded on Chan’s summation of the sport which is played on an indoor basketball court with goals instead of hoops. 

“The fast-paced nature of the game is great, and everyone can be involved all the time,” Kallmier said. “In soccer you can be stuck out on the wings and not touch the ball for 15-20 minutes but in Futsal you must be involved, and I really like that. You must constantly think of your movement and it’s a far more free-flowing game.”

The ANU Futsal Club has been around for the last six years or so and was the brainchild of Julian Wong, the initial President for the formative years, who helped to lay the foundations for what was to follow. Starting off as a bunch of students who wanted a kickaround the team has morphed into a fully-fledged affiliated game with ANU Sport.

So, what is it about this small-sided version of the sport that makes it so revered throughout most of the professional game? Well, for start, it’s fun! And isn’t fun that what drives people to be playing any sport or pastime in the first instance? If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t do it, would we? 

“As a sport its way more accommodating than football,” Kallmier said. “If you want to go for some crazy run from then back and fire off a shot at goal, then go for it! Some of the greatest players in the World aren’t the fittest, like Ricardinho of Portugal and Falcao of Brazil. It’s as much about the mind and tactics as it is about the body.”

Chan echoes his colleague’s thoughts stating that the game really is the province of anyone who wants to take part, especially with the community-fuelled atmosphere inherent at every ANU Futsal Club get-together. 

“Our Community is very inclusive, and everyone is very welcoming, especially at our social sessions,” Chan revealed, “They help to build relationships and it’s a great place to be. Futsal is a very easy game to get involved with because the numbers are small.  

“Our social stream is for everyone who wants to come and have a pick-up game. 
the social sessions are great as you can just rock up and play, there’s no set teams, so you are forced to meet new people and play a team sport with them. Just come along and play for two hours.

Futsal isn’t just for giggles though, although enough recreational players of the game will tell you that is more than enough. The sport helps develop stars of tomorrow and can be a massively important coaching tool when used correctly in association with further training. 

For ANU that means preparing for the cross-city battle with their arch nemesis from the University of Canberra, a clash which will resonate around the halls of UC in a fortnight as the pair lock horns in the Black Mountain Battle.

“Futsal can be, and is, a fantastic learning tool,” Kallmier said. “The smaller spaces, confined area and smaller goals, mean that participants need to move quicker, be more perceptive of space, get more touches on the ball and are constantly involved when on the court. 

“Indeed, there is no place to hide on the Futsal court and it’s a place where talent can be freely expressed whilst nurturing the fundamentals that will make for a better player. We just completed our trials and are filtering through the players to find the best team to represent ANU. We haven’t worked on Tactics or Strategies yet though, that’s to come. 

“What we are looking for is not just individual skills, but the best players to make a team. UC will be an amazing team and they have people who have played for Australia and we need to present the best team that we can. 

“The game really rewards very well strategised team play. Although it can provide many more opportunities for individual moments of brilliance, at the end of the day, the team that works together better both defensively and offensively will come out on top over a team full of technical players, 9 times out of 10. 

“Sure, scoring a long shot from the halfway line is extremely satisfying, but the gratification felt after getting those three points trumps all! The Women’s train on Thursday and we are hoping to bring home the double!”

A vibrant, easy-going atmosphere, a sport to keep you fit and healthy and the chance to represent your University – what more could you ask more? The ANU Futsal Club is very welcoming and is for all different levels of player. 

So, come on down and lace up the boots and follow in the footsteps of some of the giants of the game, names such as Ronaldo, Messi and Ronaldinho, who all started their amazing careers on the compact confines of the Futsal court – a sport that really is for all. 

For more information on the ANU Futsal Club contact them at: anufutsalclubatgmail [dot] com 

Story: Russ Gibbs