The weather may have turned cold, but we kept the heat up in the sports hall this morning – I don’t think I needed a sweatshirt as the girls were on fire! Sorry, couldn’t resist it….

We had one new girl come and try futsal for the first time – welcome Milly – we hope you had fun and look forward to welcoming you again very soon!

After watching the matches in Leeds last week and thinking back on the work we have been doing with the ladies, it was time to revisit finishing in the D. Players need to remember most goals are scored in the D, the goalkeepers we face are happy to save shots from distance but get in close and it’s another matter. So, we played so 1v1s, 2v1s, 1v2s and 2v2s and you couldn’t shoot until you got into the D, anyone shooting outside the D had to 5-star jumps! We talked about why this is the case and why it is so important to try and get as close to the goal as possible. In the end match we saw a team lose five goals if one of their players shot from outside of the D, how many times did they forget….oh well, it’s all part of the learning I guess!

Notable Players of the Session

1st Session – Iris W – she may be one of the smallest players in the club, but she has huge heart. Always does everything with a smile on her face and today she really did tackle and run like a lioness, brilliant to watch and huge steps forward! Awesome job done Iris!

2nd Session – Imogen B – Just back from a horrible injury and it looks like she has never been away, back to running with pace and driving towards goal. She is a natural finisher and once she gets her fitness back, everyone better watch out! Great to see you back Imogen!

3rd Hour – Ami S – A very intelligent player that learns each week and always looks to apply what she is asked to do. Today she was continually behind the last defender, making great runs and looking to attack that second post. Top job Ami!

4th Hour – Eleanor C – A very new player to futsal and it looks like she has been playing for years. She is composed on the ball, happy to run at players but also happy to look for that killer pass. The futsal future looks very bright for this young lady.

Final thoughts of a coach – I was recently talking to a chairman of another futsal club and we had a few similar thoughts – support from the FA is pretty much non existent, futsal is STILL seen as a development tool for football, not a game in its own right, and the majority of coaches are not happy to allow football players to play futsal.

Which brings me to my main point, or ramble or moan or however you want to read this – coaches covert their better players! From my time at grassroots and working in both boys and girls academies, I have witness first hand players being ‘advised’ not to go to another club, an academy or even a different sport by their grassroots coach. This is especially noticeable when coaches have a ‘winning’ team and the player in question is seen as the ‘star’ player.

Why? Aren’t we doing this for the players? Shouldn’t we be pushing, in the right way, for the players to be the very best they can be, and if that takes them out of our environment and into a perceived better place, then isn’t that a good thing? I always took it as a credit to my coaching that the player was seen to be good enough for an academy, a trial, or a step up and they always went with my very best wishes.

I have a loft full of trophies, I was very lucky to have a group of girls who won lots for a space of about 4 years. We never once recruited from another club, we asked the players to bring their friends and we worked with what we had. Players left to try other things, one went to a local academy and did very well. I recently bumped into one of these girls, now in her early twenties, and we had a chat about these times. What made me smile, wasn’t the wins or the medals or the trophies but the fun and smiles she remembers and that fact she is still friends with most of the players. Says it all really…

On Saturday 9 March, the ladies team play in their first ever national semi-final with a place at St George’s Park up for grabs. This is my biggest test as a futsal coach, am I ready for it, who knows, but I promise to do all I can to help the ladies achieve a lifelong ambition…

Coach Chris

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