MEET two football loving blokes prepared to take a gamble on a high-octane indoor version of the world game, with the potential to take Orange’s budding soccer stars to the top of the world’s representative scene.
Matt Savaro and Sam Fuda are joining in on the futsal craze.
A game, not unlike indoor soccer but played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football which, combined with the preferred hard surface, creates an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique.
It’s also a game that’s a largely untapped footballing code in not just Orange, but country NSW.
Savaro and Fuda want to change just that.
With the backing of the NSW Futsal Association, Savaro and Fuda, two life-long football tragics, are setting up their own futsal competition in Orange, likely to be called Ultimate Futsal.
“There’s so many opportunities for kids in this area to make a start in futsal,” Savaro said.
“It’s so quick, they develop the skills pretty quickly.”
The idea began two years ago when Savaro helped take an Orange team to the national titles in Canberra, a representative competition run through Football NSW.
In 2013, though, things have changed a little.
Savaro and Fuda took two Western sides to the NSW Futsal Association run national titles in Penrith last week and, despite the heat, joined in alongside 90 other futsal teams from across the country in the race to be crowned national champions.
It’s at the most recent championship the pair were inspired to begin their own league with the potential to one day host state or event national events here in Orange.
“NSW Futsal runs a very professional tournament and that’s what we want to bring to Orange,” Fuda said.
“And inviting other teams, the money it brings with it is amazing.”
On top of its drawing power, kids that performed well at the Penrith nationals last week made both All Star sides and a representative Australian side.
The under 15s who make such squads will tour Brazil next year.
Other age groups are set to go to San Francisco to rub shoulders with futsal elite at the next FIFA Futsal World Cup in America.
It’s an amazing opportunity.
But, aside from the possibility of seeing the world, Savaro says it’s just about getting kids active and enjoying the game.
“We just want to get the kids interested,” he said.
“There’s just as much opportunity in futsal as there is in outdoor football but it’s an untapped resource.
“If you do everything right and keep the kids interested in it, there’s no reason why this time next year, instead of taking two teams down to the nationals why we can’t take 10 or 12 teams.”
The duo are aiming to have Ultimate Futsal up and running at the PCYC come February.
Anyone interested in organising a team, whether it be under 6s or over 35s - the pair aim to cater for all ages - boys or girls, is encouraged to ring Savaro on 0400 432 050 or Fuda on 0488 268 068.