Futsal fans can follow national team on YouTube next week
New Zealand’s Futsal Whites are competing in an invitational tournament in New Caledonia next week and futsal fans will be able to stream matches from the OFCfootball Youtube Channel.
The event follows the successful ASB Trans-Tasman Cup in the capital last month.
Futsal fever is rising in New Zealand for the five-a-side game played in a smaller area than a football pitch, and which legends, including Pele and Lionel Messi, credit with their football development.
There are more than 9000 college students involved in leagues and programmes across the country, says Futsal New Zealand development manager Dave Payne.
Earlier this month fans flocked to the three-match Trans-Tasman Cup at ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie.
New Zealand Futsal Whites, ranked 71 in the world, were beaten by the 23rd world ranked Autralian Futsalroos three nights in a row.
During the day the stadium bustled with 55 teams from across the country competing in the fourth ASB Junior Festival and Youth Championships.
Mr Payne says the two events were a success.
“Huge. We have had fantastic feedback by all involved and these events always bring the best out of the futsal community.”
Nine-year-old Jagan Buckman attended all three international matches.
“I’m here for Leo Bertos,” he says.
As a life-long player and lover of football, his grandfather Michael Chadwick was happy to bring him.
After the matches, fans took the rare opportunity to get up close and shake hands with former All Whites star Bertos, debuting at his first Futsal event.
Ball-boys, Charlie Bayly (12), Harry Lack (12), Sam Lack (9) and Jesper Edwards (8), agreed. They say it was inspirational and exciting to see the game played by the national teams but also to chat with the players afterward.
“We love Futsal,” the boys said together.
Charlie Bayly (12) says players have to be incredibly fit and focused to play the game.
Newly converted fan, Matt Appleby came to the opening match with his wife and three children and was surprised to see how fast the game is played.
“It’s fast, there’s always something going on, you go backwards and forwards watching it and really appreciate the skill set of both teams.”
The Brazilian ambassador, Eduardo Gradilone, congratulated the prize winners of the Junior and Youth tournament. He says he enjoyed the events and saw good quality Futsal played.