The six Mainland Futsal age-group sides have high expectations for the seventh edition of NZF National Youth Futsal Championships, beginning Friday 14th July, at Palmerston North’s Central Energy Trust Arena.
The confidence is warranted with the Mainland sides winning 3 of 5 titles on offer at the 2016 event.
Mainland’s Futsal Development Officer (FDO), Ronan Naicker suggests his Federation will be “wearing a target on our back again, with particular strength in both girls divisions and the 16 boys, and serious potential in the 14 and 19 boys sides too – both have strong squads – but we are hoping for the best for all our sides.”
Naicker believes the major competition for overall honours will come from the Capital and WaiBOP Federations.
“We are expecting this year’s champs to be the strongest edition yet, given the recent announcement of a national pathway becoming available, with 3 new national teams to be announced later in the year.”
“I also see the strong push on coach development through education, as being a real positive for all regions, and we should see a real lift in the technical ability of players and structure to the play this year.”
The main concern for Naicker comes from an outside factor – the weather. With flight cancellations and the fact some teams are driving down from the north, Mainland will not know the final makeup of its opposition until they see who has made it through the adverse weather to reach the venue.
“All we really know is that Central and Capital will be the only regions potentially unaffected by the mid-winter storm ravaging the central North Island, everyone else will have added adversity to overcome before the first game even gets underway.”
NZF Futsal National Youth Championships
Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North
Friday 14 July to Sunday 16 July
LIVE streaming of selected games is available here
The full draw and results are available here
To follow all the action please visit www.facebook/NZFFutsal
Mainland Squads as follows: –
Coach: Andrew Regaldo
Callum De Klerk
Harry Dufton (GK)
Coach: David Murdoch
Fin Mounty (GK)
Coach: James Vallance
Tyler Clink (Gk)
Matt Rogers (Gk)
Coach: Shannen Vailu’u
Lewis Guy (Gk)
Jack Woolcott (Gk)
Coach: Sam Lapslie
Jazmine Tufau (Gk)
Coach: Pam Fraser
Assistant Coach: Ronan Naicker
Hannah Hegarty (GK)
McKenzie Falcao (GK)