F-League and unity lead the agenda at Football Victoria Futsal Workshop

Football Victoria (FV) hosted its inaugural Futsal virtual Workshop last Friday the 16th of July, with a strong attendance gathering to discuss the game’s key issues and Futsal’s strategy for growth across Victoria.

More than 55 people attended the sessions over the course of the day, including representatives from Futsal clubs, Futsal centres, schools and a key group of players, coaches and referees.

Hosted by Anthony Grima, Head of Commercial & Futsal at FV, the intention of the workshop was to ensure that the future of Futsal in Victoria could be "designed for the community, by the community".

“I’m extremely excited for the future of Futsal in Victoria. Whilst we found ourselves not being able to meet in person due to the lockdown, pushing through and delivering the workshop online was a terrific opportunity for our community to network, share ideas, and unite towards our common goal of growing and improving the game,” Grima said.

The day’s agenda covered a broad range of high-level topics including governance, administration, refereeing, women and girls and club/centre affiliation. The participants also conducted an integral planning session for Victoria’s upcoming F-League Futsal,  competitions which will include juniors right up through to seniors.

Long time servant of Futsal, Nomes Langham attended the workshop and was thrilled with the progress made over the course of the day.

“Lockdown is no time to rest - it’s our time to work harder than we have before.  Thanks to the power of virtual meetings we had the fantastic opportunity to come together as positive leaders with the common goal of uniting our sport and working for a greater Futsal future for Victoria. It’s so incredibly important, now more than ever, with the pressures of Covid that we all work together.  A virtual room full of passionate people all ready to take us to the next phase. It  was a great honour and privilege to be involved,” Langham said.

Former Futsalroo Fernando de Moraes also attended, stating the consultation and planning of the F-League was also crucial to get right for the development of Victorian players:

“As someone who is very passionate about Futsal, it’s really great to be involved with Football Victoria to take our game to the next level in a way where we can be united and move forward. The F-League will provide our Victorian players with a fantastic platform to showcase their talent and have a pathway in the sport.

The day's official agenda.

The positive reception from participants paints an encouraging picture that the game is moving in the right direction. Historically, Futsal has suffered from a lack of direction, with no centralised governance structure. This is something Grima is hoping to change through the ‘United for Victoria’ mantra.

“Futsal will in play a key role in Football Victoria’s overall strategic plan. We want to facilitate Futsal’s growth, including in schools and to foster the increase and development of players, coaches, referees, Futsal clubs and Futsal centres in the broader Futsal pathway.

With more than 40,000 players across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, there is enormous potential in connecting the state’s Futsal offering.

“It’s really important that people understand why we are doing this, but it’s also important that we do it in the right way. There is no point in us rolling out something that the community doesn’t want.” Grima said

“I’ve been in regular and constant dialogue with Futsal stakeholders to demonstrate the benefits of uniting the game. We are taking a collaborative approach and ensuring the Futsal community can have input into the game’s future direction and at the same time feel well supported by Football Victoria, as the sport’s governing body, particularly in the uncertain times we find ourselves in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Futsal player and coach Andre Caro says “Futsal in Victoria is on the rise and last Friday’s workshop was proof of this. It was a great opportunity to discuss the future plans for Futsal in the state and was an open platform to share ideas. It is great to see Football Victoria supporting Futsal in the state and it’s exciting to hear the opportunities that this will bring with everyone working as one!”

From a women and girls perspective, Futsal player and coach Rebecca Davies said that "the Football Victoria Futsal Strategy workshop was a great overview of where we are currently at with Futsal in Victoria. We had positive discussions about the barriers we face as females in Futsal and how we can work collaboratively to overcome these hurdles to aid in developing the Futsal framework. There are some really exciting upcoming prospects for the women’s game, including F-League pathways, FV schools program, the push for 50/50 participation by 2027, and the new home of the Matildas facility in Victoria - which includes a state-of-the-art Futsal pitch. Now that we have highlighted key areas of concern with the women’s game, we are on track to make some positive steps for female athletes in Futsal. I look forward to continuing to work with FV to collaborate on strategies for the women’s game." Davies said.

Dermott Tebb from Futsal Ballarat said the “the Football Victoria Futsal workshop was a great opportunity for all key stakeholders in the sport to come together and discuss ideas and solutions for various issues and opportunities across the entire state”.

To learn more or get involved with Futsal please visit www.fvfutsal.com.au

Football Victoria Futsal Strategy:

  1. Formally recognise the sport of Futsal within Football Victoria’s existing Strategic Plan 2019-2022 ‘FootbALLways’ to facilitate its growth, including in schools and to foster the increase and development of players, coaches, referees, Futsal clubs and Futsal centres in the broader Futsal pathway.
  2. Provide Futsal competition providers and Futsal clubs with a genuine value proposition to partner with Football Victoria via a revamped affiliation and support program to grow and develop Futsal together as a unified Futsal community.
  3. Integrate Futsal within the implementation of Football Victoria’s current Facilities Strategy and advocate for increased and improved Futsal facilities with local, state and federal government for the benefit of all Futsal competition providers and Futsal clubs across Victoria.