With just a few more weeks, the 2019 Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational will come to its conclusion where six lucky and talented kids will have a chance to attend the Allianz Explorer Camp with the five-time UEFA Champions League winners FC Bayern Munich.
After a very successful Muntinlupa Local Eliminations and Davao local eliminations, the tournament enters the intense stage of the regional finals. Played over three key locations in the country within the next coming weeks, the 2019 Allianz National Futsal Youth Invitational is getting more and more exciting.
“The local elimination had a good representation of teams from various sectors – private schools, public schools, youth clubs, and non-profit foundations. It is always great to see kids from different backgrounds coming together through futsal,” said Kevin Goco, the PFF Futsal Head who’s also present in the Muntinlupa local eliminations.
The outstanding kids from Tuloy sa Don Bosco punched their tickets to the regional finals for Luzon as the U-16 boys and girls won their respective championship matches. The U-14 boys’ squad of the said team also booked their ticket to the regional finals as runners-up despite a slim defeat against Atletico Diliman FC with a scoreline of 3-1.
For years, futsal has been seen as the gateway for kids to learn the fundamentals of football and make a name for themselves. It also gives the kids the opportunity to polish their passing and dribbling skills before taking it to the pitch.
“Futsal is proven to help develop better technical players. Just like the kids in Brazil, futsal is a great tool to develop good skill and technique with the greater number of ball touches, the need to make decisions quickly in a smaller playing area, and the need to have the ability to transition quickly between defence and attack.,” said Goco, emphasizing on the important skills you learn by playing futsal.
He also said “The best players in the world come from the streets playing 4 aside or small sided in the favelas of Brazil, the suburbs of Paris, or the streets of Amsterdam. Cruyff, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pogba, Iniesta.”
When asked about futsal being the solution to our grassroots’ problem, Goco said “There is no magic bullet or cure to developing football in the Philippines. It takes time, cooperation, and teamwork from all stakeholders. From my experience, developing sports in this country can be quite challenging due to lack of resources, geography, logistics, differences in culture, and lack unity. So everyone needs to work together.”
Now, with just a few weeks remaining before the culminating event of the said competition, we are getting closer and closer to seeing the kids who will make it to Germany and also, unearth those precious gems that are hidden in the provinces.
On May 17-18, the Mindanao Regional Finals will kick off at the Davao City National High School while on May 25-26, the Visayas Regional Finals will be held at the Trinity Christian School in Bacolod and the Luzon Regional Finals on the 29th and 30th of June at the Inspire Academy in Laguna.
With the help from Upstream Media PH, the regional finals will be made available for everyone to watch via Facebook live streaming. The tournament already had a taste of the said stream in the recently concluded Muntinlupa local eliminations. Through this, it can spark new interest from football fans as well as those who want to learn more about the beautiful game.
“The best players in the world come from the streets playing 4 aside or small sided in the favelas of Brazil, the suburbs of Paris, or the streets of Amsterdam. Cruyff, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pogba, Iniesta. We even have a local poster boy for this model with Misagh Bahadoran. The foundation, creativity and imagination of these stars were developed through countless hours touching the ball many times playing with friends small sided. That is what we hope futsal can be in the Philippines – giving every kid a chance to play and fall in love with the sport in their community and to be able to use the sport to have a better life. Maybe one of these kids will end up on the Azkals or a futsal national team,” said by Goco. A very inspiring statement from the man who makes it work for Philippine Futsal.