West Riding FA Futsal club Futsala Leeds have won both the U14 and U10 categories at the National UK Futsal Alliance 2023 Finals at Loughborough University!
After entering the regional qualifier for the National UK Futsal Alliance competition in February at the Edge facilities at the University of Leeds, where Futsal clubs from all over West Riding were in attendance, Futsala's U10s, U12s and U14s all won on the day and qualified for the National Finals.
Futsala owner and Head Coach, Tim Bridge, picks up the story:
"Last Sunday we travelled down to the fantastic facilities at Loughborough University for the UK national finals. Top futsal clubs from around the UK were battling it out to become UK champions, some very strong futsal clubs from London were in attendance and we knew that we were going to have to be at our upmost best to compete and that we were.
"Our U14s kicked off first and the futsal that this group played was unreal, winning all 4 of their group games and making it to the final. We played a strong Tranmere team in the final and we went 1 goal down, but we fought back with some amazing rotational play and won 2-1 to become UK national champions. The scenes at full time were immense and to win this age group for the second year running is something that’s not been done before.
"Our U10s then kicked off and won their first game. The 2nd game we were up against a strong team and found it hard to get going, we battled through the rest of the group games and made it to the final. We were up against the team that beat us in the group game in the final and went 1-0 goal down, but our lads showed some Yorkshire grit and determination and came out 3-1 winners and became national UK champions.
"Our U11s were playing in the U12s competition and did us all proud in finishing 3rd, a huge achievement.
"To become National Champions in two age groups is phenomenal for our futsal club. We started our journey back in 2014 when Futsala Leeds was created, in 2019 we made it to the final and unfortunately, we got beat and we always said "one day we will do it” - this day has come. It's taken a lot of hard work behind the scenes and 1000’s of sessions to get the players ready, but we believe in what we do, and the players have so much fun coming to our sessions. We cater for a mixture of players from beginners to academy level, and we are also seeing more and more girls attend our sessions which is fantastic."
Fusala player, Isaac, added: "I started playing futsal when I was 5 at Futsala Leeds and it’s really benefited me. The game is fast, intense and fun. I won the national title last year when I was U13s and to win it again this year is something I am extremely proud of." Meanwhile, William commented: "I enjoy Futsala Leeds so much, the intensity of the sessions is brilliant and winning the UK national title is something I will always be proud of."
Reece Sockett, Football Development Officer at West Riding FA, said: "It’s great to receive such fantastic news about a club within West Riding. This is a fantastic achievement and we are very proud that Futsala were able to represent the County at the national finals. Futsal provision is on the up within West Riding at the moment, with opportunities in both the male and female pathway for players of all abilities. If any clubs or individuals are looking to get involved in futsal in any capacity, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!"
For more information on Futsala Leeds, head over to their Facebook or Twitter pages!