Futsal makes its East Dunbartonshire debut.
Futsal makes its East Dunbartonshire debut.

An increasingly popular sport arrived in East Dunbartonshire recently - with a Futsal Festival attracting a handful of local teams.

Westerton United, Lenzie Academy and Rosebank United squared off at Kirkintilloch High School last Monday night, after some initial training.

While the rules of Futsal are somewhat similar to five-a-side football, the young players were nevertheless given a brief treatise on the laws of the game.

But within no time the sides had taken to the fast-paced game, which has been growing in popularity in recent years.

Scott Murray, the SFA 
assistant football development officer in East Dunbartonshire, said: “You could see the players were a little 
apprehensive in the first few matches as they got to grips with the pace of game.

“However as the games went on the standard increased dramatically as they adjusted from the normal rules of the game and became more comfortable with what they were doing.

“Overall the night was a great success and the coaches were keen to see more happening in the future.”

Futsal is the FIFA standard for the indoor five-a-side game and has been widely promoted across the globe in the last few years.

There are now more players playing the indoor form of the game globally than the full-sided version, and the game attracts a massive following in countries across Asia and South America.

The most famous exponent of the game is former Brazilian striker Ronaldo, who has publicly attributed his talents to the skills gained whilst playing Futsal in Brazil.

The East Dunbartonshire festival follows research from the SFA which highlighted the high number of youngsters who are becoming bored or frustrated with football when entering the senior years in school.

Futsal - which is one of the fastest growing games in the world - is designed to embrace the fast-paced, skill based indoor alternative to the traditional game to re-engage the young players to reduce the fall out in this age group.

East Dunbartonshire are keen to make the fixtures a regular occurrence throughout the year and will be consulting with local clubs on how to take this forward in the coming months.

The Scottish FA are now promoting the concept on a national level, investing in several key areas of the game from the different goals needed to play the game, and more recently launching it’s very own coach education course starting this summer.